Orgalim calls for EU-US TTC to deliver progress on mutual recognition of conformity assessment
24 May 2023
The fourth edition of the EU-US Trade & Technology Council (TTC) takes place in Sweden on 30-31 May and expectations are high that this meeting will deliver concrete actions on transatlantic trade cooperation. In particular, Orgalim is calling for substantial progress towards a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on conformity assessment for machinery and electrical equipment. In our new position paper, we contribute recommendations to ensure such an MRA would be workable and effective.
"Alleviating non-tariff barriers to transatlantic trade is a practical and powerful lever to accelerate the transition to a net zero economy and address competitiveness challenges facing exporters on both sides of the Atlantic," said Malte Lohan, Orgalim's Director General. "The conclusion of an MRA on conformity assessment would be a positive example of EU-US cooperation at a time when the TTC is under growing pressure to deliver concrete results."
The conclusion of an MRA on conformity assessment would be a positive example of EU-US cooperation at a time when the TTC is under growing pressure to deliver concrete results.
Currently, EU companies exporting machinery or electrical equipment to the US must apply to a US conformity assessment body (CAB) for certification, while US companies exporting to the EU are required to use an EU CAB. This process can result in significant costs, delays, and language barriers, which can be a hindrance to businesses.
A mutual recognition agreement would allow EU companies to rely on EU CABs (rather than US ones), if they wish, to certify their products as conform to the US market standards, and vice versa. Research on MRAs currently in place between different countries worldwide shows that MRAs typically increase the value of exports by 15-40%.
At the last meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) on 5 December 2022, the EU and the US agreed to “continue exploring opportunities to improve cooperation in conformity assessment, including in machinery and other sectors.” Orgalim welcomes this commitment and believes an EU-US MRA on conformity assessment for machinery and electrical equipment, based on reciprocity of market access, would benefit exporters, and represent a positive outcome of transatlantic cooperation under the TTC.
Read our recommendations in full here.