Strengthening Market Surveillance in India: Indo-German Working Group Workshop held in Delhi
The question how to strengthen market surveillance is of rising importance in India. In June 2018, the Indian government released the Indian National Strategy for Standardization, which includes the goal to establish an effective market surveillance system. Against this background, the Global Project Quality Infrastructure organised a workshop on market surveillance in New Delhi on 4 December. German and Indian regulators had an in-depth exchange on India’s approach to market surveillance and the established practices in the European Union (EU) and Germany. Besides exchanging information and experiences, further steps on collaboration in the area of market surveillance were discussed and agreed upon. Topics such as common market surveillance processes across sectors and market surveillance of e-commerce and industrial products were identified to be taken up in detail as next steps.
Representatives from various Indian ministries such as the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution (MoCAF&PD) and the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), as well as German and Indian companies participated in the event. The presentations and discussions mainly focused on what kind of market surveillance systems are required for different industries and what their key features should be. For example, what the market surveillance process for consumer products and industrial products should look like. Mr Anil Bahuguna, Joint Secretary, MoCAF&PD, emphasised that market surveillance is an area, which requires continuous regulatory improvements to keep up with the developments in the markets and the way we are doing business. The fragmented delivery in e-commerce was named as a challenge while new opportunities open up by informing consumers through digital channels about unsafe products.
Mr Joachim Geiss, Deputy Head of Division “Product and Plant Safety” at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, presented the German and European regulations on market surveillance. He highlighted how the EU legislation has become a main source for product safety regulations over the last 30 years in order to remove technical barriers to trade in the internal market. The role of the member countries is to run institutions, which guarantee a high level of safety in their national market.
Further insights on the German system were provided by Mr Hans-Georg Niedermeyer, Director of the Central Authority of the German Federal States for Safety – the Central Market Surveillance Authority in Germany. He focused on the risk-based approach to market surveillance and applications of tools by market surveillance authorities based on EU-RAPEX guidelines.
Officials from MeitY and BIS elaborated on the current status of market surveillance in India. The participating experts identified the collaboration of market surveillance authorities with customs authorities and market surveillance for e-commerce products and industrial products as areas of further collaboration.
The event, which was attended by 30 representatives from government, business, and technical and scientific institutions took place within the framework of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure. It was organised by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH - the German Agency for International Cooperation. GIZ has been commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to support the implementation of the Global Project Quality Infrastructure in Brazil, China, India and Mexico.