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EU-US: Call for proposals for regulatory cooperation activities
Deadline: 23 Apr 2019   - 30 days

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EU-U.S.: Call for proposals for regulatory cooperation activities

  • -  Policy field: EU-US Regulatory Cooperation

  • -  Target group: All stakeholders and interested parties

  • -  Closing Date: 23 April 2019

Context of the consultation with stakeholders

On 25 July 2018, the President of the European Commission and the President of the United States of America reached an agreement to launch a new phase in the trade relationship between the United States and the European Union, by identifying a focused and positive trade agenda with the United States. Following the adoption of the Joint Statement, an Executive Working Group was established to consider, inter alia, measures to reduce administrative obstacles and costs, while preserving the high level of protection of each side.

On 18 January 2019, the Commission submitted a proposal to the Council for the launch of negotiations for an agreement with the US on conformity assessment, together with draft negotiating directives. Such an agreement should facilitate trade and increase trade flows in industrial goods between the European Union and the United States through a reduction of the costs of conformity assessment, in a reciprocal and balanced manner. The Commission recommendation for the opening of negotiations with the United States forms part of a larger set of actions aiming at facilitating bilateral trade through voluntary regulatory cooperation between the European Union and the United States on regulatory issues of mutual interest and on the use of standards in support of regulations, while respecting each side’s chosen level of protection and the right to regulate

As part of the Commission's commitment to transparency, an interim progress report was published on 30 January, providing a detailed overview on the state of play of the talks so far. It reports on the work of the Executive Working Group and lists a number of concrete actions where regulatory cooperation can facilitate transatlantic trade such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices and cybersecurity, by lowering regulatory barriers. Similar progress reports will be published at regular intervals as the discussions with the US progress. Stakeholder input will be instrumental to making progress and identify solutions that allow us to facilitate trade while maintaining, if not enhancing, levels of regulatory protection.

Objective of the consultation with stakeholders

The European Commission is therefore inviting comments from all interested stakeholder groups on potential areas for regulatory co-operation with the United States. In particular, comments in the following areas are welcome:

  •  Conformity Assessment: a possible future agreement on conformity assessment aiming at a horizontal approach to facilitate the acceptance of certificates issued by the conformity assessment bodies of the other Party in a number of selected sectors such as electric and electronic equipment, machinery, medical devices, toys, recreational crafts, pressure equipment, construction products ,measuring instruments etc.. In thisregard, the Commission would welcome input by stakeholders, in particular:
    • (i)  by exporters as to the type of barriers and administrative burden they face in trans-Atlantic trade in relation to the certification of compliance of products with the legislation of the importing party,
    • (ii)  by conformity assessment bodies established in the territory of the EU as regards possible difficulties in seeking accreditation or designation to certify for export to the US under certain conformity assessment schemes.
  •   Dialogue on standards: the EU and the US for historical reasons adopted divergent standards in many sectors, leading to high adaptation costs for exporters.

In order to facilitate trade in the future and increase regulatory convergence, cooperation on standards would focus especially on areas where no standards exist yet. Additive manufacturing, robotics and technical textiles have been identified as possible areas of cooperation. The Commission is also interested in receiving stakeholder input regarding other possible standard areas where such cooperation could bring trade benefits.

  •   Regulatory cooperation in sectors: the Commission would want to receive stakeholder input on concrete initiatives for regulatory cooperation in sectors with the potential of facilitating bilateral trade, while fully respecting EU levels of protection.

Target Group of this Call for Proposals

All interested stakeholders including;

  1. a)  businesses, companies and SMEs, chambers of commerce;

  2. b)  trade unions, consumer organisations, NGOs;

  3. c)  conformity assessment institutes;

  4. d)  ‘standardisation bodies’

  5. e)  think-tanks, research institutes, academia and laws firms;

  6. f)  others directly or indirectly affected by the initiative.

 

Proposals

Respondents should answer this call on the basis of written submissions. Respondents can submit their comments in any of the official languages of the European Union. The parties making the submissions should clearly indicate the name of the individual or the organisation making the submission.

Where possible the written submission should provide for the following:

  •   A succinct description of the issue and the desired regulatory co-operation including a clear elaboration of the benefits of the initiative proposed;

  •   Quantitative and qualitative data on the impact of issue/(s) on consumers, industry and other stakeholders;

  •   Objectives, time frames and potential solutions

  •   Quantifiable benefits of addressing the issue including benefits for consumers, industry and other stakeholders

  •   Input that demonstrates support amongst EU and US stakeholders for the proposed initiative.

 

Transparency

The European Commission will make public all written submissions received in response to this call for proposals. The proposals will be published on a dedicated page on the DG TRADE website. Personal data of the parties will not be published in line with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions. All information received in the context of the call for proposal is subject to Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 on public access to EU institution documents.

Contact

In case of questions on this call, stakeholders are invited to send their queries to the following address: TRADE-EU-US-REG-COOP-CONSULTATION@ec.europa.eu

Roadmap for stakeholder engagement

  • -  Deadline for receiving written submissions from stakeholder to this call for proposal is : 23/04/2019 12.00 CET

  • -  Written submissions can be sent to: TRADE-EU-US-REG-COOP-CONSULTATION@ec.europa.eu.

  • -  Publication of a short synopsis report in which the Commission will provide a reaction to the main stakeholder recommendations received and publish the proposals received

  • -  Meeting with stakeholders following the closure of the call for proposal and the publication of a short synopsis report and the full list of proposals received. All respondents to the call for proposal and participants to the civil society dialogue will be invited. Details of the time and venue of the meeting will be published on the website of DG TRADE.

  • -  The Commission will organise on a regular basis meetings with stakeholders to provide updates on the progress of the discussions with the US and take note of their feedback. Timetable for these meetings will be communicated at a later date.

  • -  The Commission will publish on a regular basis public reports outlining the progress made in the different work streams under the EWG, including the regulatory initiatives.



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