About mutual recognition

The principle of mutual recognition ensures market access for products that are not subject to EU harmonisation.

In intra-EU trade in goods outside of EU-harmonisation, the princinple of mutual recognition ensures that a product lawfully marketed in one Member State should be allowed to be marketed in any other Member State, even when the product does not fully comply with the technical rules of the Member State of destination.

The Member State of destination may refuse the marketing of a product only when it can be justified and is strictly necessary for the protection of, for example, public safety, health or environment. In that case, the Member State of destination must also demonstrate that its measures are the least trade-restrictive.

The principle of mutual recognition follows from articles 34 and 36 of the EC Treaty as well as the case law of the European Court of Justice.