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BPMA pushes for market surveillance to weed out pirate pumps

Unlicensed pumps that do not meet the EU’s safety directives are slipping through to the European market, British Pump Manufacturers’ Association (BPMA) warns.

The BPMA continues to press the National Measurement Regulatory Office (NMRO) in its role as UK market surveillance authority to take all appropriate action to ensure illegal pumps are removed from the market and all future imports are curtailed with immediate effect.

Market surveillance is a key element of a fair and efficient single market, ensuring that products placed on the community market comply with EU regulations and do not pose any safety or environmental threats for users and the public at large.

This should ensure a level playing field and fair competition within the market, as well as safeguarding the coherence of the European regulatory framework, the consistency of which depends on effective enforcement.

However, there continues to be evidence of illegal pump imports entering the UK from other countries (particularly Asia) that do not meet the strict demands of the EU Energy Related Products (ErP) directive.

On 7 December, 2016, BPMA representatives met with NMRO executives at their headquarters in London and conveyed its members’ frustration that to-date no discernible progress has been made.

This is despite numerous previous meetings between the two organisations and several written assurances that market surveillance is regarded as an important issue.

During the meeting, the NMRO confirmed that several “suspect” circulator pumps had now been purchased in order to be tested, although no information could be given as the source of these pumps as this activity was another department’s responsibility.

The results of the testing were initially due to be published early in 2017 but due to delays the actual publishing date has moved closer to May 2017.

One of the key concerns raised by the BPMA is that circulator pumps were the first to be regulated under the ErP Directive, with many other and far more complicated pumps and pump sets to follow.

It is therefore of imperative that the correct procedures are put in place now, to ensure effective surveillance across the full breadth of regulated products.

With Brexit on the horizon, the UK could become the dumping ground for cheap, non-compliant, and potentially dangerous pumps, the association said.

Following the meeting, a full written appraisal was sent to MP Mark Prisk, who in his capacity of the Prime Minister’s Trade & Investment Envoy, Nordic & Baltic Nations, had previously been advised of the matter by both the BPMA and its member company Grundfos Pumps.

As a result, Prisk has in turn communicated the importance of the issue directly to MP Greg Clark, Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whose intervention is to be welcomed.

The BPMA will shortly be following up on this communication to the Secretary of State, in the hope that all appropriate parties can put in place the means by which to tackle any breach in the regulations.