Industry associations, including the European Materials Handling Federation (FEM), have welcomed the European Commission's acknowledgment of the importance of effective market surveillance to support the European Union (EU) machinery industry.
The commission's Communication on Industrial Policy says it is vital to protect the competitiveness of the mechanical engineering industry, which is one of the EU's most important workplace providers.
Martin Kapp, president of the European Association of Machine Tool Industries (CECIMO), agrees: "The EU mechanical engineering [industry] has been described as one of the most shining examples of performance of the EU economy. EU institutions and member states have a duty to allow European manufacturers to maintain such a position."
Over the past few years, the industry has been alerting decision makers to the negative impact of ineffective market surveillance on the sector and the entire EU economy.
They are united in agreeing the resulting proliferation of non-compliant equipment generates safety and environmental risks, creates unfair competition, and hampers European companies' competitiveness, ultimately threatening the hundreds of thousands of jobs they provide.
The Committee of European Construction Equipment (CECE), CECIMO, CEMA, EUROMAP and FEM now hope the industrial policy flagship's strong message will guide the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament in their efforts to draw up a common framework for market surveillance in an upcoming safety package.
FEM secretary general Olivier Janin says: "We hope the new framework for market surveillance will, in a focused manner, address the problems of machinery industries which have been neglected so far.
"The new legislative package should enable more targeted, co-ordinated and effective market surveillance across the EU with the involvement of market surveillance, customs authorities and industry."
To provide technical assistance to competent authorities, the industry developed an online market surveillance support platform initiative in 2011 (Forkliftaction.com News #536)
CECE represents an industry that comprises 1,200 companies. In 2011, CECE equipment manufacturers had a total turnover of EUR23 billion (USD30 billion) and directly employed 130,000 people. European construction machines are about 25% of worldwide production.
CECIMO unites 15 national associations of machine tool builders, which represent about 1,500 industrial enterprises in Europe, more than 80% of which are SMEs. CECIMO covers more than 97% of Europe's total machine tool production and more than one third worldwide. It accounted for almost 150,000 employees and a turnover of nearly EUR21 billion (USD27.4 billion) in 2011.
CEMA is the European association representing the agricultural machinery industry that comprises 4,500 equipment manufacturers directly employing 135,000 people. The companies had a total turnover of EUR26 billion (USD33.9 billion) in 2011.
FEM promotes European manufacturers of materials handling, lifting and storage equipment, and speaks for 15 members representing about 1,000 companies (mostly SMEs) directly employing 160,000 people and with an annual turnover of EUR45 billion (USD58.7 billion) in 2008.
EUROMAP is the umbrella organisation for the European plastics and rubber machinery industry, which accounts for about 50% of worldwide production and export volumes. It
represents more than 3,400 companies, which together employ a total of 91,000 staff and generate annual sales of almost EUR16 billion (USD21 billion).