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EU seeks to ease trade by loosening product safety regulations

European Union regulators are seeking to make it easier for companies to sell goods throughout the 27-nation area by loosening rules on product-safety approvals.

The European Commission, the EU's executive agency, will propose Wednesday to change rules for shipping products across borders within the bloc, a spokesman in Brussels said today. Companies now typically have to show their goods meet national safety standards before they can be sent into a country. „What we're suggesting is to shift the burden of proof and make it easier for a company to trade with another country of the EU,” Ton van Lierop, a spokesman for Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen, said to journalists today.
He declined to specify details of the proposal. The measure, which would require approval by EU national governments and the European Parliament, is part of an effort to streamline regulation on business and spur economic growth. The EU already mandates that countries can't block products legally sold in other member countries, unless necessary to protect health and safety. The initiative on goods follows efforts to open up cross-border competition in services, which were scaled back under pressure from trade unions and other opponents. (Bloomberg)