If a consultant, distributor, wholesaler or contractor is unsure of the date of manufacture, the serial number normally contains the first four digits noting the month and year of manufacture. Therefore, with regard to the old uncontrolled products, this should not be after December 2012. In instances where there are no detailed pump markings, especially in relation to the year of manufacture, caution is obviously advised, as all ErP compliant pumps will be CE marked with the EEI (Energy Efficiency Index) label on the pump.
While it is up to the relevant authorities to monitor the marketplace and take appropriate action where non-compliant products are identified, it is important that everyone involved in the pump sector takes responsibility for this matter.
Consultants, contractors, wholesalers and distributors have a duty to ensure that the pumps they recommend and offer to clients comply with the ErP regulatory requirements. They are also professionally obligated to provide the best value and most energy-efficient products available.
The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is the designated Market Surveillance Authority in Ireland for the EU Directives on Ecodesign and Energy Labelling of Energy Related Products, while enforcement is the responsibility of the Ecodesign and Labelling Market Surveillance Authority (ELMS).
To fulfill its obligations ELMS undertakes the following market surveillance activities.
Compliance promotion ELMS will support and assist suppliers and dealers in achieving compliance through the following:
— Leaflets, brochures and other guidance material to inform suppliers, dealers and the public of the requirements;
— The use of professional and trade associations;
— A dedicated contact who suppliers and dealers can contact to ask questions and receive information and assistance;
— Encouraging the public to act as a watchdog to alert for instances of non-compliance.
Compliance monitoring Monitoring activities include inspections of retail outlets; examination of product brochures and other technical or promotional documentation supplied with a product; examination of websites, catalogues or other forms of distance selling; and the investigation of reports or complaints from members of the public, economic operators, customs authorities or other Member States.
Compliance verification Where non-compliance is suspected, ELMS undertakes verification actions to confirm the non-compliance. These include examination of records obtained during the monitoring process, document inspections and testing of products in accredited laboratories. A number of these actions are currently ongoing.
Enforcement Where non-compliance is detected ELMS will, depending on the circumstances, issue a Technical Assistance Letter, a Warning of Non-Compliance or a Compliance Direction. Where the non-compliance continues, ELMS may undertake legal proceedings that can result in product withdrawal, prohibition on sale/importation, forfeiture of products, product destruction, prosecution or financial penalties.
These initiatives illustrate that the Irish authorities have the systems in place, and the personnel allocated, to tackle the matter of ErP non-compliance. However, they also need the help and support of all involved in the pump sector to identify noncompliant products so they can take the appropriate action.