Mutual Recognition Agreement Policy

Mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) promote trade in goods between the European Union and third countries and facilitate market access. These are bilateral agreements designed to facilitate industry access to compliance assessment. The EU internal market is the most comprehensive version of mutual recognition between trading partners. According to the Dijon Cassis principle, a product that can be legally sold in one Member State can be legally sold in any other Member State, even if the rules are not harmonised. When the technical rules of two parties to an agreement are harmonized in certain product sectors, they can be considered equivalent under the expanded GPA. In this case, a compliance assessment is sufficient for a product to be put on the market in both countries. The assessment may be carried out by a competent compliance assessment body of the exporting country (which is recognised under the agreement) in accordance with the technical rules of the exporting country. The agreement between Switzerland and the EU and the agreement between Switzerland and the EEA and EFTA states follow this broader approach. As part of the mutual recognition of compliance assessment procedures («mutual recognition agreement» (MRA), one country implements compliance assessment procedures on its own territory, in accordance with the rules of the other country, and the other country recognizes this procedure as if it had done so itself. Mutual recognition agreements for compliance assessment are an important trade instrument for removing technical barriers to trade and are therefore recognised by the WTO. On the one hand, industry and public institutions of international standards bodies strive to establish common and universal technical rules (for example. B CEN/CENELEC and ETSI at European level, ISO/CIS and ITU at international level), on the other hand, states (e.g. the European Community with third countries) interact directly to achieve mutual recognition of their compliance assessment procedures.

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