European Community-Australia Mutual Recognition Agreement: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the EC-MRA?

    The EC-Australia Mutual Recognition Agreement (EC-MRA) is a Treaty-status Agreement between the Australian Government and the governments of the European Community. It came into force on 1 January 1999.

    The European Union is one of Australia's most significant trading partners. The EC-MRA allows conformity assessment (inspection, testing and certification) of products traded between Australia and the European Union to be undertaken in Australia prior to export to the EU. The EC-MRA provides access to markets which have previously been considered uneconomic due to the high cost of regulatory compliance.

  2. What types of goods are covered by the EC-MRA?

    The EC-MRA covers regulated products in the following eight industry sectors:

    • automotive products
    • electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
    • low voltage electrical equipment
    • telecommunications terminal equipment
    • machinery
    • medical devices
    • pharmaceuticals - Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)
    • pressure equipment

     

  3. What is the function of Conformity Assessment Bodies under the EC-MRA?

    For products covered by the EC-MRA, Conformity Assessment Bodies in Australia can perform conformity assessment procedures that would otherwise be required to be performed by a European body.

  4. As an Australian manufacturer, can I still have my product assessed by a European Notified Body for CE Marking?

    Yes. Manufacturers can have their products assessed either in the EU or Australia.

  5. What is the CE Mark?

    CE represents "Conformité Européenne". CE Marking indicates that a product may be legally sold in all Member States of the European Economic Area. Each Member State must accept CE Marked products without requiring any further testing or approval in relation to requirements covered by European regulations.

  6. What does the CE Marking mean?

    CE Marking denotes that a product conforms to the relevant essential requirements and other applicable provisions of the EC's New Approach Directives, and that the product has been through the appropriate conformity assessment procedures. CE Marking is mandatory and the Mark must be affixed before a product may be placed on the market. Manufacturers are responsible for the conformity of their product/s and the affixing of the CE Mark.

  7. What characterises New Approach Directives?

    New Approach Directives are adopted for broad product areas or defined risks. EU policy is to limit the adoption of New Approach Directives to areas where national legislation can create legitimate barriers to trade. Because New Approach Directives apply to broad product areas and only cover one or a few types of risks, any one product may be covered by more than one Directive. In most cases, a manufacturer can choose both how to meet the essential requirements and the means whereby to demonstrate that the product conforms to technical requirements.

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