UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Working Party on Regulatory Cooperation and Standardization Policies (WP.6)




Legal Acts in the EU in the area of technical harmonization: adopted or proposed during the last quarter

      Type approval motor vehicles
      Construction products
      Cosmetic products
      Machinery for pesticide application
      Textile names and labelling of textile



Customs Union between Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation

The agreement on the Customs Union between Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation was signed at the end of November 2009 and entered into force on 1 January 2010.

The Customs Union aims at removing customs and other administrative barriers in mutual trade. A joint customs tariff will enter into force on 1 July 2010, and the executive organ of the Union, the Customs Commission, is working to harmonize technical regulations. The objective is to implement a single set of mandatory requirements for products, as well as a common system for assessment of the conformity of products to these requirements. This will include the preparation of a common manufacturer’s self-declaration of conformity, common certificates of conformity as well as a single repository for common documents.

In a near future, products assessed in Belarus, Kazakhstan or the Russian Federation will be entitled to move freely in the territory of the Customs Union, with no further checks at the border. Twenty-one Working Groups are already at work developing the Common Mandatory Requirements, with reference to those contained in international standards and in the most important directives of the European Union. In July 2009, the parties to the Customs Union elaborated a package of transitional measures that will provide for mutual recognition of test results and product certificates. An information system is also being set up to facilitate information exchange on regulatory and phyto and phyto-sanitary measures among the members.



Brief report on SADC activities

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) free trade area was launched in August 2008. A Customs Union will be attained by 2010.The SADC free trade is aimed at removing technical barriers to trade, it also includes measures directly aimed at facilitating trade by reducing red tape and paperwork at the borders by providing a framework for improving the movement of goods through the region.

The SADC Cooperation in Standardisation (SADCSTAN) is the SADC organ, which promotes the coordination of standards harmonisation activities in the region. From January to December 2009, SADCSTAN is currently harmonising 57 standards, which all member states are expected to adopt at the national level. SADC through the SADC/EU project funding will be providing training in standard writing and editing, and in how to conduct effective meetings to all member states’ National Standards Bodies (NSBs). The Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA) being amongst the youngest NSBs in the region has benefited greatly from these trainings, especially metrology.

In each member state, the SADC Cooperation in Accreditation (SADCA) has opened a National Accreditation Focal Point (NAFP) in 2009 to facilitate the work of the SADC Accreditation Service (SADCAS). SADCAS offers accreditation in ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 15189, ISO/IEC 17021, ISO/IEC 17024, ISO/IEC 17020 and ISO/IEC Guide 65. It aims to promote, develop and maintain good regulatory practices, to participate in multilateral arrangements for recognition of conformity assessment results.