The national accreditation system receives international recognition

October 30, 2017

On October 29, in Vancouver, Canada, the General Assembly of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) announced the accession of the Federal Service for Accreditation to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC MRA).

During the official ceremony, Head of the RusAccreditation Alexey Khersontsev was handed over a copy of the International Laboratories Accreditation Cooperation for Testing and Calibration Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ISO/IEC 17025) signed by him and the ILAC Chair Merih Malmqvist Nilson. The ceremony was also attended by the first Head of the Federal Service for Accreditation, Savva Shipov, who is currently holding the post of Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

The full entry of RusAccreditation in the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation, the global international accreditation organization, is the result of the official accession of RusAccreditation to the Asia-Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation MRA (APLAC MRA) on June 21, 2017.

Thus, RusAccreditation implemented p. 3 of the Action Plan ("Road Map") to ensure the international integration of the national accreditation system, developed in pursuance of the Government of the Russian Federation Order dated February 19, 2015. This is one of the main stages to implement the priority project "System Measures for the Development of International Cooperation and Export".

Joining the ILAC MRA means a global recognition of the work quality of the national accreditation system and marks the beginning of a new stage in the program for supporting Russian exports, as well as the more impressive participation of Russian experts at the annual IAF-ILAC Meetings, incorporating various committees and working groups, and full participation in the international activities.

"The ILAC MRA status opens new opportunities for domestic exporters when Russian products are exported their products not only to the markets of the Asia-Pacific region, but also to the markets of dozens of other countries. The membership in this club means that RusAccreditation has joined global partnership and after that the accredited testing laboratories will be able to use the ILAC MRA Mark on their protocols with the permission of RusAccreditation. This will make it easier for Russian exporters to promote their products since the presence of the ILAC MRA Mark on the production testing reports shall be mandatory for the recognition abroad of the testing results performed in Russia," said Aleksey Khersontsev.

"International recognition of Russian accreditation system is an important step to improve the quality of conformity assessment and simplify the export of Russian products. Many worked at this project for six years and I would like to congratulate them with this significant result and thank them for their professional work. During these six years, a unified national accreditation system was built in Russia and a new branch of legislation was formed that fully complies with the provisions of the international standards. We have also established very good working contacts with the accreditation bodies of several countries and international associations, including the European Accreditation Cooperation whose specialists took a direct part in the preparation of the legislative framework for accreditation, " - noted the Deputy Minister of Economic Development Savva Shipov. He also stressed that all key decisions in the accreditation field were made on the basis of the principles of openness and transparency, involving representatives of the expert and professional community who are members of the Public Council under RusAccreditation. "This is the result of their work, too" stressed the Deputy Minister.

The next step, as Savva Shipov noted, is signing of a similar arrangement with the International Accreditation Forum, as well as signing of intergovernmental agreements with trading partners of Russia.

RusAccreditation became the 92nd participant of the ILAC MRA, an agreement that unites 92 accreditation bodies from 95 world economies and "provides mutual recognition of accreditation by signatories within the declared scope and on the basis of equivalence of product certification used for accreditation of conformity assessment bodies. Such recognition is an important tool used by international trade participants to ensure favorable environment for the promotion of their goods to foreign markets.

By joining the Mutual Recognition Arrangement of ILAC MRA, RusAccreditation undertakes to follow the rules and will promote the following ILAC goals: development and harmonization of the laboratory accreditation system and regulatory bodies; promotion of accreditation of laboratories and regulatory bodies; promotion and support of developing accreditation systems; global recognition of the laboratory and regulatory authorities through the ILAC MRA Arrangement.

In the nearest future, a document regulating the the use of the ILAC MRA Mark by accredited testing and calibration laboratories in the Russian Federation will be prepared and posted on the RusAccreditation website.

Note

ILAC is the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation established in 1977 for the development of international collaboration in order to promote trade development by promoting the acceptance of accreditation results and calibration tests. In 1996 ILAC has become an official collaboration the main purpose of which is to establish links between accreditation bodies worldwide. On November 02, 2000 in Washington, 36 accreditation bodies from 28 countries signed the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement to help develop international trading system by recognizing the results of testing and calibrations obtained in laboratories of different countries. Accreditation allows people to make a conscious decision when choosing a laboratory since accreditation demonstrates its competence, impartiality and capabilities.

Joining the ILAC and IAF does not automatically mean free circulation of goods because the requirements for products and methods of research can differ significantly from one country to another. Real recognition of certificates can be ensured  either through regional associations, such as the Eurasian Economic Union, where a uniform accreditation procedure is backed up by equivalent requirements in other areas, or through signing of bilateral government agreements.