European Commission publishes proposal for conformity assessment agreement with US

The European Commission published its proposal for an EU-US agreement on conformity assessment for industrial products. A product exported between the two sides has to undergo an assessment to demonstrate that it complies with the technical and safety requirements of the importing party, the 'conformity assessment'. This means additional costs for exporters, which is especially burdensome for smaller companies, who may decide not to export at all because of those costs and complexities.

The EU proposal seeks an agreement under which the EU and the US would accept the conformity assessment results of each other’s assessment bodies, certifying products against the legal requirement of the other side. This would enable exporters to seek certification of their products in their originating country. The aim of the proposal is to make trade quicker, easier and cheaper, while maintaining a high level of consumer safety. The EU’s aim is to conclude an agreement as early as next year.

The proposal is horizontal and covers all relevant industrial sectors where third-party conformity assessment is required by either side. Below a selection of the sectors to be covered (full scope is included in the Annex):

  • Electrical and electronic equipment, including electrical installations and appliances, and related components
  • Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
  • Machinery, including parts, components, including safety components, interchangeable equipment, and assemblies of machines
  • Equipment for use outdoors as it relates to noise emission in the environment
  • Recreational craft, including their components, and personal watercraft
  • Appliances burning gaseous fuels, including related fittings
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Equipment placed on board a ship
  • Restriction of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment
  • Pyrotechnic articles

Please note that marine equipment is excluded from the scope of the proposal as it is covered by an existing mutual recognition agreement.

EBI has been following this process since the start and has now increased its engagement with the European Commission and US counterparts to advocate for the interest of the recreational boating industry. EBI is closely cooperating with its international counterparts ICOMIA and US counterparts NMMA to ensure that the global recreational boating industry benefits from this agreement. Interested parties are invited to contact the EBI Office for further information and input.

For more information, please see the text of the proposal and explanatory notes on the EU proposal.

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