Mutual Recognition Agreements/Arrangements (MRAs) are government-to-government trade facilitating measures aimed at a global approach to conformity assessment. (These agreements should not be confused with the Mutual Recognition Arrangements between accrediting organizations.) The government-to-government agreements can be multi-sector, as in the US-EU MRA, covering more than one group of products. The agreements can also be multi-lateral, as in the APEC Tel MRA, providing a framework for all member economies (countries) to follow. In each of the agreements, participating countries agree to accept the test results and/or product approvals performed by the Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) of the other country.
A primary objective of the MRAs is to ease the burden on manufacturers and reduce the cost and time to market for products by implementing transparent conformity assessment processes while ensuring that products that reach the market are compliant with the FCC rules. MRAs only address the issue of acceptance of conformity assessment results and do not attempt to harmonize regulatory requirements or technical standards.
Within the text of the MRAs the term CAB was developed to identify the organizations performing conformity assessment. A CAB is a body which may include a testing laboratory or a private third-party certification body that is designated to perform conformity assessment to an importing Party's technical regulations under the terms of the MRA.
Under the FCC's Equipment Authorization Program there are two types of Conformity Assessment Bodies:
- FCC-recognized accredited testing laboratories are used to perform testing of equipment subject to the certification equipment authorization procedure. (List of FCC-recognized accredited testing laboratories.)
- Telecommunication Certification Bodies (TCBs) are used to perform third-party certification of equipment subject to the FCC requirements that require the product to be certified. (List of FCC recognized TCBs)
The FCC participates in the following MRAs:
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Telecom MRA
- European Free Trade Association (EFTA) MRA
- European Union MRA
- Inter-American Telecommunications Committee (CITEL) of the Organization of American States MRA
- Israel MRA
- Japan MRA
- Mexico MRA
- United Kingdom MRA
FCC procedures for the implementation the Telecom Mutual Recognition Agreements – KDB Publication 901874.