Vol. 61 No. 89 Tuesday, May 7, 1996 p 20513 (Notice) National Institute of Standards and Technology
NOTICES European Union (EU) commerce; identification of bodies to perform product conformity assessment activities, 20513 05/07/96 National Institute of Standards and Technology [Docket No. 960405101-6101-0] RIN 0693-XX17 Request To Identify Bodies Interested in European Union (EU) Conformity Assessment Activities AGENCY: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Commerce. ACTION: Request for public comment.SUMMARY: This is to advise the public that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking input regarding the identification of bodies which can perform conformity assessment of products that will ultimately be entered into commerce in the European union (EU). This information is requested in support of ongoing negotiations between the United States and the EU for mutual recognition of product approvals pursuant to regulatory requirements. At the present time, we wish to identify and report to the EU those U.S. organizations that believe that they are qualified and are interested in certifying products as being in compliance with mandatory EU product safety requirements, that is, U.S.-based organizations that desire to be recognized as equivalent to notified or competent body status under a U.S.- EU mutual recognition agreement (MRA), as specified in the EU directives covering telecommunications terminal equipment (TTE) (EEC 89/263), electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) (89/336), low voltage electrical equipment (LVD) (EEC 73/23), and recreational craft (EEC 94/25). The areas of present interest are the following: (1) Product testing and quality assessment; (2) quality system registration; (3) evaluation of technical construction files (specific to the EMC directive); and (4) product certification. Copies of the pertinent EU directives and related lists of reference standards are available at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 3042, Herbert C. Hoover Building, 14th and Constitution Avenue, Washington, D.C., or NIST, building 820, Room 164, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Organizations are invited to inform NIST of their interest in carrying out any of the activities listed above under specific EU directives, indicating the scope of their claimed competence and identifying specific standards, test methods, etc. Organizations should note current accreditation by a recognized national, regional or international accreditation body to a recognized or international standard and, if possible, provide information demonstrating that they actively engaged in conformity assessment procedures related to relevant EU directives. This may include subcontractor relationships with EU notified or competent bodies.
Based on responses to this notice, NIST will compile a list of interested organizations. This list will be provided to European Commission officials to illustrate the types of organizations that may be qualified and subsequently considered for U.S. designated conformity assessment body status. It is emphasized that organizations do not automatically qualify as designated conformity assessment bodies simply by responding to this notice. Formal application and processing under NVCASE or equivalent program will be required before designated status can be granted. (OMB Control No. 0693- 0019).
DATES: Comments on this request must be received by June 6, 1996.
ADDRESSES: Comments should be submitted in writing to Dr. Belinda L. Collins, Director, Office of Standards Services, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Building 820, room 282, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, by fax at 301-963-2871 or by e- mail to email@example.com.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Dr. Belinda L. Collins, in writing at NIST, Building 820, room 282, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, by telephone at 301-975-4000, by fax at 301-963-2871 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. Government is currently engaged in negotiations with the EU for the purpose of entering into a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) regarding the acceptance of each other's testing and certification programs in regulated product areas. Under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (P.L. 104-113), signed March 7, 1996, NIST is designated as the federal agency with responsibility for coordinating accreditation activities. NIST also operates the National voluntary Conformity Assessment System Evaluation (NVCASE) program as a means of providing U.S. domestic entities with a U.S. Government ``assurance of competency'' to facilitate the acceptance of test data or product certifications issued in this country by governments of other countries on the same basis as test data or product certification issued in the other country.
This notice is a solicitation of interest on the part of U.S. conformity assessment entities in obtaining U.S. government recognition of their technical competence pursuant to a U.S.- EU MRA.
Interested persons should respond in writing to the above address. All comments submitted in response to this notice will become part of the public record and will be available for inspection and copying at the U.S. Department of Commerce Central Reference and Records and Inspection Facility, Room 6020, Herbert C. Hoover Building, 14th and Constitution Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20230.
Dated: April 30, 1996.
[FR Doc. 96-11288 Filed 5-6-96; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-M
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