Dr. Honnacker of the Bavarian State Ministry for Environment and Consumer Protection pointed out the immense responsibility borne by economic operators, and requested a discussion round. It became clear during this discussion that public authorities play a significant role in terms of providing a safety net (i.e. market surveillance and ensuring fair competition) and are also perceived as a consultative partner. Univ. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Bracke of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Safety Technology at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal (Chair of Reliability Engineering and Risk Analysis) contributed two product recall examples that cleary showed how failure behavior and prognoses can be calculated using statistical methods. Mr. Schaber of SICK AG (Dept. External Standards and Regulations) presented the automated drafting of EU Declarations of Conformity for the over 40,000 variants of their product.
Mr. Meinders of the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency) was the second representative of a public authority and presented the Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU. The lively question round after his talk revealed that the Directive, which had come into force on June 13, 2017 was still causing difficulties on occasion. One issue, for example, was how to handle 'combined equipment' under this new Directive, with the period for comment on this question due to expire at the end of January 2018. Our legal counsel, Ms Inken Green, presented recent developments in environmental compliance, most notably the amendment to the RoHS Directive. Other topics included the new Energy Labeling Ordinance, a review of 10 years of REACH as well as potential challenges ahead.