European Parliament approves EU-Israel agreement to simplify trade (25/10/2012)

After more than two years of extensive debate the European Parliament approved on 23 October 2012 the EU and Israel Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of industrial products (ACAA), including an annex in the area of pharmaceutical products, signed on 6 May 2010. The agreement was approved with 379 votes in favour 230 against and 41 abstentions.

Once in force, the agreement will remove technical barriers to trade, cut manufacturers' costs and enable them to get their products to market faster. For European and Israeli consumers, it will mean lower prices and a wider range of generic products.

The ACAA will allow Israeli exporters to access the European Single Market without any further conformity assessment requirements and vice versa. The testing and certification procedures will only need to be carried out one time for both markets and against the same EU requirements or standards aligned by Israel. The recognition of certification is likely to generate savings and stimulate exports, adding to the competitiveness of both Israeli and EU industry.

Benefits for European and Israeli consumers are also important: in facilitating the entry on the respective markets of high-quality generic pharmaceutical products the agreement will increase the provision of affordable medicines to patients. 

Benefits for exporters include reduced time for accessing a dynamic foreign market, the predictability of market conditions, the removal of commercial protection barriers, and the harmonisation of systems.

Next steps

After the completion of all procedures in the Council of the EU for ACAA's conclusion, its publication and entry into force will allow the EU to continue preparatory work on removing technical barriers to trade in other sectors not yet covered by ACAA.

For further details: David Kriss, 054-2240772