This was said by Viktor Nazarenko, Minister in charge of Technical Regulation of the Eurasian Economic Commission, at the plenary meeting of the Integration Eurasian Business Forum held in Moscow on November 15.
The EEC Minister noted that the creation of a unified system of technical regulation of the Eurasian Economic Union had entered the final stage, where a return to individual regulation of Member States is no longer possible. But further movement is hindered by tendencies towards preserving tools for influence at the state level to the detriment of integration possibilities.
According to the Minister, that is why it is becoming increasingly difficult to integrate in new areas. A vivid example is the implementation of the plan for developing technical regulations and amendments to them. Today it is only 27% and 23%, respectively.
“Technical regulation is not just something to toy with for a while, but a tool that helps increase competitiveness. After the signing of the Treaty on the Union, with general agreement on pursuing a common policy in the field of technical regulation, over more than 10 years, we were able to create supranational mechanisms in only two areas of technical regulation out of six. Moreover, they are implemented by the Union Member States through the lens of their national specifics,” believes Viktor Nazarenko.
According to him, while widely using technical regulation tools, “we attach special importance to standardization,” which is an effective mechanism for implementing the mandatory requirements of the Union’s technical regulations. Obviously, this area also has its weaknesses, which the EEC, together with Member States, is working on in order to enhance the harmonization of national and interstate standards with international requirements. “Now we can already see what specific steps are needed to intensify the process of developing modern and in-demand standards, especially interstate ones, and, of course, this requires appropriate financial resources,” noted the EEC Minister.
According to Viktor Nazarenko, assessing the research and technology level (RTL) of technical regulations and lists of standards to them will stimulate the development of new standards, since the assessment procedure is aimed at bringing product RTL requirements in line with the modern science and technology level.
In his speech, the EEC Minister paid special attention to the issues of protecting the Union’s common market from unsafe products and creating equal conditions of access to this market for domestic and foreign products. As was noted by Viktor Nazarenko, the monitoring results indicated serious imbalances in the field of conformity assessment in a number of Member States, where, in the absence of testing capabilities and other necessary resources, an unjustified volume of conformity assessment documents was issued in a short time.
The effectiveness of protecting the common market from unsafe products directly depends on the effectiveness of state control (supervision) over compliance with the established requirements. The extent of this activity is very different across the EAEU countries: from systemic control in some countries to moratoria on control activities in others. “Today we have 30 bodies authorized to exercise state control (supervision) over compliance with the requirements of technical regulations, but the results are scanty. This undoubtedly affects the degree of protection of our common market. Unscrupulous entities take advantage of this situation very skillfully,” the Minister emphasized. In a number of Member States, many bodies authorized in the field of state control (supervision) have oversimplified their task of improving the system of state control (supervision), taking to repealing excessive supervisory measures by preparing appropriate acts on a moratorium or other restrictions related to state control (supervision). According to Viktor Nazarenko, this is a strategic mistake.
Another significant area, which, according to the Minister, is mistakenly classified as technical regulation, and which should be given special attention, is ensuring the uniformity of measurements. After all, it affects not only the sphere of technical regulation, but all sectors of the economy, including trade, industry, the social sphere and other important areas of state and international activities. Therefore, as the EEC Minister is confident, ensuring the uniformity of measurements should be taken out of the scope of technical regulation and considered as a separate area.
In the current conditions, an effective impetus for intensifying the development of elements of the technical regulation system can be economy digitalization and specifically the implementation of the EAEU Digital Technical Regulation project. “The creation of a modern digital platform will not only ensure digital transformation of all technical regulation processes, but will also create conditions for digital interaction in designing, manufacturing and introducing products to the market,” said the EEC Minister.
Viktor Nazarenko believes that it is this platform that will allow, among other things, to put right the areas of accreditation, conformity assessment, state control and supervision. This will also provide businesses of the Union countries with additional opportunities for timely implementation of advanced product requirements and performing the necessary procedures to obtain certificates and declarations of conformity.
The joint work of the Commission and authorized bodies is aimed both at addressing the current tasks of the Union and at the further development of integration processes, including in the field of technical regulation. “At the same time, the strategic documents of the Union reflect by no means all the tasks that the EEC sees, but those that the Union countries agreed to, including with great difficulty,” pointed out Victor Nazarenko to the Forum participants, calling for making an integration component of technical regulation development an absolute priority over the preservation of disparate country-specific mechanisms and instruments.