14Apr 2016

ETICS Seminar on Counterfeit and Market Surveillance - Prague 2016

The 2016 ETICS General Meetings Workshop, hosted by EZU, took place in Prague on Thursday 14th April 2016. 

The 2016 ETICS General Meetings Workshop, hosted by EZU, took place in Prague on Thursday 14th April 2016. ETICS brought together EU officials, EUROPOL, market surveillance Authorities, Manufacturer, Consumers, Retailers and Certification Bodies to discuss current issues in the field of market surveillance and counterfeiting and to explore ways for future cooperation. The event was a success, with over 60 attendees. 
Introduction by Pierre de Ruvo, ETICS Secretary General & CEO:
“In organizing a workshop pertaining to the sensitive issues of Counterfeit and Market Surveillance, ETICS and the associated TIC Sector are trying to protect the consumer and the legitimate economic operators.
What ETICS and the TIC Sector are trying to achieve in servicing third party conformity assessments is for the common good, however if we don’t act together we could become collateral damage.

However, without effective market surveillance we can’t be effective. Why not? Because it is human nature to cut corners or even cheat if there is no danger of being caught. We humans are greedy beings and effective policing is necessary to ensure we do not stray.

Market surveillance is a difficult issue however. As we all know it is an individual EU member state responsibility, there is little central control or coordination. We therefore have 28 differing funding mechanisms and a bewildering array of market surveillance authorities or delivery mechanisms across the EU.
For example in the UK alone, there is the National Measurements Office, which is responsible for electrical and electronic equipment, OFCOM, which is responsible for products under the R&TTE Directives, the Health and Safety Executive which is responsible for the workplace, the Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Agency and 210 separate local authority managed trading standards offices. Multiply that by 28 and it is chaos out there.
It is often argued that the reason we do not have effective market surveillance is because we are short of resources. I’d argue differently. We lack coordination of those resources we do have, and we lack a policy. Could anyone here draw a diagram of the EU market surveillance system? Even based on only those organisations we have heard from today? I know I couldn’t.
There is much reference to a risk-based analytical approach, one that is intelligence led. So be it, this is a rational approach. But I would counsel, ‘garbage in, garbage out’ the intelligence we gather needs to be of the highest quality.
We, in ETICS and the TIC sector, sit at the interface between producers and the legislative and policing bodies. We need to use our information wisely and to share it wisely. I urge you, we need to lead with our own TIC intelligence, engage with the debate and be ready to propose solutions and help to assist the national and European authorities to clean the European Market from non-conforming and dangerous products.”


Pierre de RUVO, Secretary General and CEO of ETICS    



Marcello MANCA is the VP of Government & Industry Affairs, Europe.  He has worked in the field of Conformity Assessment since 1981. M. Manca is the founder of Electro Service Italia, a safety testing and consulting company servicing industries from appliance, lighting and information technology to industrial control equipment.  In 1998, UL acquired Electro Services Italia to create UL Italia. 


Marcello’s presentation core message: “Data is evidently showing that the TIC industry plays a major role in decreasing risk for manufacturers and importers, avoiding serious injuries and fires for consumers worldwide, and providing a platform for market uniformity. The numbers are real, and they can easily be translated in number of lives saved, property losses avoided, social costs not incurred:  the suggestion for regulators and legislators is to welcome the TIC sector to the dialogue tables, so that the European (and other) conformity assessment framework can be reviewed, corrected, and improved.  The TIC industry is ready to help and support any effort that will help reduce the number of seriously non-conforming products that can fall in the hands of European consumers.”


See full presentation


Jan DECONINCK is the current Chairman of the Product Safety Enforcement Forum of Europe “Prosafe”. This is a non-profit organisation established by market surveillance officers from various countries throughout the European Economic Area. Joint Market Surveillance Actions coordinated by PROSAFE are primarily funded by the European Commission and EFTA.


Jan’s Presentation core message: “Market surveillance on consumer products is requested by industry and consumers alike and has a dual purpose: ensuring the free movement of goods through technical harmonisation and guaranteeing a high level of protection of public interest. The key principle of the legislative framework is the use of mandatory technical requirements and the setting up of appropriate assessment procedures to prove conformity to these requirements. To ensure the correct application of these principles in the real world, they have to be monitored by competent national authorities. The main challenges for these authorities are:  diminishing resources (both human and financial), limited testing capabilities and a diversity of interpretation and application of the legal requirements, These challenges can be countered by extensive European co-operation via Joint Actions (funded by the European Commission), the establishment of accepted best practice techniques and the use of surveillance testing instead of conformity testing. The creation of multi-annual testing campaigns based on objective criteria and enhanced with a possible quick response to emerging issues should enable market surveillance authorities to meet future demands. Close co-operation and sharing of information with industry will therefore be necessary.”


See full presentation


Pierre SELVA is currently the Schneider Electric’s Director for Conformity Assessment and Market Surveillance subjects. Pierre is currently the alternate member for France at the CAB and IECEE levels. He also holds the position of IECEE Treasurer from January 1st 2016 and he’s involved in several Working Groups of CAB and IECEE. 


Pierre’s presentation core message: “This presentation aims to emphasize the threat of counterfeited and unauthorized use of conformity marks on PRODUCTS, CERTIFICATES and DOCUMENTATION, not only in Europe, but also at the worldwide scale. It does not address the fair competition between different conformity marks coming or not from outside of Europe. It’s a manufacturer view, and we believe this threat could have strong impact on your (certification bodies) business. The main interest of this presentation is to raise awareness on this issue, and to propose some ways of solutions. Conformity marks are in the heart of our business as manufacturers and they bring some values that are of huge importance:  

  • Safety of the products
  • Specifics requirements not covered by safety standards
  • Development of confidence between economic operators
  • Increase of our statements credibility  
  • And at least, it’s a lasting investment from manufacturers to convince our customers 
Some recent cases of misuse of conformity marks appear on the market and this leads to a general mix up to our customers, and mainly the unskilled people. The more we found cases, the less the business will grow! With loss of image, confidence and credibility, the conformity marks will not be any more requested by customers, and also by manufacturers. Without differentiation value, there will be no more interest to use them, and the whole business of conformity marks will decrease. So, what could be the answer in front of this situation? Among different answers, we believe only a COLLECTIVE ORGANIZATION of market Surveillance, with a strong collaboration between private entities and public authorities can give efficient results. Manufacturers are already involved in this kind of actions and any collaboration with Certification bodies will be welcome.”  

Peter SMEETH is Secretary General of the British Cables Association (BCA) and Company Secretary of the Cable Makers Properties & Services Ltd, the holding company for BCA. In addition he is Director of the Approved Cables Initiative Ltd (ACI, Director of Lodge Consultancy Ltd. and Director of BASEC Ltd.

Peter’s presentation core message: “The Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) wants all cable installed in the UK to be compliant with the relevant standards (British, European and International) and to be independently 3rd party approved.  It is also pressing for commercial organisations to demand 3rd party approved cable and for insurers to recognise this within premiums. Provenance and traceability should be key purchasing requirements for all imported, distributed, sold or installed cable in the UK and contractors/installers need to order cable that conforms to the right standard and then check what they receive is what was ordered.”

Chris VANSTEENKISTE, being a superintendent at the Belgian Federal Police, applied for the function of project manager at Europol’s IP Crime Unit (Focal Point COPY) and moved to Europol in December 2010.  Since 1th of September 2014, Chris was appointed Cluster Manager Counterfeiting and is supervising both Europol’s IP Crime Unit (Focal Point COPY) and Forged Currency (Focal Point SOYA). 

Chris’s presentation core message: “Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit was created in February 2008.  Its mandate is the fight against counterfeiting and piracy and substandard goods impacting health and safety.  Since the 1 of January 2014, counterfeiting and sub-standard goods impacting health and safety are an EU priority.  Next to high level operations like OPSON (Operation against counterfeited and illicit food and drinks), IOS (In our Sites, an operation against illicit websites selling 100% illicit content) and Operation Silver Axe against the trade in illicit and counterfeited pesticides, Europol is also dealing with concrete operational cases triggered by the Member States in which we provide financial support (financing hotel and travel for the investigators involved in the case), analysis, forensic and or technical support and coordination.  The EPE on IP Fraud, the Europol Platform for Experts on Intellectual Property Fraud is an electronic and secured platform, accessible for law enforcement officers, private sector and academics.  The EPE on IP Fraud is a platform where a lot of relevant information regarding counterfeiting and piracy is gathered. You will find reports, studies, events, blogs regarding topics on counterfeiting and piracy.  By simple request to Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit, you can be invited to access the EPE on IP Fraud.”





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