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ACCREDITATION IN FOOD SECTOR Emerging Scenario. Anil Jauhri Director (NABCB) QUALITY COUNCIL OF INDIA New Delhi. INTERNATIONAL SCENARIO. International trade governed by WTO agreements Rules for Standards and Conformity laid down in TBT/SPS agreements

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accreditation in food sector emerging scenario


Anil Jauhri

Director (NABCB)


New Delhi

international scenario
  • International trade governed by WTO agreements
  • Rules for Standards and Conformity laid down in TBT/SPS agreements
  • Regulations on health and safety grounds – Food sector highly regulated – standards enforced by law – product requirements, system approach – GMP/GHP/HACCP
  • Voluntary regime – ISO 9000/22000, number of retail driven initiatives in Europe/USA – BRC, IFS, SQF, GFSI etc
  • Indian food industry to prepare for both
  • Common to both regimes - Requirements (Regulations/standards) prescribed –to be complied with – need for checking compliance
  • Checking compliance to prescribed standards – conformity assessment – inspection, testing, certification
  • Confidence in conformity assessment
  • International acceptability for facilitating trade - Need for recognition of inspection/testing/ certification across borders
  • Accomplished through accreditation
wto agreements
  • SPS Agreement - Equivalence-allows use of different standards & different inspection methods for same level of protection-encourages members to enter into bilateral/multilateral recognition agreements (Article 4)
  • TBT Agreement - Mutual recognition of conformity assessment in other countries – Accreditation (Article 6)
provision in tbt agreement

“Members shall ensure, whenever possible, that results of conformity assessment procedures in other Members are accepted…adequate and enduring technical competence of the relevant conformity assessment bodies in the exporting Member, so that confidence in the continued reliability of their conformity assessment results can exist; in this regard, verified compliance, for instance through accreditation, with relevant guides or recommendations issued by international standardizing bodies shall be taken into account as an indication of adequate technical competence”

Article 6

  • Third-party attestationrelated to a conformity assessment bodyconveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks – ISO 17000
  • Conformity assessment bodies – Certification bodies/ Inspection bodies/Labs
  • QCI – responsible for national accreditation structure
  • International Accreditation Forum (IAF) – Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) - NABCB member from India
  • International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) – Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) - NABL member from India
  • Basis of accreditation – generally international standards on conformity assessment developed by ISO/ IAF or ILAC guidance documents
accreditation standards

ISO CASCO - ISO's policy development committee on conformity assessment

  • ISO 17021 Requirements for Management Systems CBs
  • ISO 22003 Requirements for CBs for FSMS - basis for operation of CBs as well as their accreditation – cross refers to ISO 17021
  • ISO 17025 Requirements for Testing labs
  • ISO Guide 65 Requirements for Product CBs – covers Products, Process or Service certification
  • ISO 17020 Requirements for Inspection Bodies
codex standards

Codex Committee on Food Inspection & Certification (CCFICS)

  • CAC/GL 20 Principles for Food Import and Export Certification and Inspection
  • CAC/GL 26 Design, Operation, Assessment and Accreditation of Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems
  • CAC/GL 27 Guidelines for the Assessment of the Competence of Testing Laboratories Involved in the Import and Export Control of Foods
  • CAC/GL 28 Food Control Laboratory Management: Recommendations
  • CAC/GL 34 Judgement of Equivalence Agreements Regarding Food Imports and Export Inspection and Certification Systems
  • New subject – National Food Control Systems
emerging regime
  • Regulatory regime – Regulatory bodies increasingly seeking accredited CABs – more prevalent in non-food sectors – growing in food - e.g. HACCP accreditation in Australia on Victorian Meat Authority’s request in 1997 – UK DEFRA to use accredited micro labs
  • Voluntary standards – market driven - ISO 9001, ISO 22000 - generally retail industry driven – Globalgap, GFSI, SQF – prescribe accreditation to international standards as requirement for CBs and Labs
  • EC Regulation – legislation on accreditation in July 2008 – wef 1 Jan 2010 – single national accreditation body – impact worldwide
emerging structure
Emerging Structure


(to enact legislation)

Regulatory Bodies – may be sector specific like Food, Drugs

(to enforce the law)

Accreditation Body

(technical competence of CABs)

Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs)

(support regulation – voluntary certification/quality assurance)

Manufacturers and Service providers

Common man – recipient of goods and services

indian scenario
  • Integrated food law – FSSA, 2006
  • Prescribes NABL accreditation for food labs (Section 43)
  • Provision for food safety audit agencies (Section 44)
  • To use NABCB accredited bodies for MMPO
  • Cognizance of voluntary certification – draft licensing rules
  • QCI framing regulations for notifying testing/ referral labs - recognizing certification/ inspection bodies based on accreditation
  • Voluntary initiatives – CWG initiative for eateries – NABCB accredited certification bodies – currently 3 CBs approved
indian scenario contd
  • Financial assistance
  • DCSSI – subsidy for ISO 9000/14000/ 22000-NABCB accreditation;
  • APEDA – CBs for HACCP to be NABCB accredited for ISO 22000
  • MFPI – financial assistance for HACCP implementation – NABCB accredited certification
  • Others
  • UNWFP – suppliers to have ISO 22000 certificate from NABCB accredited CBs
about qci
  • Established in 1997 by a Cabinet decision – in partnership with CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM
  • Autonomous body – regd as society - Chairman appointed by PM (Ratan Tata, Venu Srinivasan, Dr. R.A.Mashelkar)
  • Provide accreditation structure in the country
  • Spread quality movement in India – assigned National Quality Campaign funded by Govt
  • Provide right and unbiased information on quality & related standards
  • Represent India’s interest in international fora
  • Help establish brand equity of Indian products and services
structure of qci
  • National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) – inspection/certification bodies
  • National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) – currently society under DST – testing/calibration/medical labs
  • National Accreditation Board for Education and Training (NABET) – auditors/consultants/training programmes
  • National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare providers (NABH) – hospitals, blood banks,
  • National Board for Quality Promotion (NBQP)
  • Quality Information and Enquiry Service
international recognition
  • Accreditation Bodies to comply with ISO 17011 – Peer Assessment – signatory to MRAs
  • NABCB - Signed PAC MLA for QMS – Aug 2002;IAF MLA for QMS – Sept 2002 - Signed PAC MLA for EMS – July 2007- IAF MLA for EMS – Oct 2007
  • NABCB accreditation equivalent worldwide and certificates with NABCB logo acceptable internationally
  • No equivalence yet in FSMS/HACCP certification
  • NABL – signatory to ILAC/APLAC MRAs for Testing and Calibration Labs since 2000; APLAC MRA for medical labs Dec 2008
  • Sum up – India has world class accreditation infrastructure
benefits of accreditation
  • Recognition of certification/inspection/ testing by Indian conformity assessment bodies in other countries – NABCB signatory to IAF MLA on QMS certification – NABL signatory to ILAC MLA – certificates/test reports issued by accredited CABs accepted worldwide
  • Reduces risk for government, business and customers - ensures through regular surveillance that Conformity assessment bodies are both independent and competent – ensure AB logo on your certificates
  • Lower cost of accreditation – in turn lower cost of certification/inspection/testing for industry – enhances competitiveness
information on accreditation

Quality Council of India

2nd Floor, Institution of Engineers Building2, Bahadur Shah Zafar MargNew Delhi - 110002INDIA

Tel : +91-11-23379321/9260/0567/8057

Fax: +91-11-23379621

Email :,,

Website :