Before Tackling BREXIT, Make the "Swiss-in" Work for European Exports

The Mutual Recognition Agreement with Switzerland, which entered into force on 1 June 2002, grants mutual recognition in relation to conformity assessment under sectoral legislation that is core to Orgalime industries. It concerns the Machinery Directive, Pressure Vessel Directive, Gas Appliances Directive – to name but a few of the directives affected.

After the alignment of several of the most important product directives in 2014, Switzerland accordingly amended its legislation so that the newly aligned directives in the EU would also be aligned in Switzerland. Nevertheless, for unclear reasons, the European Commission has not yet endorsed these Swiss ordinances.

The lack of endorsement from the European Commission could have dramatic consequences for companies in Orgalime’s sectors that trade with Switzerland and vice-versa. Indeed, our EU manufacturer’s declaration of conformity might not be recognised in Switzerland, which could create legal uncertainty. As prevention is better than a cure, we felt it necessary to react quickly. Taking into account the global economic situation, our industries cannot afford this kind of barrier to trade with our Swiss partners.

Orgalime therefore wrote a political letter to Commissioners Malmström, Bieńkowska and Vice-President Timmermans to alert them to the situation and ask them to take the necessary political steps to have these aligned directives under the MRA endorsed. And only a few days after sending the letters, the cabinet of Vice-President Timmermans informed us that he and Commissioner Malmström would analyse our concerns and come back to us very soon.

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