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BPMA presses for action on noncompliant imports

25 February 2016

Representatives of both the British Pump Manufacturers Association (BPMA) and Europump met with senior executives of the National Measurement Regulatory Office (NMRO) in December, to again press home the need for action in relation to the correct application of the ErP Directive (EU Energy Related Products Directive). 

Market Surveillance is a key element of a fair and efficient EU internal market as it has a role to ensure that products placed on the community market comply with EU regulations and do not pose any safety and environmental threats for users and the public at large.  This should ensure a level playing field and fair competition on the market as well as safeguarding the coherence of the European regulatory framework, the consistency of which depends on effective enforcement.

However, there continues to be evidence of, as well as major concerns regarding, the presence of illegal pump imports entering the UK from other countries, especially Asia, that do not meet the strict demands of the ErP Directive.  As such and as previously advised, the BPMA continues to press the NMRO in their role of UK Market Surveillance Authority to take appropriate action.

The meeting in December was convened to agree a shared understanding of the application of Commission Regulation 641/2009/EC and the amendment 622/2012/EC with regards to eco-design requirements for circulator pumps and Market Surveillance within the UK.

From the detailed presentations given, and the open discussions that followed, it was agreed by all parties that there is now a clear understanding of what constitutes standalone and integrated circulators.  Furthermore it was also agreed that the majority of products identified by the BPMA were not integrated and subsequently could be deemed to be in scope and subsequently do not meet the current regulation, at least from the information shown on the identified companies’ websites.  

As a result, David Symons, Enforcement Manager at NMRO has submitted the following proposed course of action, to remedy the issue of any non-compliant pumps on the UK market, based on what is reasonable to all parties, and also taking into account its available resource.

January 2016

We will broadly target the market via letter, informing the businesses of the UK’s policy decision and that the standalone pumps discussed are in scope and that they should not be sold on in the EU. As discussed, we are part of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and therefore need to be as reasonable as possible with regulated entities. Within these letters we propose to give a three month period for the industry to ensure they are no longer placing these pumps on the market. The aim here is to give industry every opportunity to bring their range into compliance.

April 2016

Here we will begin a project initiated by my team who are responsible for investigations and enforcement. This will involve further industry engagement, investigation of pumps where there are suspicions of non-compliance and removing pumps from the market that are found to be non-compliant. Again, the target is to bring a level playing field for business by achieving compliance, but we have sanctions available to us where necessary and proportionate.

Market surveillance is an important issue and we need a plan to protect our industries, reputations and borders from the unscrupulous exploitation of companies to whom standards are irrelevant. The BPMA is committed to this task and as such the proposal by NMRO is a welcomed step in the right direction.