The IMI system is a mandatory tool for exchange of information between the national authorities in charge of the internal market. The system has been developed by the European Commission in collaboration with Member States with a view to implementing administrative cooperation and mutual assistance in compliance with Regulation 1024/2012/EU.
This IT multilingual tool ensures easier and faster administrative cooperation between Member States’ authorities, thus contributing to speeding up procedures and reducing time and costs. This enables citizens and enterprises to enjoy better services and fully exploit single market opportunities.
In particular, the IMI system is used in order to implement EU provisions regulating administrative cooperation, namely for the SOLVIT network, for the Qualification Directive, the Services Directive, the Posting of Workers Directive, the Regulation on cross-border transport of Euro cash, as well as the Directive on patients’ rights, the e-commerce Directive and the Directive on the trans-European high-speed train system.
The use of IMI is steadily increasing; as of December 2017, the total number of information exchanges via IMI exceeded 100 000. In 2017 alone, almost 34 000 requests were sent, involving more than 8 200 registered authorities.
Since 2008, Italy has been involved, as a consulting or consulted Member State, in 3,785 requests, 1,279 of which in 2015 only. Furthermore, an analysis of the most recent single market scoreboards shows increasingly positive performances in terms of efforts and timely interventions, and marks progressive development of the IMI system, as well as growing awareness of its effectiveness in certain domains.
The IMI system's scope has been growing steadily. In 2015 the obligation for administrative cooperation through the IMI software was extended to the fields of public procurement and stolen cultural goods.
As to public procurement, the obligation for administrative cooperation laid down in Directive 2014/24/EU, notably Article 86, primarily relies upon assistance and mutual cooperation in public procurement, aimed at ensuring the exchange of information on the documentation submitted by contractors from other EU countries to carry out cross-border procurement procedures. In particular, IMI may be useful for ascertaining whether an economic operator is capable of carrying out the works or services specified in the contract, whether there are no grounds for exclusion for a contractor, supplier or service provider, or for confirming the accuracy of the information laid down in the self-certification provided by the tenderer.
Furthermore, in order to implement the administrative tasks as per Directive 2014/60/EU for the return of cultural goods unlawfully exported from the territory of a Member State, the IMI pilot project related to the aforementioned Directive will start exchanging data between cross-border administrations throughout 2016.
Also, starting from January 2016, the IMI system has been used for implementing the European Professional Card.
Furthermore, under the modernised Directive 2014/67/EU on the posting of workers, cross-border cooperation has been enhanced by a new IMI notification system for implementation of the penalties imposed by Member States.
Eventually, starting from 2017 the IMI system has been used in order to further extend administrative cooperation to non-transportable industrial machinery, harmonised goods and public documents on civil status.
The IMI system is in force in EU Member States, as well as in Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland (EEA), through the relevant authorities in charge of applying the said provisions.