The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) has invited the SEE QI Fund to participate in a panel discussion on mutual recognition programmes in the context of the CEFTA week 2020. The annual conference was held semi-virtual, with some of the participants being present at the venue in Bosnia and Herzegovina, whilst most panelist and participants attended the event virtually.
PTB project coordinator Stefan Wallerath contributed to the panel that discussed trade implications of pandemic situation for the CEFTA Parties and the region’s response to the COVID19 pandemic. The speakers were invited to share their views on how the recently adopted Action Plan for the Common Regional Market for 2021-2024 could support and accelerate the recovery of the CEFTA region.
First the PTB project coordinator elaborated on the concepts used in the EU to facilitate trade of industrial products. In order to improve the internal market for goods and strengthen the conditions for placing a wide range of products on the EU market, the new legislative framework was adopted in 2008. It is a package of measures that aim to improve market surveillance and boost the quality of conformity assessments. It also clarifies the use of CE marking and creates a toolbox of measures for use in product legislation.
Refereeing to the possibilities of a mutual recognition of test results in the region, he emphasized the importance of an internationally recognized Quality Infrastructure – a system that operates in the background, mostly invisible to the user and consumer of the products. This system consists of a network of inter-linked components that make up the overall system: Standardization, Metrology, Conformity Assessment (Testing, Certification, Inspection), Accreditation and Market Surveillance. Seen the relatively advanced status of international recognition of test results and QI-services in general in most CEFTA Parties there is a good basis for trade being facilitated by mutual recognition arrangements.