Harmonized Standards

The ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) continues to make progress in the implementation of the Hanoi Plan of Action, especially in terms of Standards Harmonization and Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs).


ASEAN cosmetic regulators and the cosmetic industry have been working together to look into harmonization of technical requirements and facilitation of the removal of TBTs for cosmetic products. A comparative study on Member Countries’ regulations was recently completed. The ASEAN Cosmetic Directive is intended to provide all requirements that cosmetic products should comply with in all ASEAN countries. In other words, a product produced or marketed in any ASEAN country meeting requirements of the Directive should be able to access other ASEAN countries.

Electrical and Electronic Equipment

The ASEAN Sectoral MRA for Electrical and Electronic Equipment was endorsed by the ASEAN Economic Ministers at their 33rd Meeting in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. In preparation for its implementation, member countries have undertaken confidence-building activities, such as seminar/forum for regulatory authorities, study visits to testing laboratories, and analysis of regulatory regimes in ASEAN.

Telecommunications Equipment

The MRA for Telecommunications equipment was initiated by the ASEAN Telecommunications Regulators’ Council (ATRC) and finalised by the Sixth ATRC Meeting held in October 2000 in Brunei Darussalam. The 1st Telecommunications Ministers Meeting held on 13-14 July 2001 Kuala Lumpur endorsed this arrangement for the implementation of the ATRC. The MRA is expected to promote cross-recognition of conformity assessment procedures for type-approving telecommunications equipment in ASEAN.


A comparative study of the ASEAN regulatory regimes for pharmaceuticals has been completed. Four areas have been identified for harmonization, including quality, efficacy, safety and administration data. An ASEAN Format of Common Technical Requirements (CTR) was developed to place all agreed requirements in a harmonized structure. Member countries are working on the ASEAN Common Technical Dossier (CTD) for Pharmaceutical Product Registration. The CTD will serve as a basis for consideration of the MRA in this sector.