Agreement on the mutual recognition of voluntary standards for business and industry

BSI has signed an agreement with China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) on the mutual recognition of voluntary standards for business and industry. This Memorandum of Understanding will enable British Standards to be more widely accepted in China.

Under the agreement, UK Plc will be able to request that the Chinese adopt the British Standard for specific products and services. This will remove the need for a British company to demonstrate that it has met the equivalent Chinese standard - a breakthrough for UK-China trade - and will facilitate market access, saving time and money, and delivering real competitive advantage.

This agreement will help open up the Chinese market to British companies that had limited or restricted access and will benefit UK business, particularly SMEs, which sell products and services into China. Through the mutual recognition and adoption of British Standards, it will give buyers and sellers confidence in the goods and services they are purchasing.

BSI has had a strong relationship with SAC for ten years, collaborating in the development of standards for business and industry. In the future, the partnership will focus on areas, such as corporate governance, emerging technologies, sustainable development and smart cities. This agreement will further strengthen and raise the profile of this relationship, to underpin trade between UK and China, especially in businesses that use standards to accelerate their route to market, and to drive innovation and growth.

BSI has received proposals from UK stakeholders on which standards they would like BSI to promote to China for adoption and have put those proposals forward to SAC. In addition, internal analysis focusing on trade priorities for both countries has identified a number of standards to be proposed in the future. BSI welcomes further proposals from UK stakeholders.

BSI & SAC in the International environment

Cooperation between SAC and BSI covers a wide range of technical and policy issues of importance to both countries. The two organizations jointly hold several ISO Secretariats to lead international standardization in areas serving UK and Chinese industry interests, e.g. Energy Management and Quality Management, and BSI has provided on-going training and capacity building to SAC staff over the years to improve the SAC contribution and effectiveness in international standardization.

British Standards for Chinese national adoption/mutual recognition

Initial engagement with external stakeholders in the UK has identified a number of priority areas.  These are: toy safety, lifts, cranes, ceramics, smart cities and building information modelling (BIM), facilities management (FM), structural eurocodes, fire, sustainability, and governance.

In addition, BSI recently conducted an internal research project to identify Standards in priority areas for UK-China trade based on UKTI and FCO identification.

Chinese Standards for UK national adoption/mutual recognition

SAC have proposed an initial 37 GB standards for national adoption / recognition. BSI is currently analysing  the standards proposed against the catalogue of British standards and will be submitted to the relevant Technical Committees for their consideration.