NMMA and European trade group join on regulatory issues

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National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich and European Boating Industry president Robert Marx signed a joint declaration stating the intent of both organizations to work together to reduce and eliminate what they called unnecessary regulatory costs and unjustified regulatory differences between the European Union and the United States in the boating industry.

The common declaration is occurring during wider EU-U.S. trade negotiations that were launched in July under the name Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership.

Marx said “the U.S. and the EU are natural trade partners and have a long tradition of exchanges in the boating industry, both at the supply chain level (for example, engines, equipment and components) and consumer levels. With similar boating cultures and notions of safety and environmental protection, regulatory differences are making trade complicated and expensive without bringing significant benefits to the final consumers.”

“The TTIP presents an opportunity to streamline regulations among the U.S. and European boating industries,” Dammrich said. “This move brings us closer to global harmonization of safety and environmental standards, while promoting business growth and trade.”

European Boating Industry and the NMMA submitted to EU and U.S. authorities a working paper in which they outlined the objectives they want to achieve under current trade negotiations. The paper sets out a common approach based on the concept of “functional equivalence” of European CE-marked and U.S.-certified products, with a procedure for achieving full equivalence on the regulatory aspects, which are still different today in certain products and areas.

Both leaders believe the inclusion of the boating industry in the U.S.-EU trade agreement could become a significant milestone for improving and simplifying trade conditions between the United States and Europe for thousands of small and medium-size companies in the boating industry.

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