Purpose of market surveillance
Market surveillance is the fundamental tool for applying the provisions of Law No. 24-09 on the safety of products and services (see regulatory framework). It ensures protection of consumers from risks related to the use of industrial products available on the national market, other than farm produce and pharmaceuticals.
Market surveillance also protects the interests of various economic operators (manufacturers, importers and distributors) by bringing together favourable conditions for fair competition at the local market level by monitoring compliance with obligations that apply to everyone and eventual recourse to penalties up to the destruction of fraudulent goods.
As such, economic operators must only put on the market products that meet the essential safety requirements as defined in the applicable technical regulations (mandatory standards, technical regulations, etc.) (List of industrial products controlled on importation)
Market surveillance is based on the following legal instruments:
- Decree No. 1-11-140 of 16 Ramadan 1432 (17 August 2011) promulgating Law No. 24-09 on the safety of products and services and supplementing the Decree of 9 Ramadan 1331 (12 August 1913) forming code of Obligations and Contracts:
Arabic version | French version
- Décret n° 2-12-502 of 2 Rejeb 1434 (13 May 2013) made for the purposes of the first title of Law No. 24-09 on the safety of products and services and supplementing the Decree of 9 Ramadan 1331 (12 August 1913) forming code of Obligations and Contracts:
Arabic version | French version
- Decree No. 1-10-15 of 26 Safar 1431 (11 February 2010) promulgating Law No. 12-06 on standardization, certification and accreditation, in particular Articles 33 and 34 which provide:
1. Article 33 "[...] any Moroccan approved standard may be made mandatory if such action is deemed necessary by the relevant government authority. The disposition related to the measure is published in the "Official Bulletin"
2. Article 34 "The control of the compliance of products, goods and services subject to Moroccan standards whose application is mandatory is provided in accordance with the law and applicable regulations in force. The offences are recorded by officials from relevant departments commissioned specifically for this purpose, or by any other body authorized under applicable law."
- Ministerial Order No. 3229-13 of 11 Moharram 1435 (15 November 2013) relating to notification procedures for products and services that do not meet the safety requirements: Arabic version | French version
- Ministerial Order No. 1679-14 of 12 Rejeb 1435 (May 12 2014) on procedures for implementing the obligations relative to the general obligation safety of products and services : Arabic version | French version
The structure of the national market surveillance system in the Ministry in charge of industry comprises:
- a central service: the Division of Market Surveillance;
- external services: the Ministry's Regional Delegations (DPCI) ;
- Conformity assessment laboratories certified to evaluate products.
The Division of Market Surveillance is charged with the following missions:
- Draw up the legal framework necessary to the surveillance of the domestic market;
- Coordinate market surveillance nationwide;
- Ensure the safety of all industrial products supplied to the national market;
- Control industrial products subject to Moroccan technical regulation (compulsory norms, technical regulations,…)
- Cooperate with other national authorities such as:
- the Administration of Customs and Indirect Taxes; the ministerial departments concerned with the regulations;
- the ministerial departments concerned with the regulations;
- The Moroccan Standards Institute (IMANOR);
- Ensure the implementation of agreements on conformity assessment.
Conformity marking of industrial products « C م»
In order to ensure the safety of industrial products on the Moroccan market, the law24-09 on the safety of products and services, as well as its operative texts, represent a legal framework that is setting the requirements to be fulfilled by these products. The Cم mark certifies the compliance of the products placed on the market with the regulatory requirements in force in Morocco.
Procedures for market surveillance
Market surveillance is carried out at the national level on the basis of procedures and instructions drawn up by the central office at the Division of Market Surveillance and enforced in a uniform manner by sworn inspectors carrying a special identity badge. Market surveillance has two components: local inspection and inspection of imports.
1. Local inspection
Local control consists in verifying conformity with the regulations in force for industrial products made available on the national market. For this purpose, the DCPI conducts the inspections in different types of establishment, namely manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, and might take random samples to be analysed by approved laboratories.
Local control operations are initiated in two cases:
- Due to a local annual control program
- Following the complaint or claim of a public body, an economic operator or the media regarding the existence of questionable products on the market.
Each sampling performed as part of a control operation must include three specimen. The first sample is sent for analysis to a registered conformity assessment body, the second sample is kept at the DPCI (Provincial Delegations of Commerce and Industry) before being sent to the Crown Prosecutor in case of legal action and the third sample is left with the owner or holder or product: under no condition must the concerned party alter the sample entrusted to them.
In case samples are taken during transportation, the inspection agent hands out a receipt mentioning the type and the amount of the merchandise taken.
Any testing of samples results in drafting of: - an official report ;
- a refund voucher for the samples tested, intended for the product owner.
The value mentioned on the voucher must represent the actual price of the samples (purchase price or cost price): the product owner is required to provide the inspection agent with relevant invoices.
In return, the inspection agent receives three invoices in due and proper form provided by the owner of the merchandise. Each invoice includes the price of a sample corresponding to its real market value.
The samples are then sealed and sent to approve laboratories designated by the Ministry in charge of Industry, in order to undergo the tests defined by the applicable regulations.
In the case the results meet the applicable mandatory standards, the person concerned is notified and the samples either refunded or returned if they have not been damaged.
Alternatively, if the test results do not meet the standards, legal proceedings are initiated.
2. Inspection on imports
In accordance with Law No. 24-09, all industrial products, either locally produced or imported, are subject to technical regulations and if made available on the national market must demonstrate their compliance with applicable regulations in force. Inspection services under the jurisdiction of the Ministry responsible for industry are installed for this purpose at Moroccan border posts to verify the conformity of these products. The control on importation consists of four steps: documentation inspection, physical inspection, sampling and authorization of access to the market.
a. Inspection of documentation:
This consists of studying the technical file of the imported goods in order to identify the product, its characteristics, brand and country of origin.
The importer is required to provide the following items to the control office at the border post where the product is entering:
- The Declaration of Conformity;
- The Commitment of the importer;
- The Single Goods Declaration (D.U.M) or a letter of credit;
- The invoices;
- The bill of lading or the delivery order;
- The commitment to import;
- If appropriate, the following technical papers:
- product description sheet: brand, origin, supplier name, manufacturing date, etc. ; - any documentation regarding specific procedures or instructions for the imported product (such as cement or re-bar);
- an analysis report issued by a a registered conformity assessment body recognized by the Ministry in charge of industry regarding tests made on a representative sample of the imported goods;
- any documents required by the applicable technical regulations.
b. Physical inspection
Physical inspection follows the documentary checks, taking into account the items received and operator's history with the inspection authorities in respect of the product. A visual and technical inspection of the goods is carried out to verify that all the declarations made by the importer at the time of submitting the documentation correspond to reality, such as the amount, brand and origin of the product, certification logos, number and appearance of the container, labelling and condition of the goods.
Sampling is the last step of the inspection: the number of samples taken for tests and analyses depend upon the product imported. For this sampling, two identical batches of the same number of samples are taken by the inspector. The importer is free to choose the laboratory that he wishes to do the tests. The chosen laboratory must be approved and included in a list published by the department.
d. Decision on granting market access
If the import file of the product is accepted, the Market Access Authorization is issued to the importer. Otherwise, the product may not enter the market and the inspection office informs the importer and notifies customs that the goods must be returned or destroyed at the expense of the importer, in accordance with Law No. 24-09.
3. Other procedures concerning import control
a. Recognition of Conformity Assessment
The sample taken as part of the inspection of imported industrial goods is only admissible if made by an official inspector of the Ministry. Moreover, only the analysis reports issued by registered conformity assessment body approved for the related area of competence are recognized for the import inspection process. Any other document provided for this purpose (reports or certificates) not meeting the above conditions shall be admissible only within the framework of an agreement on mutual recognition of conformity between Morocco and the countries of origin of the product.
b. Granting of compliance for non-compliant products:
Following the discovery of non-compliance of the imported product, the importer may be authorized by the inspection service to bring the products into compliance in the following cases:
- The non-compliance raised does not present a serious risk to the health and safety of the consumer;
- The non-compliance raised is not about the intrinsic properties of the product;
- The specific product requirements do not prohibit it.
To achieve compliance, the replacement of components with new ones may be permitted.
The importer whose merchandise has been recognized as compliant must inform the inspection service of the DPCI in the city where the merchandise is housed about the fact that the compliance has been granted in conformity with applicable regulations. The DPCI sends an inspection agent to perform the verification and write the report.
For compliance relating to labelling or packaging, a physical inspection (visual) is satisfactory and sufficient to get the Market Access Authorization.
When replacing components or modifying certain properties, sampling is carried out and forwarded to the registered conformity assessment body; new tests to assess conformity are limited to requirements that were non-compliant before:
- If the test results establish that the upgrade undertaken by the importer was effective and the sample is in line with regulations, the goods are allowed to enter the national market;
- Otherwise the goods are returned or destroyed at the expense of the importer.
c. Granting flexibility of import control measures:
Given the reliability of previous import operations and compliance with the technical regulations by the economic operators with regard to certain products imported, administrative procedures may be relaxed for operators whose companies are classed, categorized or come under the Green Circuit.
This administrative flexibility is granted to the parent company of the economic operator, on application to the DPCI where their headquarters are located.
Importing companies that have a franchise agreement or an exclusive contract with International Brands.
These are transformative industrial companies importing products (raw materials or semi-finished products) used as inputs in their production process.
Green Circuit companies
Dealers and large companies (for example transport companies, building works, companies with a large fleet of vehicles) that import spare parts for their own needs.