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Review of Mutual Recognition

Commissioned Study

This study has concluded. The research report was released on 17 October 2003.

The Commonwealth Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a review of the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) and the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (TTMRA) and furnish a report to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, on behalf of the Treasurer, within 9 months of commencing the study, the acts governing the MRA and TTMRA are the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 and the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997.

Mutual recognition is a convention whereby two or more governments agree to recognise each other's regulations, even where such regulations differ. The MRA, which is between all Australian states and territories, commenced operation in 1993; and the TTMRA, which is between Australia and New Zealand, came into operation in 1998.

These arrangements, which are closely integrated, encompass mutual recognition of regulations relating to the sale of goods and the registration of occupations. They enable goods legally available for sale in one jurisdiction to be sold in others, and for a person registered to practice an occupation in one jurisdiction to do so elsewhere.

The study was to:

  • assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the MRA and TTMRA in:
    • fostering and enhancing trade and workforce mobility between Australian States and Territories and New Zealand
    • enhancing the international competitiveness of Australia and New Zealand businesses and Trans Tasman business sectors
    • enhancing the capacity of Australia and New Zealand to influence international norms and standards.
  • consider whether any changes to the MRA and TTMRA and the related legislation, or the implementation thereof, are required to improve their operation
  • examine whether broadening the scope and objectives of the MRA and TTMRA would enhance their efficiency and effectiveness, and if so, how this might be done
  • examine options for ensuring that MRA and TTMRA issues are considered early in domestic policy processes and that implications for the schemes' regulation coordination are taken into account.

Draft report

The draft report for this project is not available online.

Contact the Commission's Web Team to request an electronic copy.

Please note: The draft report is for research purposes only. For final outcomes of this study refer to the research report.