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Impact of Mutual Recognition on Regulations in Australia

Office of Regulation Review information paper

This paper was released on 30 January 1997. It discusses the impact of mutual recognition of regulations on labour market mobility and interstate trade in goods since 1993.

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Mutual recognition is an important force for the reform of costly or inappropriate regulation in Australia, according to an Information Paper released today by the Office of Regulation Review (ORR).

Mutual recognition involves Australian governments agreeing to recognise each others' regulations covering the registration of occupations and the sale of goods.

For occupations, mutual recognition seems to be achieving its primary goal of overcoming many regulatory barriers to the movement of people in registered occupations. It does not appear to have had any significant unintended consequences.

For goods, the paper finds that mutual recognition has enhanced interstate trade in some sectors of the economy by removing regulatory impediments to such trade. It has contributed to the development of national standards in some sectors. It has not resulted in the sale of goods with unacceptably low standards.

Based in part on a 1995-96 ORR survey, the paper notes that there appears to have been a significant increase in the mobility of registered people due to mutual recognition. For example, in 1994-95 nearly 9000 people, or 15 per cent of all registrations, registered under mutual recognition. By June 1995 a total of 15,194 had registered using the scheme.

Mutual recognition has contributed to the development of national competency standards for over 20 occupations, including nurses, optometrists and physiotherapists. It has also put pressure on, or provided an opportunity for, some occupations to move towards national standards.

The ORR says that it is not aware of any cases where mutual recognition has led to an unacceptable reduction in standards for occupations. In addition, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal appeals mechanism appears to work well. No complaints about this process were made by respondents to the ORR's survey.

Further information

Leonora Nicol (Media, Publications and Web) 02 6240 3239 / 0417 665 443

Preliminaries
Cover, Copyright, Contents, Executive Summary

1 Introduction
1.1 What is mutual recognition?
1.2 The rationale, implementation and review of mutual recognition in Australia
1.3 Goals and approach of this Information Paper

2 Mutual Recognition of Registered Occupations
2.1 Background
2.2 Scope and operation of mutual recognition for occupations
2.3 Limitations of mutual recognition of occupations
2.4 The impact of mutual recognition
2.5 Is the AAT working effectively as a dispute resolution mechanism?
2.6 Summary

3 A National Market for goods?
3.1 Background
3.2 The legislative framework
3.3 The limitations of mutual recognition for goods
3.4 The impact of mutual recognition
3.5 Summary

4 Conclusions

Appendix A Registered Occupations

Appendix B The ORR 1995-96 Survey of Registration Agencies
B.1 Survey results
B.1.1 Registrations for the period 1994-95
B.1.2 Registrations as at June 1995
B.1.3 Rejection of applications under mutual recognition
B.1.4 Record keeping by registration agencies
B.2 General comments on mutual recognition by survey participants

Appendix C ORR 1995-96 Survey Participants

Appendix D Copy Of Survey Form

Appendix E Applications to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)
E.1 Security industry firearms instructor
E.2 Conveyancer
E.3 NSW Nurse seeking registration in the Northern Territory
E.4 NSW Nurse seeking registration in ACT

Bibliography

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