The Ministry of Economy and Regional Development (MERD), Department for Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulations, EU twinning project “Strengthening the Capacities of the Serbian Ministry of Economy and Regional Development in the Area of Trade Policy” and Serbian Chamber of Commerce organised the final discussion on the subject of transposition of the European technical regulations in the field of machinery, low voltage electrical equipment and electromagnetic compatibility into Serbian legislation on 11th November, 2009.
Draft versions of the proposed regulations transposing the European directives: Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC- MD, Low Voltage Directive 2006/95/EC-LVD and The Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive 2004/108/EC-EMC were posted on the MERD website on 27th July and are available to all interested parties for comments, proposals and suggestions. The meeting was organised with the aim of introducing the professional public with basic solutions presented in the said technical regulations, and proposed sub-laws in order to apply the Law on Technical Requirements for Products and Conformity Assessment, whereas the upgrade of the proposed solutions would be enabled by means of exchange of opinions and submission of proposals.
Ms Jelena Popović, Assistant Minister in the Sector for Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulations opened the public hearing in the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, and on that occasion spoke about the importance and role of respective ministries in harmonising technical legislation of the Republic of Serbia with that of the EU. On that occasion, the Assistant Minister asked business entities (producers, importers, distributors) to join the process of drafting and adopting regulations the application of which could result in placing safe and quality products on the market, whereas the directives would be applied when the economy had been fully prepared.
“Harmonisation of technical legislation that would serve the internal market contributes to the free movement of goods, high-level safety of products placed on the market and removal of technical barriers to trade”, said Jelena Popović and added that the harmonisation of Serbian technical legislation with that of the EU, i.e. the very transposition of directives is a prerequisite for placing safe products on the market, removal of technical barriers (gradually unnecessary regulations will be repealed, MERD will revoke 48 regulations on compulsory attestation ...), increase export and competitiveness of Serbian economy and its role as a reliable protagonist on the European and world markets.
“Transposition of these three directives is only the beginning of the EU integration process in Serbia, and respective ministries are expected to transpose the rest of their directives and adopt technical regulations”, said Ms Popović, and explained that the harmonisation of legislation would be done by transposing the European directives in the form of sub-laws and regulations, whereas the basic elements of technical regulations would consist of technical requirements for products, conformity assessment procedures - a modular principle, with or without the presence of a third party, conformity certificates, marks and modes of product marking, as well as packaging and labelling.
The Assistant Minister explained that the MERD launched an initiative to engage all respective ministries in a joint action in order to achieve desired objectives, whereas obligations laid down in the National Integration Program (NIP) for the transposition of the EU technical legislation would be observed. This implies, in addition to necessary capacities, the cooperation between the ministries to be directed by an NIP subgroup for the free movement of goods and with the MERD. The MERD will inform the EU and WTO about new technical regulations. According to her, the MERD will also initiate the promotion of cooperation between all ministries in order to have a coordinated and integral organisation of non-harmonised areas in accordance with the principles of Articles 28-30 of the Treaty establishing the EC.
Mr Martin Reisser, twinning project representative, and Ms Biljana Popović, representative of EC Delegation in Serbia, briefly addressed the participants during the opening address.
Mr Harald Riekeles, expert on the twinning project being implemented by the German Ministry of Economy and Technology, explained to the participants how important the EU technical regulations and New Approach Directives were in removing technical barriers to the free movement of goods. Mr Harald Riekeles spoke later about the importance of transposing EU directives on machinery, low-voltage electrical equipment and electromagnetic compatibility and other compatible European Directives which was a precondition for the conclusion of the Contract on conformity assessment and acceptance of industrial products by the EU (ASAA contract).
The MERD representatives, Borislava Jakšić, MSc, coordinator of conformity assessment group, Tanja Dimitrijević, independent adviser for product safety in the electrical industry, and Zoran Bakić, Head of the Department for Mechanical and Electrical Industry Products, presented the basic solutions from the proposed Regulation on Machine Safety, proposed Regulation on Electrical Equipment to Be Used within Certain Voltage Limits and proposed Regulation on Electromagnetic Compatibility.
A presentation given by Dušan Vučković, MERD Head of the Department for Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment, attracted the greatest interest since he presented the previous work of the MERD on drafting regulations for the application of the Law on Technical Requirements for Products and Conformity Assessment, and presented the basic solutions from the proposed Regulation on the Method of Appointment and Authorization of Conformity Assessment Bodies, proposed Regulation on the Mode of Conducting Conformity Assessments, Content and Form of Declarations of Conformity, and Form and Content of Conformity Symbol and proposed Regulation on the Method of Recognition of Foreign Documents and Marks of Conformity which are important for the application of the Law.
The law is the umbrella law defines technical requirements for all products and adoption of technical regulations, but not for products that are regulated by special (sectoral) laws and regulations adopted under these laws. It enables a uniform application of the law to all products in case of keeping of a central register, application of appointed and authorized conformity assessment bodies and reporting on the preparation of technical regulations in accordance with international obligations (MERD), and decentralization of adoption process in case of technical regulations, appointment and authorization of conformity assessment bodies and recognition of foreign documents and marks of conformity.
Proposed regulations emphasize the role and importance of accreditation, and the requirements that must be fulfilled by conformity assessment bodies that would be appointed or authorized, and accreditation schedules and certificates imply the fulfilment of requirements for the appointment or authorization to the extent covered by the scope of accreditation.
After presenting the basic solutions from these regulations, the discussion started and aimed at the upgrade of offered solutions by means of cooperation between ministries, all interested parties, and other competent institutions and by means of using the experiences from other countries in transposing the directives as conveyed by Mr Harald Riekeles.
Participants of the public hearing agreed that the inclusion of all relevant factors in the work of working groups, seminars and public discussions is needed in the future when transposing other directives.
Bratislav Milošević, MSc, Assistant Director for Accreditation Affairs, attended the public hearing on behalf of the Accreditation Board of Serbia.
Dusan Vučković, Martin Reisser, Slavica Popović, Jelena Popović, Borislav Jakšić and Harald Riekeles
Slavica Popović, Jelena Popović and Borislava Jakšić
Economy Representatives and representatives of the ministries