The legal basis for market surveillance carried out by the Länder is Regulation (EC) Number 765/2008, which has been in force since 1 January 2010 and sets out the legal framework for monitoring the safety of products in the EU. On the basis of this regulation, the individual EU member states and the European Commission organise the system of market and product surveillance. The system’s guiding principle is to ensure free market access for products in the EU, but, at the same time, to ensure that these products do not endanger health, safety, or the environment.
Since the adoption of the EU’s harmonised waste management provisions, market surveillance of products has included the monitoring of vehicles, electrical and electronic equipment, batteries, and accumulators as well as packaging and packaging waste. The purpose of surveillance is to ensure compliance with requirement for placing a product on the market (for example prohibited substances, limit values on certain substances, mandatory labelling).