EU Single Market KET

Posted on Apr 5, 2016

European Union Stars and Map

1 April 2016 (Singapore) – EU Single Market KETs

Anne Louise K. FULRAD, Director of ALTHEIS LTD

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With more than 500 million consumers, the European Single Market for products and services provides many opportunities for international trade.


Standards help reduce technical barriers to trade, reduce costs, and facilitate SMEs’ access to markets.


The EU engages in bilateral trade negotiations to tackle regulatory barriers in third countries.


Every year, over 250 000 public authorities in the EU spend around 14% of GDP on the purchase of services, works and supplies. In many sectors such as energy, transport, waste management, social protection and the provision of health or education services, public authorities are the principal buyers. Public procurement refers to the process by which public authorities, such as government departments or local authorities, purchase work, goods or services from companies.


Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) provide the basis for innovation in a range of products across all industrial sectors.


KETs are a group of six technologies: micro and nanoelectronics, nanotechnology, industrial biotechnology, advanced materials, photonics, and advanced manufacturing technologies. They have applications in multiple industries and help tackle societal challenges. Countries and regions that fully exploit KETs are at the forefront of creating advanced and sustainable economies.


Europe is not alone in understanding the importance of KETs and many non-EU countries have adopted policies designed to attract foreign investment in KETs which distort the market for KETs-related industries. The European Commission works ensure a level playing field for KETs by examining trade policy and negotiating trade agreements, and modernising state aid rules.


Importers and distributors help ensure that only products compliant with EU legislation and bearing the CE marking are placed on the extended Single Market of the EEA. As they are the intermediaries between manufacturers and traders, they must have overall knowledge of the legal requirements and make sure that the products they distribute or import meet them.


When importing from non-EU countries, importers must check that products fulfil all EU safety, health and environmental protection requirements before placing them on the market. The importer has to verify that:

– the manufacturer outside the EU has taken the necessary steps to allow the product to be placed on the EU market;

– the necessary documentation such as the EU Declaration of Conformity and technical documentation;

– contact with the manufacturer is possible at any time.


Distributors must handle the product carefully and they mustn’t affect its compliance with EU legislation. The distributor has to know which products must bear the CE marking and the accompanying documentation. They should be able to identify products that are not in compliance.

Distributors must be able to demonstrate to national authorities that they:

– have confirmation from the manufacturer or the importer that the necessary measures have been taken;

– are able to assist national authorities in their efforts to receive the required documentation.

If importers or distributors market the products under their own names, they take over the manufacturer’s responsibilities. In this case, they must have sufficient information on the design and production of the product because they will be assuming the legal responsibility when affixing the CE marking.


Altheis Ltd is located in London and provides legal advice and consultancy including: International transactions and transactions within the European Union, including governance, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures; International trade in the European Union internal market and South East Asian market, including commercial contracts and sales; Transfer of technologies and know-how; R&D&I partnership agreements and intellectual property rights; European Union procurement; and Lobbying to European Union institutions (laws and policies).

Altheis Ltd comprises Mrs K. Fulrad, founder and registered lobbyist to the European Parliament, Mr Gilles-Kerdreux, an Attorney-at-Law of the Paris Bar and Mr Maisuk, Attorney-at-Law of the Thailand Bar.