To circulate freely within the European Economic Area, products must conform to requirements laid down by the EU/EEA product legislation which is aimed at protecting health, safety and the environment. In certain areas, the EU/EEA product legislation is complemented by European harmonised standards.
Standardisation is a market-based tool in which industry produces standards in order to agree on technical specifications for health, safety and the environment and to achieve interoperability. The development of European standards and the withdrawal of conflicting national standards has played a leading role in the achievement of a European Single Market for goods. The three European Standardisation Organisations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI) are recognised as organisations that may be mandated to produce European harmonised standards in support of sectoral harmonised product legislation. The four EFTA countries have a long-standing policy of contributing financially to European Standardisation.
The objective of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) is to promote trade in goods between the EEA EFTA States and third countries by facilitating market access. These are bilateral agreements, aiming to benefit industry by providing easier access to conformity assessment procedures.
The four EFTA countries have a long-standing policy of contributing financially to and participating actively in EU technical cooperation programmes in the field of quality infrastructure.
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