Representatives of both the British Pump Manufacturers Association (BPMA) and Europump met with senior executives of the National Measurement Regulatory Office (NMRO) in December, to press home the need for action in relation to the correct application of the EU Energy Related Products Directive (ErP).
Market surveillance is a key element of a fair and efficient EU internal market, in order to ensure that products placed on the community market comply with EU regulations and do not pose safety or environmental threats for users and the public at large.
This, according to the BPMA, should ensure a level playing field and fair competition on the market, as well as safeguarding the coherence of the European regulatory framework, the consistency of which depends on effective enforcement.
However, BPMA claims to have evidence of, and major concerns over, the presence of illegal pump imports entering the UK from other countries, especially Asia. These imports, it says, do not meet the strict demands of the ErP Directive. As such, the BPMA is continuing to press the NMRO, in its role of UK Market Surveillance Authority, to take the appropriate action.
The meeting in December was convened to agree a shared understanding of the application of Commission Regulation 641/2009/EC and the amendment 622/2012/EC with regards to eco-design requirements for circulator pumps and Market Surveillance within the UK.
From the detailed presentations given, and the open discussions that followed, it was agreed by all parties that there is now a clear understanding of what constitutes standalone and integrated circulators.
As a result, David Symons, enforcement manager at NMRO, has proposed to write to all relevant businesses, informing them of the UK's policy decision and that certain of their products should not be sold in the European Union. Mr Symons is proposing giving these companies a three-month period in which to ensure that they are no longer placing these pumps on the market, giving them every opportunity to bring their range into compliance.
In April 2016, Mr Symons said a project will begin to investigate pumps where there are suspicions of non-compliance, removing pumps from the market if they are found to be non-compliant. He said the target was to achieve compliance and so ensur a level playing field for businesses, but with sanctions available to act where "necessary and proportionate".
The BPMA welcomed this proposal as being "a step in the right direction".