Market surveillance

Monitoring of ship equipment in Germany

The Marine Equipment Directive (MED) lays down requirements for marine equipment on the European market. The BSH is responsible for monitoring this marine equipment on the German market and on board ships flying the German flag.

Market surveillance ensures that the marine equipment complies with all MED requirements. This is achieved through proactive market surveillance programmes and by checking specific indications.

In order to achieve a uniform implementation of these objectives throughout Europe, close cooperation takes place with the other European market surveillance authorities.

Tasks and objectives of market surveillance

In addition to ensuring the proper approval of marine equipment, market surveillance also includes the following activities:

  • Information for the European Commission and the other Member States
  • Information to users on, inter alia, non-compliant products, recalls and withdrawals
  • Protection of the market against non-compliant products
  • Ensuring harmonised conditions of competition (level playing field)
  • National implementation of recommendations of the European Commission
  • Cooperation with national and international market surveillance authorities

Measures and means of market surveillance

Market surveillance has extensive resources and measures at its disposal to fulfil its statutory tasks. The inspection of marine equipment usually begins with the examination of the certification documents (certificates, declaration of conformity). Depending on the individual case, the technical documents (e.g. test reports) are also evaluated and, if necessary, own tests or expert opinions are commissioned. There is also the possibility of sample checks at the manufacturer’s cost.

If market surveillance detects deviations, the economic operator concerned is given the opportunity to remedy them by taking voluntary measures. The European Commission provides general guidance to manufacturers and other economic operators, in particular an EU recall guide.

If the corrections are inadequate, market surveillance shall take all appropriate measures to ensure compliance of the marine equipment with the MED. In addition, a safeguard clause procedure under Article 27 MED may become necessary where appropriate.

Appropriate market surveillance measures may, for example, be taken on a case-by-case basis:

  • order of corrections
  • prohibition of the placing on the market
  • recall by the manufacturer
  • decommissioning of products

If market surveillance detects non-conformities in the inspection of marine equipment, it charges fees in accordance with the BSH fee regulation. Within the framework of the administrative obligation, the BSH can conduct appropriate administrative offence proceedings against all economic operators.