As the leader of Canada’s standardization network, SCC is working with Canadian companies, large and small, to help them get the most out of standards so that they can bring their innovative ideas and products to the world. The international trade arena is more complex and competitive than ever before; some estimates contend that up to 80% of world trade is impacted by standardization.
One way SCC is supporting access to new markets is by helping to implement the Conformity Assessment (CA) Protocol within the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
CETA addresses technical barriers to trade, and includes measures to facilitate and simplify the conformity assessment process for exporters of products between the Canadian and EU markets.
The CA Protocol lays out a process for the mutual acceptance of test results and product certifications by Canadian and EU-recognized conformity assessment bodies (CABs). For specific product categories covered by the CA Protocol, Canada and the EU have agreed to work to mutually recognize the accreditation of CABs of the other party to certify to their respective requirements. This will reduce costs and administrative delays for Canadian and EU companies.
SCC plays a key role in helping to implement the CA Protocol. Through SCC’s agreement with the European Co-Operation for Accreditation (EA), Canadian CABs will be eligible to be recognized as Notified Bodies if they are accredited by SCC. Likewise, EU CABs will also be eligible to be recognized in Canada through the EA.
The CA Protocol does not restrict Canadian and EU regulators from setting their own requirements. It simply provides a mechanism for mutual recognition of certification to certain requirements. The CA Protocol only applies to the certification of products by accredited third-party CABs. SCC and EA will begin to implement the Protocol with a pilot in 2017. After evaluating the pilot, other product categories or sectors will be identified and implemented through a phased-in approach.
A Summary of the Information Session on the CA Protocol of CETA held by SCC on March 22, 2017 is available for review, and highlights include:
- The CA Protocol only applies to products that require third-party certification in order to enter Canadian or EU markets. As such, Supplier’s Declaration of Conformance (SDoC) falls outside the scope of the Protocol.
- The framework for mutual recognition of accreditation is still under development. Mutual recognition of accreditation will occur only when SCC and EA deem both parties to be ready. Products will be selected and implemented on a schedule mutually agreed to by both SCC and EA. CABs and regulators will be consulted on the implementation schedule.
- A pilot project in the area of HAZLOC/ATEX will be used to build a common understanding between SCC and EA to define what model will be used to implement mutual recognition. SCC will continue to engage with CABs and regulators as the model is being developed to solicit their input on the time frame for implementing product categories.
- CETA does not require recognition or acceptance of the other Party’s technical regulations, or limit a Party’s right to set technical regulations or conformity assessment procedures. The CA Protocol does not require the harmonization of standards or requirements; it establishes a framework to facilitate the mutual recognition of certification to different requirements.
- A Technical Expert Group (TEG), composed of accreditation experts from SCC and EA, has been created to determine if there are any differences in how the requirements of accreditation are applied and interpreted by SCC and EA. The TEG will plan and carry out observational visits in order to gain mutual confidence in our respective accreditation systems.
For more information on the CA Protocol, please contact CETAinfo@scc.ca.
For general inquiries and additional information on the implementation of CETA, please visit the Global Affairs Canada web page about CETA.