Technical Barriers to Trade

The latest edition of a newsletter on Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs), concluded between the European Union and non-EU countries, has been published.

It provides information on the current status of MRAs with the USA, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand, as well as on the Agreement on chemical Good Laboratory Practice with Israel.

This has been compiled from a trade perspective and also includes an overview of the Agreements on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAAs) currently agreed and under consideration with countries in the European neighbourhood.

The latter covers 16 partners to the east and south of the EU’s borders, namely Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territory, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.

Traditional MRAs enable Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) nominated by one Party to certify products for access to the other Party’s market, according to the other Party’s technical legislation.

They provide for the mutual recognition between trading partners of mandatory test results and certificates for certain industrial products.

No regulatory convergence is implied by a traditional MRA. In other words, there is no implication that the regulations imposed on products by the Parties are to be brought into alignment at any stage.

As far as the EU is concerned, no further traditional MRAs are foreseen, but there is a certain amount of evolution in their operation, for example, as amendments to their scope are considered and as mandatory certification gives way to reliance on suppliers’ declarations of conformity.

Accordingly, it is intended that this newsletter will be issued from time to time to reflect the evolution of the current position.


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