New Agreements Aim to Protect $5 Billion in Exports to UK
The U.S. and the United Kingdom signed Feb. 14 two mutual recognition agreements designed to ensure that bilateral trade in telecommunications equipment, information and communications technology products, pharmaceuticals, and marine equipment is not disrupted when the UK leaves the European Union. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative states that U.S. exports of these product to the UK exceeded $5 billion in 2018.
One of the MRAs provides for continued acceptance of certain conformity assessment results (e.g., product tests, inspections) between U.S. and UK regulators. It includes sectoral annexes for telecom terminal equipment (including radio transmitters and information technology equipment), electro-magnetic compatibility (covering equipment subject to radio interference and compatibility requirements, including most electrical and electronic equipment exported to the UK), and pharmaceuticals (allowing regulators to rely on each other's good manufacturing practices inspections of manufacturing facilities).
Under the other MRA, designated marine equipment products that comply with U.S. requirements will be accepted for sale in the UK without any additional testing. This agreement covers 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).