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CER ministers launch Trans-Tasman mutual

The Hon Mark Vaile MP The Hon Phil Goff MP
Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Trade
Minister for Trade Minister for Trade Negotiations

The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP The Hon Lianne Dalziel MP
Minister for Industry, Minister of Commerce
Tourism and Resources

20 September 2006

Media Statement

CER ministers launch Trans-Tasman mutual recognition guide

Australian and New Zealand Ministers at their meeting in Cairns today released an updated Users’ Guide to the Mutual Recognition Agreement and Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement.

The updated Users’ Guide was a key recommendation of the first five-yearly combined review of the Australian Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) and the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (TTMRA) concluded by governments in 2005. The review recognised the central role that the TTMRA plays in supporting a more integrated single economic market.

“While the Arrangement is on the whole operating well there is need to better inform both business stakeholders and regulators of the strategic objectives and obligations of mutual recognition obligations under the Arrangement,” Ministers said.

Under the TTMRA, goods that may be legally sold in Australia may be legally sold in New Zealand and vice versa regardless of differences in standards and other sales-related regulatory requirements. A person registered to practise an occupation in one country is entitled to practise an equivalent occupation in the other country without the need to undergo further testing or examination. A similar scheme, the MRA, operates between the Australian States and Territories.

“The TTMRA has significantly reduced transaction costs associated with the sale of goods and occupational registration on both sides of the Tasman” Ministers said. “Without mutual recognition, the growing integration of the Australian and New Zealand economies would simply not be possible. The Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement has been, and will continue to be, an important driver of regulatory co-ordination”.

The Users’ Guide is designed to assist exporters, people in registered occupations, policy makers and regulators in both countries to understand better the arrangements and to ensure that the benefits of the mutual recognition are fully realised.

For the first time, the Users’ Guide also contains information on the MRA between the Australian States and Territories. This will help people to understand the difference between the MRA and the TTMRA and give them a clearer understanding of what their rights and responsibilities are under each scheme.

More information on mutual recognition, along with electronic copies of the Users’ Guide, can be found on the websites of the Council of Australian Governments (www.coag.gov.au), the Australian Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade (www.dfat.gov.au), Industry, Tourism and Resources (www.industry.gov.au) and Education, Science and Training (www.dest.gov.au) and the New Zealand Ministry for Economic Development (www.med.govt.nz).

ENDS

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