Civil society actors, such as business associations, should take the initiative to facilitate exchange of information between certification bodies and the wider business community. The debate is key to ensuring standardisation and convergence of legislation, which would guarantee faster flow of goods and boost competitiveness. In the same vein, actors should strive towards full recognition of quality certificates and test reports – which would eliminate the need to re-assess conformity once they cross the border.
Speaking on behalf of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF), Natallia Harbuz (Public Private Dialogue Network, Belarus) presented a number of recommendations on programmes, designed to increase the involvement of civil society (including small and medium-sized enterprises – SMEs, as well as regional business associations) in issuing quality certificates. Harbuz also stressed the need for simple and clear educational materials that are tailored to the right audience – helping business stakeholders to navigate through relevant legislation, risk assessment procedures and technical regulation.
The Panel on Trade and Trade-Related Regulatory Cooperation on the Reform of Systems of Technical Regulations and of Related Infrastructure, which took place between 23-24 May 2019 in Brussels, looked closely at product compliance and customs controls – drawing on the experience of member states: Belgium, Poland and Slovakia. EU stakeholders, from DG GROW, and representatives of EaP governments, also took time to explore the needs and specificities of each one of the EaP countries. In this context, the participants had a chance to exchange views on the effect of Association Agreements (AAs), and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), has had on their domestic practices.