Sustainability in Conformity Assessment: Flexibility of Technical Harmonization
The beginnings of the European Union (EU) can be attributed to the desire to promote mutual cooperation and trade in order to support production facilitation. This chapter aims to present recommendations for the improvement of the technical harmonization and conformity assessment system based on the evaluation of the existing approaches. The necessity for assessment of the existing technical harmonization approaches arose in line with the development of manufacturing and technologies, changes in management strategies and development of global value chains (GVC) where different stages of the production process are located across different countries. The research mainly employed qualitative research methods: analysis of regulations and binding documents, logical constructive analysis and comparison, interviews with experts. The authors have established an interrelation between the technical harmonization approaches and are proposing to adopt a new approach—the Technical Harmonization Approach. Through that authors encompass all elements that are essential for product quality assurance and conformity assessment to facilitate product global supply and distribution. In addition, the authors propose to adopt unified requirements for metrology and conformity assessment of products when they are in use within the EU single market. In order to facilitate the application of requirements, the authors have grouped them and propose to separately regulate each of these groups. Through that authors propose development of post sales activities. The development of methodologies of technical harmonization approaches would facilitate the work of manufacturers and other stakeholders; it would promote manufacturing of qualitative products as well as sustainable development of entrepreneurship. It is suggested that the results of this research can be used by a number of stakeholders: manufacturers, traders, consumers, etc. At the same time, the results can be used as a basis for further improvement of technical harmonization approaches and sustainability of conformity assessment that would facilitate global trade and help manufacturers to participate in GVCs.
KeywordsConformity assessment Flexible systems management Global value chain Technical harmonization
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