On which version should presumption of conformity be based? A judgment of the general court, called Global Garden, gave the answer.
This judgement reaffirmed that it is the European Commission’s decision to publish the reference of the harmonised standard in the Official Journal of the European Union which gives the standard a legal value enabling manufacturers to benefit from the presumption of conformity with the essential requirements of the regulations.
The Court then points out that the revision of a directive does not automatically entail the cancelling of the citation in the Official Journal of all the harmonised standards related to it. The judges note that the legal vacuum created by such a mechanism would not be acceptable. Furthermore, unless explicitly decided by the European Commission, a harmonised standard continues to give presumption of conformity until its date of withdrawal, even if a new version of that standard has already been cited.
Faced with objections pointing out that an earlier version of a standard may for example have lower requirements in terms of safety, the Court replies that it is the European Commission’s responsibility in such cases to encourage the adoption and rapid citation of a new harmonised standard.