Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) for Conformity Assessment of Telecommunications Equipment


In June 1998, the APEC Telecommunications and Information Ministers agreed to update APEC-wide processes for the testing and type-approval of telecommunications equipment. This landmark arrangement, the Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Conformity Assessment of Telecommunications Equipment (APEC TEL MRA), was the first multilateral agreement of its type in the world.

The MRA is a government to government arrangement which is a framework that goes into effect when two or more economies agree to implement. It is intended to streamline the Conformity Assessment Procedures for a wide range of telecommunications and telecommunications-related equipment and facilitates trade among the APEC member economies.

It provides for the mutual recognition of Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) and mutual acceptance of the results of testing and equipment certification procedures undertaken by those bodies in assessing conformity of equipment to the importing economy's Technical Regulations.

In order to implement the U.S. requires an exchange of letters between participating economies to define the details of the agreement. The exchange letters also identify a designating authority (DA) in each economy that is recognized by the FCC. All interaction regarding the APEC CABs is submitted to the FCC through the DA.


The scope of the MRA includes all equipment subject to telecommunications regulations, including wire and wireless, network terminal attachments, terrestrial and satellite equipment. For such equipment the APEC TEL MRA covers electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), radio and telephone terminal equipment requirements.

General Information about MRA

The APEC TEL MRA is a multi-lateral, single sector agreement regarding the conformity assessment of telecommunications equipment. The MRA has two phases:

* Phase I is for the mutual acceptance of test data.

* Phase II is for the mutual acceptance of equipment approvals.

There are 21 economies which are members of APEC.

The APEC TEL meets twice a year and as part of these meetings the MRA Task Force discusses common implementation and operational issues. A current project of the MRA Task Force is discussing a new MRA regarding the equivalence to technical standards between economies.

Participating Economies

The U.S. participates within the APEC Tel MRA in Phase 1 with*

  • Australia – Information exchanged October 2002, Operational March 2003

  • Canada – Information exchanged January 2002, Operational February 2003

  • Chinese Taipei – Information exchanged March 1999, Operational July 1999

  • Hong Kong, China – Information exchanged February 2005, Operational August 2005

  • Singapore – Information exchanged October 2003, Operational November 2003

  • Republic of Korea – Information exchanged May 2005, Operational May 2005

  • Viet Nam – Information exchanged June 2008, Operational June 2008 

  • Malaysia – Information exchanged June 2016, Operational July 2016

The U.S. participates within the APEC Tel MRA in Phase II with:* 

  • Canada Information exchanged January 2003, Operational January 2004

  • Hong Kong, China – Information exchanged February 2005, Operational April 2010.

  • Singapore Information exchanged October 2003, Operational April 2006

*To view the exchange letters with each economy click on the economy name above. 

Links/Supporting Information

The following documents and publications providing information on the MRA and information for economies to follow to enable them to participate can be found at: or by clicking on the links below:

  1. MRA Text

  1. Information Management Guide  

  1. Guide for Industry  

  1. Guide for Conformity Assessment Bodies  

For each APEC economy with a website, a link to their MRA web page can be found at:

In the U.S., the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a designating authority.  The NIST APEC TEL MRA website may be accessed at: