Plans to ease trade across EU states

1 March 2007
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01 March 2007 | Antony Barton

The European Commission has announced plans to ease the passage of goods between EU states.

The measures, which are expected to take effect in 2009, include forcing member states to accept goods lawfully marketed in another member state that are not subject to EU product standards. This applies even when the product does not fully comply with the technical rules of the destination state.

Product Contact Points would also be set up in all EU states to help enterprises facing trade restrictions.

Graeme Young, senior associate at law firm Dundas & Wilson, told SM the proposals were designed to make it easier for suppliers to assert their economic rights: "Ultimately, that should be good news for UK buyers as it increases their choice and introduces more competition into the market, which should mean lower prices."

The destination state will be able to refuse the marketing of a product where necessary to protect public safety, health or the environment. Despite these proposals, recently reported that UK firms selling goods and services across the EU might have to abide by trade laws of all states, under planned new regulations (Web news, 9 February).


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