Border Crossing Tests

June 27, 2017

Exporters will not have to test their products abroad before deliveries start. The results of tests in Russian laboratories will be internationally recognized.

The main requirement for this has been met — the Federal Service for Accreditation has achieved adherence to the Mutual Recognition Arrangement of the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC MRA). The decision was made by APLAC based on the results of the on-site evaluation, which experts of the organization conducted at the end of last year, said the Head of RusAccreditation Alexey Khersontsev. This was preceded by a pro-active "cleaning" of the market of compliance assessment from fraudsters, which is, however, not yet completed.

APLAC includes the United States, Canada, China, India, Australia and other major economies. Russia became the 38th participant of APLAC MRA. Membership in this club means virtually automatic admission to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC). It will be formalized at the ILAC General Assembly, which will be held from 21-30 October in Vancouver.

It will be easier for exporters to promote their products. For big business, the costs of foreign certification are mainly measured by the time spent, and for medium-sized and small ones it means sizable expenses, too.

This autumn RusAccreditation expects to issue the first permits for use of APLAC MRA marks in the test reports. For a certain range of goods in different countries (depends on country specific requirements), this will be enough to obtain a foreign certificate.

"The recognition of APLAC will save time for big businesses,

and sizable amount of money for medium-sized and small ones."

Countries use certification as one of the main barriers for protection of their manufacturers. Respectively, the goods in the import, of which they are interested, can be set to "soft" mode of accessing the market, and vice versa. For example, the EU has been fenced off by a particularly complicated and burdensome certification system.

These barriers can be removed through bilateral agreements, and Russia's accession to APLAC and ILAC is a prerequisite for them, said the Deputy Minister of Economic Development Savva Shipov. According to Alexey Khersontsev, preliminary negotiations on the launch of mutual recognition programs for the test results have already been started with a number of APLAC participants, including China. Objectives for negotiations (the main products of export interest) should be determined by the Russian Export Center.

Moreover, adherence to APLAC/ILAC alone is sufficient to recognize testing protocols for certification in corporate systems that are owned by international companies. More often, these very protocols and not the mandatory requirements established by governments are crucial for Russian exporters.

For work under the mark of APLAC, testing laboratories must take on a number of heightened obligations that will be developed during the summer. Tests for exporters will have to be carried out in compliance with international methods only. According to Aleksey Khersontsev’s assessment, 20-30 percent of accredited laboratories in the country may be interested in this additional opportunity.

Igor Zubkov

// Rossiyskaya Gazeta - Capital Issue, vol.7305 (139)