Agreement with the United Kingdom on mutual recognition of conformity assessments
Bern, 17.11.2022 - On 17 November, Switzerland and the United Kingdom signed an agreement on the mutual recognition of conformity assessments. This means that in certain sectors, product testing by a UK conformity assessment body is no longer required for exports from Switzerland to the UK. The agreement will be provisionally applied from 1 January 2023 and will enter into force no later than 28 February 2023. It was approved by the Federal Council on 16 November.
Since the United Kingdom left the EU, the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between Switzerland and the EU, covering twenty product areas, no longer applies in the UK.
An agreement on the mutual recognition of conformity assessments in three of these twenty sectors was established under the February 2019 trade agreement between Switzerland and the UK.
The new additional MRA covers five more sectors: transportable pressure equipment, telecommunications equipment, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), noise emissions from equipment used outdoors and measuring instruments. The MRA states that the Parties will mutually recognise the conformity assessments for such products.
Under the new MRA, products can be tested according to Swiss regulations for Switzerland and according to UK regulations for the UK; they only need to be tested by one conformity assessment body, either in Switzerland or in the UK. This allows manufacturers to reduce costs and time delays when exporting to the UK. The products must bear the conformity mark of the country in which they are placed on the market.
With the three sectors covered by the Switzerland–UK MRA in the trade agreement and the five sectors covered by the new MRA, more than three quarters of the trade volume between Switzerland and the UK is covered in the 20 sectors covered by the Switzerland–EU MRA (according to trade figures for 2021).
This MRA was approved by the Federal Council on 16 November and signed by Ambassador Markus Leitner and Amanda Brooks, Director General for Trade Negotiations, on 17 November in London.
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