Viktor Nazarenko, Minister in charge of Technical Regulation of the Eurasian Economic Commission, informed about the main directions for developing a unified system of technical regulation of the Eurasian Economic Union at the International Forum "Actual Issues of Technical Regulation and Standardization in the EAEU" held on March 13 in Moscow as part of the Russian Business Week.
According to the EEC Minister, the EAEU has clearly determined its primary goals and priorities for technical regulation development. The main goals include removing technical barriers to trade, protecting the domestic market from unsafe products, and improving the quality and competitiveness of products.
The EAEU Member States have done a lot to remove technical barriers to mutual trade. At the same time, it is required to significantly intensify activities in this area.
“The authorities of the Union have recognized that the absence at the level of the Union of uniform mandatory requirements to certain types of products is a restriction that impedes the free movement of goods on the EAEU internal market. Overcoming this restriction as part of developing a unified system of technical regulation should not be overlooked by the authorized authorities of the Union Member States. However, in terms of developing the technical regulations and amendments to them, there are trends to schedule overrun in the implementation of relevant developments, there are attempts to return to the national regulation of certain types of products at the level of individual Union states,” Viktor Nazarenko said.
The Minister paid special attention to the lack of proper coordination in a number of Member States when developing the country's position, insufficient executive discipline of the authorized authorities of the Union countries responsible for the development of technical regulations and amendments to them.
The Minister emphasized that in order to maintain a high level of requirements of technical regulations and lists of standards, it was necessary to fully implement in the EAEU a mechanism for assessing the scientific and technical level of technical regulations and lists of standards to them. It will also allow approaching at the system level to the revision of existing and development of new interstate standards (GOST).
The EEC Minister paid special attention to the decisive participation of industry in all standardization processes. “Moreover, to reach a high level of requirements, it is also necessary to perform another, equally important task – to assess the practice of applying technical regulations and standards, their relevance, and their actual impact on businesses. It is here that the position of industry and businesses is important for us. Implementing the development programs for standards to technical regulations should be accelerated. Completing the developments included in the standardization programs for 45 technical regulations of the Union on only 58% of topics cannot be considered satisfactory. It is also necessary to review the role that the Union states play in standardization funding,” the Minister said.
Victor Nazarenko touched upon conformity assessment and accreditation as a hot and discussed topic, noting that against the background of numerous conscientious conformity assessment bodies, there is a number of certification bodies and testing laboratories acting in concert with unfair authorized persons of the manufacturer, that have formed actually unprecedented environment for obtaining the relevant documents when delivering foreign products.
The situation is aggravated by individual decisions to simplify conformity assessment procedures taken in the Union Member States and the actual elimination of a number of state supervision (control) bodies from performing their market protection functions.
“Only 4-5 out of 28 state supervision bodies have an objective assessment of the level of product safety on the market,” the Minister commented on the results of the activities of one of these bodies for 2022 presented to the Forum participants.
Therefore, today it is especially relevant to improve the state supervision system within the Union Member States, since its efficient functioning ensures consumer protection from unsafe products and an equal competitive environment for the Union industry.
Turning to the subject of standardization and ensuring the uniformity of amendments, Viktor Nazarenko noted that the efficient implementation of any investment, innovation or cooperation project is impossible without creating modern interstate standards and developing the measurement and testing capabilities. He also urged businesses to pay close attention to standardization and ensuring the uniformity of measurement as the key areas without which it would be impossible to improve the product quality and competitiveness.
The EEC Minister also touched upon implementing the Directions for Developing the Eurasian Economic Integration until 2025, including the project on Digital Technical Regulation within the EAEU and the upcoming discussion with industry and businesses of the concept for creating a Eurasian Product Quality Assurance System.
Concluding his speech, Viktor Nazarenko called on business representatives and authorized authorities of the Member States to review approaches to implementing the main elements of technical regulation with due account for the current economic environment and the need to solve urgent integration problems in this area.