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Further measures to cut red tape – accepting trusted international standards

14 October 2014

Joint media release from the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister; and the Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

As part of the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, the Government will examine opportunities for greater acceptance of international standards and risk assessments.

This is an important part of the Government’s plan to cut red tape and foster a lower cost, business friendly environment with less regulation.

Businesses often have to undertake a regulatory approvals process to use or sell products in Australia that duplicates a process that has already occurred in other developed countries. This adds to costs and provides little or no additional protection.

The Government will adopt a new principle that if a system, service or product has been approved under a trusted international standard or risk assessment, then our regulators should not impose any additional requirements for approval in Australia, unless it can be demonstrated that there is a good reason to do so.

This will remove regulatory duplication, reduce costs and delays for businesses and consumers, increase the supply of products into the Australian market and allow regulatory authorities to focus on higher priorities.

As an important first step, the Government will enable Australian manufacturers of medical devices the option of using European Union certification in place of TGA certification. This will place Australian manufacturers on the same footing as overseas competitors.

The Government will also require the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) to increase its acceptance of international risk assessments of industrial chemicals made by reputable international regulatory authorities such as the European Union regulator.

To ensure a thorough review of all regulations, ministers will write to regulators in their portfolio and work with stakeholder groups to develop criteria for assessing opportunities for the acceptance or adoption of trusted standards and assessments.

Examples of unnecessary divergence from international standards can be submitted at the cuttingredtape.gov.au website.

Any changes will be subject the Government’s regulation impact statement processes and progress will be reported at the twice yearly repeal days and in the annual deregulation report.

These reforms build on the Government’s $700 million cut to red and green tape since coming to office including the removal of around 10,000 pieces of unnecessary legislation and regulations.