German Stakeholders Proposed Cooperation Topics to Reduce Market Access Challenges ahead of Working Group Meeting in India

  • 25 November, 2019
  • Berlin

More than 30 representatives from industry associations and companies, standardisation bodies, and subordinate government organisations came together on 15th November 2019 to discuss next year’s topics and priorities for the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure. The meeting at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in Berlin took place in preparation of the 7th Annual Meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure which will be held on 16 and 17 January 2020 in New Delhi.

Dr Zielke, Head of the Standardisation Division of BMWi, highlighted the economic weight of India and its relevance for the German industry. German exports to India increased by 17% to EUR 12.5 billion in 2018. Within the framework of the 5th Indo-German Inter-Governmental Consultations in November, Chancellor Merkel reaffirmed the long-term economic cooperation between both countries and the common target to reduce technical barriers to trade. This underlines the relevance of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure which has been established by both countries in 2013. The Working Group aims to reduce technical barriers to trade, enhance product safety and strengthen consumer protection.

The participants discussed topics in the areas of mobility (automotive regulations and electric mobility), digital technologies (cybersecurity, data protection, Industry 4.0), machinery safety, energy, railways, chemicals, and medical devices.

The following topics were proposed by the stakeholders:

Cooperation on the emerging Indian machinery safety regulation shall be intensified. In order to support the implementation of the Indian machinery safety regulation, it was suggested that a mapping of international standards for machine safety should be prepared (e.g. assignment of type A, B and C standards). Conformity assessment was also identified as an important area of cooperation on machine safety.

In the cooperation on vehicles it was noted that within the framework of the dialogue with the Indian side the relevance of harmonised technical regulations (especially UN Vehicle Regulations) regarding Indian export promotion should be emphasised. According to the stakeholders, there are still challenges regarding the short-term announcement of new regulations and incomplete information (e.g. regarding the government strategy to promote electric and hybrid vehicles FAME-3). In the field of electric mobility, it was proposed to cooperate on standardisation for light four-wheeled vehicles (L7e).

The dialogue on cybersecurity issues shall be intensified on the basis of the discussion paper on cybersecurity currently being prepared by GPQI in the context of devices on the Internet of Things (IoT). The joint development of conformity assessment programmes in the area of data protection is regarded as a topic on which cooperation should be continued. In addition, the digitisation of conformity assessment was identified as a possible cooperation topic.

In the standardisation cooperation on Industry 4.0, the continuation of the dialogue to achieve a common understanding of concepts and terms was emphasized.

In the ongoing collaboration on application rules for the grid feed-in of renewable energies, the preparation of a guidance document was suggested. As a new topic in the field of energy it was proposed to examine the exchange with the Indian side regarding the development of a sustainable/green finance taxonomy as well as standards and benchmarks. The same was proposed for a cooperation in the field of metro and high-speed transport as a key challenge is the introduction of relevant standards for infrastructure.

In addition, an exchange on the technical regulation of chemicals and petrochemicals, market surveillance and on the implementation of regulations was proposed, as well as cooperation on standards for the safe transport of hazardous chemicals.

It was also suggested to continue with the standardisation dialogue which was established in 2019, and establish a regular exchange on regulatory developments in the field of medical devices.

In the future field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the joint structuring of the topic and the exchange of ideas, opportunities, obstacles, ethical and technical standards were discussed as possible topics.

At the 7th Annual Meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure in January, the cooperation topics will be agreed upon with the signing of a new annual Work Plan between BMWi and the Indian Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.

The Preparatory Meeting was organised by GIZ – the German Agency for International Cooperation. GIZ has been commissioned by BMWi to support the implementation of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure within the framework of BMWi’s Global Project Quality Infrastructure (GPQI).

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