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What is the APEC-TEL MRA?

The APEC-TEL Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) is a multilateral arrangement between economies in the APEC region. The APEC TEL MRA for Conformity Assessment of Telecommunications Equipment, which came into effect on 1 July 1999, facilitates the recognition of each other’s conformity assessment results.

The MRA for Equivalence of Technical Requirements, which was endorsed by the APEC Telecommunications Ministers on 31 October 2010, builds upon the MRA for Conformity Assessment by facilitating the recognition of equivalent standards or technical requirements and provides for a further reduction in the costs of conformity assessment.

These arrangements are intended to streamline the conformity assessment procedures for a wide range of telecommunications and telecommunications-related equipment, facilitating trade among the signatories to the APEC-TEL MRA.

What are the benefits of MRAs?

The APEC-TEL MRA provides benefits to Manufacturers, Conformity Assessment Bodies, Regulators and Consumers.

When manufacturers can build, test and ship their products to supply the global telecommunications infrastructure on a more rational, competitive basis, everyone wins. Regulators can be assured that users and networks will not be harmed, producers can more easily manage the approvals process, and consumers worldwide will have access to the same level of technology at the same time and under the same market conditions. Specific benefits include:

For Manufacturers

  • An opportunity to test and certify products one time to the requirements of multiple markets and ship products without further conformity assessment;
  • Increase certification efficiency for products exported to foreign markets, thus increasing export opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and
  • Decreasing time-to-market for companies manufacturing telecommunications equipment with shorter and shorter product life cycles, thus maximising export opportunities and allowing for rapid reinvestment in research and development for next-generation technologies.

For Conformity Assessment Bodies

  • Allowing conformity assessment bodies (CABs) to increase the value of their service by offering their clients a substantially wider portfolio, including testing and certifying products for multiple markets.

For Regulators

  • Reduction of regulatory resources required to certify terminal attachment and radio equipment;
  • An opportunity to reallocate a portion of these former certification costs to other areas;
  • An opportunity to reallocate a portion of these former certification costs to other areas;
  • Access to a pool of knowledge about the latest global trends and experiences regarding conformity assessment and regulatory systems.

For Consumers

  • Increasing consumer access to the widest variety of available technology;
  • Faster access to equipment at a lower cost; and
  • Speeding the development of telecommunications and Internet infrastructure.

Scope of equipment and parameters that can be covered by the MRA

The equipment scope covers equipment subject to telecommunications regulations of each party. It may include radio equipment, telecommunications equipment, and telephone terminal equipment. Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and electrical safety regulations may apply.

The following publications provide information on the MRA and procedures for economies to follow to enable them to participate.


1 Australia
2 Brunei Darussalam
3 Canada
4 Chile
5 People's Republic of China
6 Hong Kong, China
7 Indonesia
8 Japan
9 Republic of Korea
10 Malaysia
11 Mexico
12 New Zealand
13 Papua New Guinea
14 Peru
15 Philippines
16 Russia
17 Singapore
18 Chinese Taipei
19 Thailand
20 United States FCC or NIST
21 Viet Nam