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News article13 November 2023BrusselsDirectorate-General for Trade1 min read

EU launches tool to help exporters seize benefits of Mutual Recognition Agreements

The new 'Access2Conformity' tool will allow EU exporters large and small to reduce red tape by making better use of the EU’s Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) with third countries.

When businesses export goods to a trade partner country, these goods have to be certified by testing facilities ('conformity assessment bodies', or CABs) in the country of destination, to ensure that they comply with local rules and regulations, even when already certified for their domestic market. This essentially means that exporters must go through the process of testing their goods twice.

Fortunately, MRAs can solve this problem. In the case of the EU, they allow the exporting Member State to designate their own CAB as capable of testing and certifying exported products to make sure that they comply with the rules and regulations of the importing trade partner. So, for example, an EU exporter sending its goods to Canada, whose products were already tested and certified by an EU Member State CAB, would not have to then go through the expensive process of having its products checked again by a Canadian CAB.

Access2Conformity, integrated into the Access2Markets portal, will help EU exporters identify where in the EU they can perform product testing and certification when exporting to certain third countries.[1] For example, the EU exporter mentioned above could check if their product can benefit from the existing agreement with Canada, which provides for acceptance of test results and certificates by EU Member State CABs.

MRAs are powerful tools to help companies save valuable time and money, and making full use of them can boost trade by up to 40%. Moreover, the reduced paperwork makes it up to 50% more likely that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will export. This increased participation in trade helps to encourage competition and more diverse global supply chains through a level playing field.

For more information


EU Mutual Recognition Agreements


[1] These are Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United States, and Switzerland.


Publication date
13 November 2023
Directorate-General for Trade
Trade topics
  • EU companies accessing world markets
  • Trade policy