Sino-German Working Group on Product Safety conducts workshops on rapid alert systems and e-commerce
In conjuncture with the Annual Meeting of the Sino-German Working Group on Product Safety, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) conducted two technical workshops. They served as a platform to address current challenges in greater detail and discuss possible solutions with participants from ministries and relevant stakeholders. The workshops took place in Beijing, P.R. China, on 4th of November.
With trade changing to a faster, more individualised form (from B2B bulk to B2C small parcel shipment), authorities are tasked to find new ways of conducting market surveillance. The changes stem mainly from the prevalence of e-commerce in global trade, which was the main focus of the workshop.
Deputy Division Director Mr. Geiß (Division VID4, Product and Plant Safety, Technical Harmonisation, Market Surveillance, BMWi) presented the new EU Regulation on Market Surveillance. As the responsible negotiator on behalf of the German government, Mr. Geiß was able to give an in-depth insight into the regulatory approach and outline in which direction the regulation may develop further.
One of the major changes of the new regulation will be that authorities can hold fulfilment service providers accountable. The regulation will enter into force in July 2021. The other representatives engaged in the discussions with great interest, as also SAMR is currently working on new implementation rules for the Chinese e-commerce law. The law came into effect on 1st of January 2019, strengthening the role of e-commerce platforms and holding them accountable to a bigger extent.
The second workshop was conducted on the topic of rapid alert systems, helping to tackle the lack of information that authorities face, especially when reacting to new forms of trade. An especially pressing issue for authorities in the EU is the combination of a decentralised market surveillance system and the free movement of goods which both require efficient information sharing.
For that reason, already in the year 2001 RAPEX was introduced, a rapid alert system that enables authorities to share product safety alerts not only within the EU, but also within EFTA-member states and international partners. SAMR presented the progress of implementing a similar rapid alert system in China.
Both sides agreed to intensify the much-valued dialogue on these topics during activities in the working year ahead.
The workshops were organised by GIZ – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit - under the framework of the Sino-German Working Group on Product Safety. The next meeting will be held in 2020.
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