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Transparency of technical regulations

EU: implementation of Directive (EU) 2015/1535

Directive (EU) 2015/1535 (codifying 98/34/EC) provides for the Commission to be informed of draft technical regulations on goods and on Information Society services.

Prior to its adoption, any new technical regulation being planned by a MemberStatemust be notified to the Commission and the other MemberStatesso that they can verify whether the proposed provisions may not represent a barrier to intra-Community trade. There must be a minimum of three months (standstill period) between notification and final adoption of the technical regulation. During the standstill period, requests for further information and comments on the notified drafts may be issued both by the Commission and the other MemberStatesand the "notifying" MemberStatehas to respond.

Not respecting this complete information procedure will lead to unenforceability against third parties.

To inform economic operators of draft national technical regulations, the Commission has set up a website providing free information on the most-recent notifications: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/tris/en/. Every year, around 700 draft national technical regulations from Member States are examined in this procedure. Out of this total, there are 60 French notifications on average.

The SQUALPI, at the Directorate General for Enterprises (DGE), is in charge of the national contact point for this procedure in France. This contact point advises the relevant departments on how to produce draft regulations acceptable to the Commission. It also coordinates French comments on the draft technical regulations of other Member States.

Any comments about other Member states draft technical regulations have to be sent to this contact point (d9834.france@finances.gouv.fr) in order to prepare every French authorities’ reaction.

 

The World Trade Organization (WTO): implementation of the TBT Agreement

The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement), which took effect on 1 January 1980, provides for similar notification procedures through the WTO Secretariat for draft technical regulations which may have a significant effect on trade of other WTO Members.

This "significant" effect is gauged on factors such as:

  • the value or volume of imports in relation to the relevant exporting countries,
  • potential increases or reductions of imports,
  • the problems which manufacturers in other Member countries may encounter in complying with the regulations,
  • the combined effect of the notified regulation on the already-existing technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures.

These WTO notifications require the same prior information to be sent as for the european procedure and also provide for a 60-day standstill period which is only recommended and not mandatory. It is also recommended that the effective implementation of the regulations should be six months or more after their publication.

The European Commission has general responsibility for the application of the TBT Agreement and it acts as spokesperson for the Member States at TBT Committee meetings.

Member States must send their draft technical regulations directly to the WTO Secretariat in Geneva. In France, the SQUALPI's contact point sends the TBT notification after the european notification when required. This contact point can also be alerted on potential obstacles of other Member States draft technical regulations in order to inform the European commission.

Ongoing notifications

Visit European Commission Enterprise and industry web sites :

 

 

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