When market surveillance inspectors from the six Western Balkan countries planned their common SEE QI project in the end of 2019, they decided not only to organise common trainings in EU legislation, but also to go from theory to practice in the form of joint actions. This format offers a hands-on way to learn to properly read standards and regulations, make a checklist out of it, use it in market surveillance controls, how to sample and test products, and decide (in a harmonised way) on follow up actions based on the test results and risk assessments.
When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, this hands-on exercise seemed no longer feasible. However, recently the SEE QI 4 team set up a dynamic plan to implement the joint action through a virtual way of collaboration. This dynamic plan foresees various elements such as online trainings to develop a harmonised checklist and a harmonised approach, individual coaching of an expert (the Croatian market surveillance inspector Ante Fuzul) and filming/explaining the process in the laboratory.
The SEE QI 4 team identified priority personal protective equipment (PPE) items from each WB6 country to be covered by this joint action. After discussing the relevance and feasibility of these proposals, they unanimously voted for the common PPE item of high visibility vests, which is covered by the standard "EN ISO 20471:2013/A1:2016 - High visibility clothing. Test methods and requirements." The next step is the purchase of the standard by each WB6 participant country, to be well prepared for the online training on February 3rd and 4th, 2021.