Competences of the Federal States
Implementation of the Product Safety Act (ProdSG)
The Market Surveillance Committee (AAMÜ) was set up in order to ensure uniform implementation in practice. The Central Office of the federal states for safety engineering (ZLS) is in charge of further important tasks. The BAuA lends its support in a variety of ways.
The federal state authorities are checking annually on the basis of 0.5 samples per 1,000 inhabitants whether the products on the market comply with the requirements of the ProdSG. That way, around 50,000 products are tested in Germany every year. The vast majority of the federal states have set up official technical device and product testing units (Geräteuntersuchungsstellen)in which they carry out factually founded technical product tests.
In order to ensure uniform administrative practice during the implementation of the ProdSG and to avoid duplication, the federal states have established the Market Surveillance Committee (AAMÜ).
The tasks of the AAMÜ are as follows:
- Coordination of cooperation between the market surveillance authorities of the federal states;
- Planning and coordination of market surveillance activities across federal states within Germany;
- Cooperation with economy and associations;
- Establishment and development of effective and efficient information and communication structures.
Moreover, the Central Office of the federal states for safety engineering (ZLS) is in charge of two important tasks: A coordinating function for the market surveillance authorities, as well as, in certain cases, enforcement tasks and the appropriate authority for all federal states. The latter is carried out e.g. in the case of transfer of competence at valuation differences. In addition, ZLS coordinates the work of the representatives of the Laender for the EU directives. They have extensive knowledge of all sectoral guidelines, their annexes and the underlying standards. Within the scope of their capabilities, they also support the federal states in matters relating to the enforcement of market surveillance.
Competences and tasks of the federal republic
The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) is competent at the federal level for the ProdSG, the related ordinances and the corresponding EU guidelines. Exceptions are the sectors of toys (2nd ProdSV) and recreational craft and personal watercraft (10th ProdSV), which along with, for example, EC regulation on the accreditation and market surveillance of products, come under the responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi). The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), on the other hand, is responsible for the "Guideline on General Product Safety" (Directive 2001/95/EC), which is implemented nationally by the ProdSG. The customs administration is integrated by the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF), which is responsible for the General Directorate of Customs.
Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
The Product Safety Act (ProdSG) assigns central tasks to the BAuA. As a national information and communication hub, we assume reporting, advertising and information tasks in the context of market surveillance. We support the authorities responsible for market surveillance in a variety of ways:
- As a national contact point, we are responsible, among other things, for official reporting procedures to and from the EU Commission. We provide the knowledge of German market surveillance on dangerous products to other Member States. Vice versa, we receive notifications from deficient and dangerous products from other Member States, which we pass on to the competent authorities in the federal states.
- In coordination with the competent authorities or the EU, we also carry out risk assessments of products ourselves; this for products for which there is a reasonable presumption that they pose an immediate threat or a considerable risk to health and safety.
- We support the market surveillance concept of the competent authorities by scientifically evaluating the deficiencies in the quality of products. Subsequently, we regularly inform the respective authorities about the results. For example, we create statistics on the reports of dangerous products and publish them in annual information documents about product safety.
- In addition, we take over the management of the Product Safety Commission, which advises the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs on all matters relating to the ProdSG.
In addition to these immediate tasks in the area of market surveillance, we are also active in other fields - always with the aim to bring safe and healthy products to the market. Numerous research papers and activities in the field of national, European and international product standardisation as well as the national publication of the standards catalogs, which are subject to the ProdSG and its individual regulations, are used for this purpose.
Other market surveillance actors
In addition, there are other market surveillance actors with different competencies and areas of responsibility:
- Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway (BNetzA)
- Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA)
- Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL)
- Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)
- German Institute of Structural Engineering (DIBt)
- Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH)
- Federal Office for Chemicals (BfC)
- General Directorate of Customs (GZD)
Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway (BNetzA)
The BNetzA is responsible for the monitoring of products which are subject to directives 2014/53/EU on the provision of radio equipment on the market and 2014/30/EU on electromagnetic compatibility.
Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA)
The KBA is the competent authority for all vehicles which are intended for operation on public transport routes.
Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL)
The BVL coordinates actions of the authorities of the federal states responsible for food surveillance. Responsible for products such as cosmetic products, food contact materials, toys, clothing or jewelery which are regulated in the Food, Commodity and Animal Fodder Code (LFGB).
Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)
BAM operates in the EU within the framework of EU guidelines and carries out approvals and conformity assessments. Responsible for pyrotechnic products such as fireworks.
German Institute of Structural Engineering (DIBt)
The DIBt controls compliance with the requirements applicable to harmonised construction products.
Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH)
The BSH is responsible for the testing and approval of rescue equipment, navigation and radio equipment, which are subject to the Maritime Equipment Directive.
Federal Office for Chemicals (BfC)
BfC assumes tasks with international activities in the area of the regulation of industrial chemicals and the approval and evaluation of biocidal products as well as notification of biocidal products according to the Biocide Reporting Regulation.
General Directorate of Customs (GZD)
The GZD fulfills important tasks in market surveillance. It checks products imported from third countries and notifies the market surveillance authorities. The market surveillance authorities inform the customs authorities of dangerous or non-compliant products and the latter can identify and report suspicious products more quickly by means of so-called risk profiles.