Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Study on the impact of the internal market and technical barriers to trade

The European Commission, DG XV, has published an invitation to tender for the completion of a study on the effectiveness of measures taken to complete the internal market with regard to the removal of barriers to intra-Community trade resulting from differences in national technical specifications and conformity assessment (hereafter referred to as "technical barriers to trade" or "TBTs").

The analysis will be organized in two parts, corresponding to the two approaches applied by the Community in recent years in removing technical barriers. These are:

- Variations of the legislative harmonization option, namely the "new approach" to technical harmonization;
- The non-harmonization option, otherwise referred to as the "mutual recognition" doctrine.

In both cases, the analysis should deliver a thorough, detailed and meaningful assessment of the effectiveness of these approaches in overcoming any legal or administrative stipulations regarding product specifications or assessment of conformity to a given set of specifications which prevent the placing of products on another Member State market. The analysis should identify all factors which have conditioned the effectiveness of these measures.

In conducting this analysis, the study should take account of products manufactured in third countries, examine the conditions under which these products are admitted to the Community market and determine the extent to which measures taken to eliminate technical barriers to intra-Community trade affect the free circulation of these products within the Community.

The tender specifications provide a detailed description of the structure and content which is required of the study.


Economic Aspects
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