Directive (EU) 2015/1535 Procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical regulations and of rules on Information Society services
In order to promote the smooth functioning of the internal market, in particular, to prevent barriers to trade resulting from technical regulations, Directive (EU) 2015/1535 lays down a notification procedure whereby Member States must inform the European Commission of any draft technical regulation as well as rules on information society services prior to their adoption at national level.
In Malta, the contact point for such notifications is the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA). Specifically, in accordance with Article 4 of the ‘Notification Procedure Regulations’ (S.L. 419.06 of the Laws of Malta), the Malta Standards Authority is designated as Malta’s Notification Point for technical standards, regulations and for rules on information society services. Upon the constitution of the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority in 2011, the designation and functions of, inter alia, the Malta Standards Authority have been absorbed by the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority. In accordance with Article 61(2) of the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority Act (Chapter 510 of the Laws of Malta), reference to the Malta Standards Authority shall be construed as reference to the MCCAA.
The notification procedure allows the European Commission and the Member States to examine technical regulations for products and information society services (online services including e-commerce) that other Member States intend to introduce. Thus, it prevents the creation of new technical barriers to trade by ensuring the compatibility of national legislation with EU law and internal market principles. The notification procedure also helps prevent further legal action by the Commission. Once the draft technical regulation is notified, a three-month standstill period comes into place, during which the notifying Member State must refrain from adopting the technical regulation in question. This procedure enables the Commission and other Member States to examine the proposed text and respond by submitting, amongst others, comments and detailed opinions (the latter of which have the effect of suspending the three month standstill period). In particular, such detailed opinions may be submitted if the notified text is deemed by the Commission or other Member States to create barriers to the free movement of goods, the free provision of information society services and EU secondary legislation. At the end of the notification procedure, the relevant Member State has to submit the final text of the regulation to the Commission and other EU countries. This allows the EU Commission to verify whether its opinions were taken into account. The notified drafts and their translations in all EU languages are available on the Technical Regulations Information Systems database (TRIS).
If you would like to know more about the TRIS Notification system, kindly contact Christine Falzon at [email protected].