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Standardization and Regulatory Techniques (START)

The START Team assists member States’ efforts to converge towards better regulations. To reduce non-tariff barriers to trade, the content of technical regulations should revolve around the definition of essential requirements. Making reference to international standards in national legislation is the most efficient way to achieve this.

Overview of the nature of Standardisation and Regulatory Techniques
The ad hoc team of specialists on STandardization And Regulatory Techniques (START Team) was established in 1999 by decision of the Committee. It reports to the Working Party at its annual session. The terms of reference were last revised in 2015. Also in 2015 the Group had its mandate extended  by the UNECE Executive Committee. The work of the Team is open to representatives of all United Nations Member States. Experts from international organizations, representatives of the private sector and non-governmental organizations can participate as observers.

The Team holds consultations with governments, international organizations and business associations and consumer groups, as well as standards-setting bodies and test houses, among others, to explore concerns related to regulatory convergence. The START Team uses a model for regulatory cooperation created in 2001, Recommendation L. The model was revised during 2015 WP.6 Plenary and details the necessary steps for the preparation, adoption and application of technical regulations in a specific sector by the use of international standards.

Several Sectoral initiatives based on Recommendation L are currently underway:

How to get involved
The work of the Group is open to representatives of all United Nations Member States. Experts from international organizations, representatives of the private sector and non-governmental organizations can participate as observers. If you would like to participate, please contact the Secretariat.

Publications
A Common Regulatory Language for Trade and Development (ECE/TRADE/375)