Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement
The Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (TTMRA) is a non-Treaty arrangement between the Australian (Commonwealth), State and Territory governments of Australia and the Government of New Zealand, under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997.
The TTMRA builds on, and is a natural extension of, the 1992 Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments of Australia. The Commonwealth legislation implementing the domestic MRA, the Mutual Recognition Act 1992, entered into force in 1993. At the time of signing the domestic MRA, the Parties agreed to examine the potential benefits of participation by New Zealand in a scheme covering mutual recognition principles.
What is covered by the TTMRA?
In 1996, the Commonwealth, States and Territories and New Zealand signed the Arrangement establishing the TTMRA. The purpose of the TTMRA was to implement mutual recognition principles relating to the sale of goods and the registration of occupations. These principles, with a few exceptions, state that:
- a good that may legally be sold in Australia may be sold in New Zealand, and a good that may be legally sold in New Zealand may be sold in Australia. This is regardless of differences in standards or other sale-related regulatory requirements between Australia and New Zealand; and
- a person registered to practise an occupation in Australia is entitled to practise an equivalent occupation in New Zealand, and vice versa, without the need for further testing or examination.
The TTMRA entered into force on 1 May 1998.
The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research administers the TTMRA as it relates to goods.
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, through the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR) administers the TTMRA as it relates to occupations.
What are the benefits of the TTMRA?
The TTMRA provides a simple, low cost and low maintenance mechanism for overcoming unnecessary regulatory impediments to trade in goods and the movement of skilled practitioners between Australia and New Zealand. Benefits flowing from the TTMRA include:
- lower costs to business and improved competitiveness from being able to manufacture to a single standard;
- greater choice for consumers; and
- greater cooperation between regulatory authorities.
The TTMRA does not affect laws that regulate the manner in which goods are sold or laws relating to quarantine; endangered species; firearms and other prohibited or offensive weapons; fireworks; indecent material; ozone protection; agricultural and veterinary chemicals; gaming machines; therapeutic goods; road vehicles; certain radiocommunications equipment; hazardous substances; industrial chemicals and dangerous goods; and gas appliance standards.
The TTMRA incorporates a Temporary Exemption mechanism giving participating jurisdictions the right to ban unilaterally, for 12 months, the sale of goods in their jurisdiction for health and safety reasons. Before the Temporary Exemption expires, the Ministerial Council responsible for the affected good is required to determine whether a particular standard should apply to the good, and if so, the appropriate standard. Ministerial Council determinations are governed by the Council of Australian Governments "Best Practice Regulation - A Guide for Ministerial Councils and National Standard Setting Bodies".
Contact: Brian Phillips
Manager, Standards and Conformance Policy
Trade and International Branch
Ph: +61 2 6213 6156