European Parliament Approves New Israeli Trade Agreement

— by Sharon Bender

B’nai B’rith International commends the European Parliament for voting in favor of the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA), a technical agreement within the European Union-Israel Trade Agreement designed to facilitate and ease pharmaceutical trade.

The ACAA will allow Israeli pharmaceutical companies to export their products to the EU without having to obtain additional certification outside of domestic approval. This is recognition of the high standards of the Israeli pharmaceutical industry, an area where Israel has been a pioneer of quality and excellence.

More after the jump.
B’nai B’rith International also applauds the Members of the European Parliament who passed the ACAA with a total of 379 votes in favor.

The ACAA was stuck in the international trade committee for two years and the rapporteur for the agreement pushed to delay the vote, saying Israel should not be awarded with improved trade relations given the EU’s “condemnation of the Israeli government’s policy regarding the occupied territories.”

It eventually passed by a wide margin through the persistence of several Members of the European Parliament. These Members not only saw an opportunity to strengthen EU-Israeli relations, but also an opportunity to benefit EU citizens with Israel’s cutting-edge expertise in this field. The agreement will result in reduced costs for European patients and Israeli manufacturers, faster access to EU markets, availability of a wider range of medications and enhanced quality control of pharmaceuticals produced in non-EU countries.