standards

The Need for Sectoral Annexes in RCEP

While overall rules for standards and conformity assessment procedures in RCEP are necessary to reducing non-tariff barriers in Asia and facilitating trade, the example of cosmetics shows why sectoral approaches are also important.  Individual industries face particular challenges that cannot always be handled through generalized rules.  Cosmetics firms need to know which substances can, and which substances cannot, be included in products prior to manufacture.  Government officials are not always well positioned—on their own—to know the answers to such questions as which coloring agents might usefully be included in cosmetic products in the first place.  Hence it is also important to include industry representatives in the creation of rules and regulations.  Government should have the final say, but there is clearly a role for industry in crafting sensible policies that apply to a particular sector.