Mutual Recognition Regulation

House of Lords written question – answered on 23rd June 2009.

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Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe Shadow Minister, Health

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the main principles of the Mutual Recognition Regulation ((EC) 764/2008); and what assessment they have made of the impact of that regulation.

Photo of Lord Davies of Abersoch Lord Davies of Abersoch Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Trade, Investment and Small Business) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (UK Trade and Investment) (also in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

Regulation 764/2008 seeks to improve the operation of the principle of mutual recognition of goods, which already exists in EU law, whereby products which are lawfully on sale in one member state should be accepted in other member states' markets.

The regulation has two main elements. Firstly, it sets out a procedure national enforcement authorities must follow when deviating from the principle of mutual recognition. This requires them to clearly set out the justification for their action and allow a set time period for considering comments.

Secondly, the regulation requires member states to set up product contact points and to provide information to businesses on national technical rules which might create barriers to trade.

BIS has made an assessment of the impact of the regulation in the UK, which can be found at http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file48727.pdf, though it should be noted that most of the benefits to UK businesses will come from implementation in other member states. The Commission has published an impact assessment for the EU as a whole at http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/regulation/internal_market_package/docs/sec2007-112impactassessment_en.pdf.

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