Vladimir Salamatov, General Director of the International Trade and Integration Research Center (ITI), and Iosif Aronov, Director of Scientific Research, gave a masterclass «Safe products market: Role of businesses and the state» for students of the Higher School of Economics (HSE). The event was held as part of the optional course provided by the HSE Department of the Theory and Practice of Business-Government Interaction. The central topic of the masterclass was technical regulation as an element in the functioning of a safe products market.
Technical regulation of the market for goods ensures a balanced interaction between businesses and the state, making it possible to remedy some market defects such as incompleteness or asymmetry of the available information about a marketed product.
The system of technical regulation instruments is a set of complementary elements. The state is responsible for product safety. It establishes mandatory requirements, stimulates modernization of production facilities, controls the system of conformity assessment, and provides overall supervision. Product features are controled by the market.
The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) establishes technical regulations — mandatory requirements for items covered by technical regulation that are legally binding on the territory of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). In addition to EAEU technical regulations, Russia has its own technical regulations established by internal regulatory acts.
«The state keeps a watchful eye on the system of technical regulation instruments because this system must be in line with the latest trends. In early 2019, RusAccreditation prepared documentation about abolishing outdated mandatory requirements in conformity assessment. This was done as part of the ’regulatory guillotine’ project», Vladimir Salamatov reminded the audience. Read more about this on our website here: Vladimir Salamatov speaks about implementing the ’regulatory guillotine’ mechanism in RusAccreditation.
Businesses make their contribution to technical regulation by financing standards development. Standards are designed to ensure competitiveness, high quality, uniformity of measurements, interchangeability, compatibility, test data and measurement data comparability, as well as technical, economic, and statistical data comparability. However, standards also serve another purpose — to facilitate compliance with technical regulations.
«The way standards influence businesses is determined by the type of the economy: like economy, like standardization. For instance, in 1925 the Committee for Standardization was created by the Council of Labor and Defense, and in 1926 the first all-union standard OST-1 Wheat: Breeding Strains of Grains: Nomenclature was established. This reflected the fact that the USSR was an agriculture-based economy», Iosif Aronov pointed out.
Henk J. De Vries, a standardization researcher, estimates in his paper «Standards for business. How companies benefit from participation in international standards setting//IEC centenary challenge, IEC, Geneva, 2006» that every dollar invested in standardization can yield up to 500 dollars.
Conversely, when there is no compatibility (i.e. no standardization), adaptation costs increase. Examples are plentiful and include different types of power sockets, different track gauges, different types of smartphone chargers, etc.
During the masterclass, Vladimir Salamatov and Iosif Aronov also touched upon some other topics, such as types of requirements in technical regulations and standards; trade barriers and restrictions for Russian non-commodity non-energy exports; regional agreements and mutual recognition mechanisms; the role of public councils in Russia and globally.
ITI experts give masterclasses for HSE students every February. Read about previous masterclasses here:
•"Specifics of the mode of interaction between businesses and the government amid trade wars"
•"Public councils attached to government agencies. Specifics of the mode of interaction between businesses and the government"