Legal certainty - quo vadis?
We, the distributors and importers, are asking ourselves, “How is this going to work in day-to-day operations?” and “What are we supposed to do now?” It is not acceptable that participants in the market are being forced to act without legal protection. We urgently need clarification to make sure that an end is finally put to these different interpretations! A solution will not be in sight, however, until the stakeholders stop disagreeing about the concerns, requirements and implementations, and the measures for monitoring and sanctions. For the European Commission, the forgoing task remains the responsibility of the individual countries and it is up to the member countries to implement it. So far so good.
In Germany, however, the task has been delegated at federal state level, where apparently it is now languishing unloved and ignored. Since the legislation is not clearly explained in terms of concerns and requirements, the customs authorities are incapable of monitoring the market in line with clear instructions. So, everything is lying idle. No one feels compelled to speak up and solve the problem.
But, as long as the various committees do not start being clear about things, there is no guarantee of legal certainty for importers and distributors, and ultimately no protection for the consumer. And even with all the will in the world, how on earth are you supposed to follow guidelines if there aren't any clear instructions? We are all familiar with William Shakespeare’s portrayal of his hero Hamlet musing about, “To be, or not to be, that is the question,” – well, if you were to ask the same question today, you can be sure that the answer would be a clear “Maybe”. Which brings us to the question of when will someone finally have the guts to make a decision?
Author: Jens Dorwarth, Chairman of the Work Group Environment&Compliance at the FBDi
About FBDI e. V. (www.fbdi.de):
The FBDi e.V. – Fachverband der Bauelemente Distribution e.V. (Professional Association of Component Distribution), founded in 2003, is well-established in the German association community and represents a large portion of distributors of electronic components with operations in Germany. In addition to the preparation and advancement of numerical data and statistics concerning the German distribution market for electronic components, work group engagement and reporting on important industry themes (amongst others, education, liability and rights, traceability, and environmental themes) form essential pillars of the association’s work. The FBDi is a member of the International Distribution of Electronics Association (IDEA).
Wolfram Ziehfuss, CEO, Mayrweg 5, 84364 Bad Birnbach, ph. +49 8563 9788 908, firstname.lastname@example.org
Agentur Lorenzoni GmbH, Public Relations, Landshuter Str. 29, 85435 Erding; ph: +49 8122 55917-0, www.lorenzoni.de;
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