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USTR Signs Mutual Recognition Agreements with the United Kingdom
Washington, D.C. – On February 14, 2019, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney and Ambassador Kim Darroch, United Kingdom (UK) Ambassador to the United States, signed two mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) covering telecom equipment, electro-magnetic compatibility (EMC) for information and communications technology products, pharmaceutical good manufacturing practice (GMP) inspections, and marine equipment. These MRAs with the UK replicate substantive provisions of existing MRAs between the United States and the European Union for these sectors and will ensure that U.S.-UK trade in these product sectors is not disrupted when the UK leaves the European Union. U.S. exports to the UK of products covered by these agreements exceeded $5 billion in 2018.
Framework MRA, including sectoral annexes for Telecom Equipment, EMC for ICT Goods, and Pharmaceutical GMP Inspections: The U.S.-UK Framework MRA provides for continued acceptance of certain conformity assessment results (e.g., product tests, inspections) between U.S. and UK regulators, helping to facilitate U.S.-UK trade in these sectors. The sectoral annex for telecom equipment covers telecommunications terminal equipment, including radio transmitters and information technology equipment. The sectoral annex for EMC covers equipment subject to UK and U.S. radio interference and compatibility requirements, including most electrical and electronic equipment exported to the UK. The sectoral annex for pharmaceuticals allows U.S. and UK regulators to rely on each other's GMP inspections of pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, thereby reducing unnecessary costs and duplicative efforts and allowing the reallocation of regulatory resources to where they are most needed.
Marine Equipment MRA: Under the terms of the U.S.-UK Marine Equipment MRA, designated products which comply with U.S. requirements will be accepted for sale in the UK without any additional testing. The MRA’s product scope includes products in three main categories: life-saving equipment (e.g., visual distress signals, marine evacuation systems); fire protection equipment (e.g., fire doors, insulation); and navigational equipment (e.g., compasses, GPS equipment, echo-sounding equipment).
As part of the U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group, the United States and the United Kingdom are working to ensure commercial continuity for UK and U.S. businesses, workers, and consumers as the UK leaves the EU. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress on October 16, 2018 of the Trump Administration’s intent to enter into trade negotiations with the UK once it leaves the EU.