Product compliance refers to the assurance that a product conforms to the specific regulatory requirements (laws, policies, regulations) which it is required to meet in order to be placed on the market. In the European Union, both manufacturers and distributors must guarantee that the design and manufacturing of their products is in compliance with the applicable requirements of EU Directives and products must be subjected to a conformity assessment procedure. If a conformity assessment is conducted with reference to standards, these standards and directives must be checked regularly to ensure that they are still current.
The requirements which products are expected to fulfill are steadily growing more complex and the importance of EU Directives is ever increasing. As such, manufacturers are facing greater responsibility as they are the ones who are liable for ensuring that their products are in conformance with all relevant requirements stated in the directives. If requirements are not met and a product is therefore found to be non-compliant, the consequences can be severe and range from costly product recalls and large fines, to reputational damages to the company.
Recently, the scope of product-related regulations has also been expanded to involve sales companies. That is, activities such as the marking on packaging, in user manuals and on websites, of energy saving performance and indications of conformity certification, notifications relating to chemical substances, and the recycling of used products.
Organizations are increasingly adopting the use of consolidated and harmonized sets of compliance controls in order to ensure that all necessary governance requirements are met without the unnecessary duplication of effort and activities.
Panasonic has a legal obligation to take action to ensure that its products meet these requirements set by the EU, as well as any other requirements on a national basis. Panasonic’s Product Regulation Operational Rules outlines the responsibilities of Panasonic Sales companies in regards to compliance with these product regulations.
To further ensure the thorough implementation of procedures for compliance with product-related regulations, Panasonic Europe has two functions which are dedicated to the promotion of product regulation compliance throughout Europe. The Panasonic Testing Centre, and more specifically the Product Regulation Compliance Management function, is one of these two functions. It establishes the foundation for Panasonic’s compliance to EU regulations and is dedicated to promoting the overall implementation of and adherence to compliance systems and product safety approaches by Panasonic Europe. The Panasonic Testing Centre is available to provide assistance to Panasonic organisations in regards to technical product regulation related issues.