All posts by Manfred Kohler

Referring to standards: never think there is no further alternative

In particular for technical sectors, regulators tend to refer to international or national standards as a means to set up requirements. This article examines some risks and downsides of (classic) direct and specific referencing, a referencing that makes the standards mandatory (A.). Furthermore it presents a matrix that can be used to generate dozens or hundreds of alternative techniques of referencing that avoid these risks and downsides and describes in more details a few favourite techniques (B.). Continue reading Referring to standards: never think there is no further alternative

Three new approaches to enforcement of product legislation

Classic product legislation currently reaches its limits in several ways. One is 3D-printing which has been the topic of a separate article1. But the main issue is that the many control systems, be they pre-market or post-market oriented, tend to fail in front of an ever increasing number of economic operators and products and rather decreasing resources of state authorities. This article explores three novel approaches. These approaches can and should be used to complement the classic pre- and post-market verification. Some of them might even become alternatives thereto. Continue reading Three new approaches to enforcement of product legislation

Not just another tax: how to reflect environmental and social goals in legislation?

Tax legislators, product legislators and service legislators are sometimes confronted with the political wish to integrate environmental or social goals into regulation. This is an understandable wish, well intended. However, the devil is in the detail. We will see in this article where exactly, and how, the devil could possibly be outplayed. Continue reading Not just another tax: how to reflect environmental and social goals in legislation?

Research and Technology Risks: Part IV – A Prototype Regulation

The following prototype regulation shows that it is possible to cover all kinds of research and technology risks in one piece of regulation, making the currently practiced piece-meal approach superfluous. Compared with the practice of developing particular pieces of regulation e.g. for biotechnology, nuclear science, geo-engineering and always running behind the new technologies popping-up, this regulatory approach permits an easy handling and a faster and more complete coverage of research and technology risks. Continue reading Research and Technology Risks: Part IV – A Prototype Regulation

Better than bilateral trade agreements: unilateral recognition of approvals / certificates and approval / certification hubs

This article analyses the regulatory tool “unilateral recognition of foreign product or service approvals or certificates”. This tool might in the future play a crucial role in favour of international trade. Furthermore, this article shows how jurisdictions, by applying extremely stringent approval or certification criteria on an optional basis, could become approval / certification hubs, to the benefit of many other jurisdictions and their own. Continue reading Better than bilateral trade agreements: unilateral recognition of approvals / certificates and approval / certification hubs