Technical Product Standards and Regulations in the EU and EAEU – Comparisons and Scope for Convergence
The research on technical regulations and standards highlights that the EAEU is already implementing many EU standards as the basis for reforming and modernizing its former GOST regulations and standards. In addition the EAEU is adopting many standards of the international standards organizations (ISO, IEC, ITU), which work very closely in partnership with the European standards organizations (CEN, CENELEC, ETSI), such that international and European standards are to a large degree identical. This means that the legal and technical infrastructure for non-tariff barriers of the two parties is already converging. This makes non-tariff barriers a potentially fertile field for cooperation between the EU and EAEU, which in turn could mean easier access to markets and increased mutual trade. In this case, the potential format and extent of cooperation could extend to include a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on Conformity Assessment, through to the most ambitious formula (in EU practice) of the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA). Such arrangements would in principle ideally form part of a free trade agreement. Such scenarios can be technically specified, but of course they would have to rely on demanding political conditions which today are not satisfied.