The possible introduction of an electronic tag as a supplement or a replacement of the wheel mark in marine equipment
he basis for this study is Article 11 (2) (Electronic tag) of Directive 2014/90/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on marine equipment repealing Council Directive 96/98/EC (hereinafter the "New Marine Equipment Directive" - MED) which provides that "The Commission shall carry out a cost/benefit analysis concerning the use of the electronic tag as a supplement to, or a replacement of, the wheel mark." The time frame to agree on a broadly accepted and recognized standard for electronic tags to supplement or replace the wheel mark is relatively... tight, because industry has already started to apply such technology. There is a risk that manufacturers will apply different technologies in isolation with the consequence that the individual technologies might not be interoperable. The maritime industry constantly operates in a complex environment which makes it difficult to envisage all future possible uses of electronic tagging. The implementation of electronic labelling of marine equipment products may result in new possibilities for the users and better information to market surveillance by creating a continuous information flow between manufacturers, notified bodies and authorities. Authorities and notified bodies should benefit from the enhanced and smooth market surveillance mechanism, which should ease the day-by-day survey operations, encouraging the rapid uptake of the electronic labelling. Notified bodies should benefit from the seamless notification capabilities with electronic tags pointing to an information repository where all the relevant information of the product is stored. Manufacturers should benefit from the improved notification mechanism to fight counterfeiting and the possibilities for additional after-sales market services. Ship owners/operators should be able to seamlessly check the validity of the certificates for the equipment they have on board and carry out stock control more easily The cost benefit analysis should take into consideration of the administrative burdens, the IP protection and efficiency in fighting counterfeiting as well as the effect on international competitiveness and the technological and non-technological innovation potentials. The study includes also the demonstration of the potentials on the use of the electronic tags for marine equipment products through a pilot demonstration.