The procedure was set up in 1983 through Council Directive 83/189/EEC. This procedure has been codified for the first time by Directive 98/34/EC of 22 June 1998 and modified by Directive 98/48/EC of 20 July 1998, mainly to extend its application to Information Society services. Lately, the procedure was codified for the second time by Directive (EU) 2015/1535.
The 2015/1535 notification procedure allows the Commission and the Member States of the EU to examine the technical regulations Member States intend to introduce for products (industrial, agricultural and fishery) and for Information Society services before their adoption. The aim is to ensure that these texts are compatible with EU law and the Internal Market principles. It applies in a simplified manner to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Member States which are signatories to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) and to Switzerland and Turkey.
The major benefits of the procedure are to:
- allow new barriers to the internal market to be detected before they have any negative effects
- allow the detection of protectionist measures
- allow Member States to ascertain the degree of compatibility of notified drafts with EU law
- allow an effective dialogue between Members States and the Commission when assessing the notified drafts
- allow economic operators to make their voices heard and to adapt their activities in good time to future technical regulations. This right of scrutiny is used extensively by economic operators, helping the Commission and national authorities to detect any barriers to trade.
- allow identifying the harmonisation needs at EU level.