The SEE QI 4 project component on PPE kicked off in Summer 2020 with an exchange of experience on market surveillance of Covid-19 PPE equipment and a training session on the EU PPE regulation and practical implications for WB6 countries. In 2021 the practical components of the SEE QI 4 project, namely a joint testing of PPE equipment and a visit to a laboratory, were converted into a virtual joint action on PPE due to travel restrictions. The SEE QI 4 team had selected reflective vests as the product for the joint action. The joint action consisted of two trainings and a testing of samples in the Croatian laboratory Mirta Kontrol. The actual visit to the laboratory was replaced by a short movie and several short film clips that the laboratory staff of Mirta Kontrol presented and discussed with the participants during the second training. Together, the market inspectors’ group undertook the risk assessment of reflective vests sampled in Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo in the so called Risk Assessment Guide (RAG) form available on the RAPEX website, based on the results from the test reports from Mirta Kontrol. It resulted in detecting several reflective vests which showed a serious risk and therefore had to be withdrawn from WB6 markets.
During the wrap-up meeting on June 9th, test reports from Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as from Serbia were shown and elaborated on. Additionally, the participants reflected on their experiences in the joint action process and discussed possible follow-up measures in the Western Balkan countries. Questions that came up were clarified by the Croatian market surveillance expert Ante Fuzul. Twenty-five participants actively joined the webinar and reflected on their experience and take-aways from the SEE QI project on PPE, including the joint action on reflective vests. One of the top take-aways mentioned was how to conduct a risk assessment.
The component on PPE coordinated by the SEE QI 4 project member Samir Bekto from Bosnia and Herzegovina came to an end with this wrap-up exchange of experience, whereas the SEE QI 4 components on machinery and on horizontal legislation will continue until the end of 2021.