US UK EU MRA and what is reality vs. expectations.

Continuing from last week’s blog on Brexit Update, we focus this week on the potential of MRA’s being disused both by the UK Government as well as the MRA between the EU and the US.

UK-US Trade post Brexit

      

 

First:- The US-EU Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) was written, specifically to cover “Conformity Assessments” and “testing to each other’s products”.
Secondly:- The was written to include EMC, Radio Equipment and “Safety”. Although ” Marine equipment” was later added.
N.B. US Exporters to the EU need to read the (abridged) Text of the EU-USA MRA at the end of this blog.  Below is the abridged Text of the existing EU-US Mutual Recognition Agreement.

Source and reference OJ L 31 of 04/02/1999
Sectors – the MRA between the EU and the USA is operational for the following sectors:
· EMC and/or · Telecommunication Equipment

Conformity Assessment Bodies (CAB’s)
Provides a List of approved conformity assessment bodies designated by the USA
List of approved conformity assessment bodies (CABs) designated by the EU Member States.
Below we list the Guidance documents and references of regulations

Conformity assessment guides for EC designating authorities, EC conformity assessment bodies and European industry relating to Australia and New Zealand, Canada and the USA
Guide on the mutual recognition agreement between the EC and Japan
Implementation of Mutual Recognition Agreements on conformity assessment (MRA) and Protocol on European Conformity Assessment (PECA) Document Certif. 98/7 of 24.07.1998
Procedure for designation of conformity assessment bodies under an MRA and its annexes
Document Certif. 96/3 Rev. 6 of 14.06.2001 (43 KB)
Specifications concerning assessment and supervision of systems applying to Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) with a view to their designation under MRAs Document Certif. 96/1 of 26.06.1996

None of the EU-USA Notified Bodies CURRENTLY authorized (by the EU) are approved to test toys, cars, medical devices, pressure vessels, machinery, measuring instruments, pharmaceuticals or food. (EU US Notified Bodies)

Meanwhile, on the US side of the Atlantic there are ongoing talks to deal with this fluid situation by creation of a U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group.
Following the national referendum in 2016, the UK notified the EU in March 2017 of its intention to leave the European Union (known as “Brexit”. This began a two-year process of negotiating the terms of the UK exit from the EU, as well as their future trade and investment relationship. The UK exit from the EU is likely to have significant effects on U.S.-UK and U.S.-EU trade, including raising the potential of a bilateral U.S.-UK trade agreement once the UK leaves the EU.

In July 2017, the United States and the UK established a Trade and Investment Working Group in order to: (1) explore ways to strengthen trade and investment ties prior to Brexit; (2) ensure that existing U.S.-EU agreements are transitioned to U.S.-UK agreements; (3) lay the groundwork for a potential future free trade agreement once the UK has left the EU; and (4) collaborate on global trade issues. The Working Group met in July and November 2017, in addition to ad hoc meetings of technical specialists throughout the year, and intends to continue to meet quarterly.

For more information please click the Link to the full report here:

Currently many Exporters (to the EU) also use Authorised Representatives based in the UK. Additionally many exporters to the EU also use the UK as their point of entry. Both the use of UK Authorised Representative and the UK as a point of entry are in jeopardy (if the EU plays hardball as many expect. Exporters should begin to search for alternative arrangements – just to be on the safe side.

Currently many Exporters (to the EU) also use Authorised Representatives based in the UK. Additionally many exporters to the EU also use the UK as their point of entry. Both the use of UK Authorised Representative and the UK as a point of entry are in jeopardy (if the EU plays hardball as many expect. Exporters should begin to search for alternative arrangements – just to be on the safe side.

The above notwithstanding, we have to come to the conclusion that no one knows what the future will bring.

Neither the “Que Sera Sera” style of management: nor the current lack of leadership (from the EU and the UK) is not very comforting to the manufacturers and other businesses who need to plan for the future.

Watch this blog and we will update you with information as we get it.