Today, the Commission adopted its first opinion based on a novel procedure introduced by the Mutual Recognition Regulation. The problem-solving procedure aims to improve the application of the rules on mutual recognition to facilitate the sale of products within the EU, which are not subject to EU-wide harmonisation and are lawfully marketed in one Member State.
This first opinion released by the Commission concerns a Greek company which faced issues to sell its product on the Bulgarian market. The Bulgarian authorities refused the company's application to sell food supplements in Bulgaria, although those food supplements are lawfully marketed in Greece. According to the Commission's opinion, the Bulgarian authorities did not apply correctly the principle of mutual recognition. The opinion reaffirms the direct applicability of the Mutual Recognition Regulation, clarifying that national authorities should request information from the businesses on whether the goods are being sold in another Member State, before they decide to deny market access to those goods on their territory.
Commissioner Thierry Breton, responsible for the Internal Market, said: 'Ensuring that European businesses can fully benefit from the Single Market is today more crucial than ever. This new tool allows the Commission to help national authorities better apply the principle of mutual recognition and remove obstacles to the free movement of goods. The Commission will not hesitate to enforce the rules whenever the need arises.'
The novel procedure is activated when companies face problems to market their products in another Member States and flag their issue to SOLVIT. Europe's SOLVIT centre could submit to the Commission a request for an opinion. The Commission has 45 working days from the submission to give its opinion. The Commission's opinions will help create good practices regarding the application of mutual recognition. The proper application of the rules on mutual recognition is imperative to ensure the free flow of goods within the EU, both for businesses and citizens. The new Mutual Recognition Regulation came into application in April 2020. Besides the problem-solving procedure, the Regulation has introduced several new tools to facilitate the application of the principle on mutual recognition of goods in practice and to bring more clarity, legal certainty and transparency into this area.
- Publication date
- 30 September 2021