Market surveillance

Market surveillance means that we check that products released onto the market are CE marked and consequently fulfil fundamental health, environment and safety requirements, and that we take steps if this is not the case.
Tillverkningsindustri snickeri (Fotograf: Mia Åkermark)

CE marking applies for goods in Europe.

  1. The product should be CE marked.
  2. The document ’Declaration of Conformity’ should be in Swedish (applies to      machinery).
  3. The directions for use should be in Swedish.

We drive active market surveillance through different campaigns directed towards different types of products or suppliers and importers. These efforts can be made towards retailers or those who hire out, as well as mail order companies and internet sales. Part of the surveillance is done at workplaces in connection with inspections.

Market surveillance exists to protect the health and safety of employees, consumers and other users, but also to strive for equivalent competitive relationships between companies. Market surveillance is also done due to occurred accidents or incidents. The information can come from users, competitors or reported bodies. We drive market surveillance with other authorities and other countries as well.

Market surveillance steered by EU Directive

We are responsible for market surveillance of a large number of products. For several of these products, joint rules within the EU apply, and these are regulated by EU Directive. The European regulations are transferred to Swedish regulations in our provisions.

Market surveillance regulated by Swedish regulations

For a number of products there are no common rules within the EU. For these products, specific Swedish regulations apply. They are, for example:

  • ladders
  • trestles
  • scaffolding.

Different Member States within the EEA can have differently comprehensive product regulation. A product area that is strongly regulated in one Member State can be completely unregulated in another. It also happens that requirement levels differ for the same product.

Others who carry out market surveillance

There are about 15 authorities that are responsible for the market surveillance of products for which one has sectorial responsibility. The Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment, Swedac, has a coordination responsibility when it comes to market surveillance in Sweden.

Examples of authorities that carry out market surveillance of products that border the Swedish Work Environment Authority’s area of responsibility are:

  • The Swedish Consumer Agency – consumer products and general product safety.
  • The Swedish National Electrical Safety Board – electrical equipment and electromagnetic compatibility.
  • The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency – gas bottles.
  • The National Board of Housing, Building and Planning – building products and lifts

On the European Commission website for market surveillance, ICSMS, you can read more about market surveillance within the EU.

ICSMS website, opens in new window

Rapex is an information and warning system that countries within the EU use to inform each other about products with serious risks that have been recalled.

Rapex website, opens in new window

Links to other authorities that carry out market surveillance

The Swedish Consumer Agency's website, opens in new window

The Swedish National Electrical Safety Board's website, opens in new window

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency's (MSB) website, opens in new window

The National Board of Housing, Building and Planning's website, opens in new window

Legal consequences for suppliers who do not follow the regulations

We can ban a product from the market

We can prohibit a supplier from releasing a product onto the market if it is does not offer satisfactory safety against ill health and accidents. The same applies to those who deliver a product to be taken into use or those who display a product for sale. Such a ban is often combined with a penalty.  

Warning information and product recall

If there is a particular risk from a work environment point of view, we can request that a supplier leaves warning information or recalls a product. Such an injunction should be combined with a penalty.

Warning information should be left by the supplier to those who have the product and should be left in such a way that it can be presumed to come to the knowledge of those affected through direct message, advertisements or other means of presentation that business owners use when marketing.

A product recall applies to all specimens of the product. A product recall can be made up of a correction (that the supplier remedies the fault to which the risk of injury refers), an exchange (that the supplier takes back the item and delivers another fault free item of the same or equivalent type) or a cancellation (that the supplier takes back the item and gives compensation for it)

The conditions for the warning information and product recall are decided by us at the Swedish Work Environment Authority.

Notice of legal proceedings

Crime against the regulations for product marking or other product information, testing and surveillance or regulations about permits, approval or other proof of compliance with applicable demands for technical devices are directly punishable by sanctions and should be handed to the prosecutor for review.

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Last updated 2015-09-01