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Regulatory Cooperation and Standardization Policies

The UNECE Working Party on Regulatory Cooperation and Standardization Policies (WP.6) aims at promoting regulatory policies to protect the health and safety of consumers and workers, and preserve our natural environment, without creating unnecessary barriers to trade. To contribute to this goal, it develops recommendations, and undertakes sectoral initiatives and capacity-building activities.

The Working Party is a convening platform open to governments, regulatory bodies and administrations, but also, standardization bodies, the private sector, and the wide range of bodies that make up a country’s “quality infrastructure”. Historically, it has played an important advocacy role, promoting the use of standards by policy-makers and businesses, as tools for reducing technical barriers to trade, furthering innovation and competitiveness, promoting increased resilience to disasters, and fostering innovation and good governance.

After the adoption of Agenda 2030, the WP.6 became naturally a platform for the promotion of standards as a tool for the implementation of UN-wide agendas, in particular the SDGs but also other key landmark UN Agreements, especially as regards: the integration of standards in regulatory frameworks; the use of standards by policy-makers and business; and the development of institutional mechanisms and infrastructure needed to support the implementation of standards.

The recommendations and best practices developed by the Working Party are voluntary and are widely used by public authorities. They have been referenced as best practice by the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade and by the European Union. They have formed the basis of regulatory cooperation in the Commonwealth of Independent States and in the Eurasian Economic Commission. Since 1970, 19 Recommendations have been adopted.


Nineteen UNECE recommendations have been adopted by the Working Party since 1970 to address standardization and regulatory issues. They set out good practice regarding:

  • Regulatory cooperation
  • Metrology
  • Standards and Norms
  • Conformity assessment
  • Market surveillance

These recommendations are not binding and do not aim at rigidly aligning technical regulations across countries. Through these recommendations, the Working Party encourages rule makers to base their regulations on international standards to provide a common denominator to the norms that apply in different markets. It also seeks to promote agreements that enhance cooperation and mutual confidence in the technical competence, reliability and impartiality of other national bodies and institutions.

Download recommendations in English, French or Russian from the WP.6 website at

Starting with the most recent:

U. Gender-Responsive Standards  

T. Standards and Regulations for Sustainable Development  

S. Applying Predictive Risk Management Tools for Targeted Market Surveillance  

R. Managing Risk in Regulatory Frameworks  

P. Crisis Management within a Regulatory Framework

N. Good Market Surveillance Policies and Practices   

M. Use of Market Surveillance Infrastructure as a Complementary Means to Protect Consumers and Users against Counterfeit Goods   

L.  International Model for Transnational Regulatory Cooperation Based on Good Regulatory Practice   

K. Metrological Assurance of Conformity Assessment and Testing   

J.  Definitions   

I.  Education on Standards-Related Issues   

H. Presentation of UNECE Recommended Standards and Harmonized Technical Regulations   

G. Acceptance of Conformity Assessment Results   

F. Creation and Promotion of International Agreements on Conformity Assessment   

E. Treatment of Imported Products, Processes and Services   

D. Reference to Standards   

C. International Harmonization of Standards and Technical Regulations   

B. Coordination of Technical Regulations and Standardization   

A. Further Developments in International Cooperation on Technical Harmonization and Standardization Policies   

19 February 2021