• What are product standards?
• Are standards compulsory?
• What about regulations and legislation?
• Who sets the standards?
• Who sets international product standards?
• Do those two agreements only deal with standards?
• Are CE marks EU standards?
• Are international standards compulsory or voluntary?
• Surely we should try to make life simpler?
• Does reclaiming sovereignty have a cost?
• And standards in services?
“Standards” and “regulations” are critically important for trade and have entered the public discussion about Britain’s future trade relationship with the EU and the rest of the world. But what are they? Are they the same? Are they compulsory or voluntary?
This is an attempt to explain as simply as possible how they work in international trade. And to keep it simple, it only deals with standards for goods — key, for example, to what happens on the Irish border after the UK leaves the EU — even though standards also exist in services. Continue reading “Standards, regulations and trade in goods — a primer”