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Building corresponding technical infrastructures to support sustainable development and trade in developing countries and countries in transition. Joint Committee on co-ordination of technical assistance to Developing Countries in Metrology, Accreditation and Standardization (JCDCMAS).

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Joint Committee on co-ordination of technical assistance to Developing Countries in Metrology, Accreditation and Standar

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Building corresponding technical infrastructures to support sustainable development and trade in developing countries and countries in transition

Joint Committee onco-ordination of technical assistance to Developing Countries in Metrology, Accreditation and Standardization(JCDCMAS)
jcdcmas members
JCDCMAS members
  • Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM)
  • International Accreditation Forum (IAF)
  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
  • International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC)
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • International Trade Centre – UNCTAD / WTO (ITC)
  • Telecommunication Standardization Bureau of ITU (ITU-T)
  • International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML)
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
technical infrastructure
Technical infrastructure

To achieve sustainable development and to participate in international trade, countries need the following technical infrastructure:

  • Metrology – to ensure traceability of measurements and calibration of measuring instruments
  • International documentary standards – national position, international promotion, national implementation
  • Conformity assessment – to assess goods and services to mandatory and voluntary requirements
  • Accreditation & peer assessment – ensure that claims of conformity are credible and internationally recognised

Active participation in international metrology, standardisation and accreditation organisations is an essential element of capacity development

metrology and physical standards
Metrology and physical standards
  • National measurement Institutes develop, maintain and disseminate standards appropriate to national needs
  • National measurement standards provide the basis for services such as:
    • calibration
    • trade metrology
    • conformity assessment
    • accreditation
the metre convention
The Metre Convention
  • Inter-governmental treaty (1875)
  • 51 Member States, 18 Associates
  • Works on matters of world metrology, especially the demand for measurement standards of ever increasing accuracy, range and diversity, and the need to demonstrate equivalence of national measurements
  • Provides international infrastructure for Members to develop standards at whatever level is needed, facilitating their international recognition and acceptance
  • It is therefore relevant to countries at all stages of technical development
  • International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), Sèvres, France
cipm mutual recognition agreement 1999
CIPM Mutual Recognition Agreement (1999)
  • International recognition and acceptance of national measurement standards, calibration and measurement certificates
  • Basis for wider agreements on international trade and regulatory affairs
  • MRA + national traceability system gives evidence of equivalence of measurements
  • Economic analysis by KPMG estimated impact on reducing TBTs of >4 billion USD
  • MRA gives international recognition of measurements made by accredited testing and calibration laboratories, leading to ILAC-CIPM MoU (2001)
international organisation of legal metrology
International Organisationof Legal Metrology
  • Inter-governmental treaty organisation (1955)
  • 60 Member States, 53 Corresponding Members
  • Technical work carried out by 80 technical committees coordinated by the International Committee of Legal Metrology (CIML) and the Organisation’s secretariat, the International Bureau of Legal Metrology (BIML)
  • Produces International Recommendations – model technical regulations, and a model law on metrology
  • Permanent Working Group on Developing Countries directs practical actions for developing countries
    • Expert Reports, simplified verification instructions, equipment
oiml certificate system and mutual acceptance arrangement maa
OIML Certificate System andMutual Acceptance Arrangement (MAA)
  • Certificate System operating since 1991
  • Avoids duplication of testing of measuring instruments
  • 1400 certificates covering 41 instrument categories
  • MAA approved in 2003: voluntary framework for acceptance and use of type approval test reports
  • Separate Declaration of Mutual Confidence (DoMC) for each instrument category
  • First DoMCs covering non-automatic weighing instruments (R 76) and load cells (R 60) should be signed in 2006
  • Work started on next categories of water meters (R 49) and fuel dispensers (R 117/R 118)
international documentary standards
International documentary standards

Voluntary international standards are important in sustainable development through the promotion of safety, quality and technical compatibility

International standardisation organisations in JCDCMAS:

  • IEC – electrotechnology
  • ITU-T – telecommunications
  • ISO – nearly all other technical fields, service sectors, management systems and conformity assessment

International standards:

  • Assist in operation of domestic markets
  • Increase competitiveness
  • Excellent source of technology transfer
  • Consumer and environmental protection role
trade related challenges for developing countries
Trade-related challenges fordeveloping countries

Developing countries need access to standardization infrastructures to engage in the global trading system

Increasing globalization of markets means international standards (as opposed to regional or national standards) are needed to ensure:

  • a level playing field for exports,
  • that imports meet internationally recognized levels of performance and safety
categories of standards
Categories of standards

Standards can be broadly sub-divided into three categories:

  • product standards

characteristics (quality, safety, etc.) that goods should possess

  • process standards

conditions under which products and services are to be produced, packaged or refined

  • management system standards

assist organizations to manage their operations. Help create framework to allow the organization to consistently achieve requirements set out in product and process standards

international standards and the wto
International Standards and the WTO
  • The TBT Agreement encourages use of international standards
  • Members must reference international standards in regulations
  • Encourages members “wherever possible” to:
    • develop mutual recognition agreements
    • harmonize conformity assessment procedures
    • accept the conformity assessment procedures of other members
  • The Agreement's 2nd Triennial Review highlighted:
    • the importance of wider participation in international standardization activities, to ensure good regulatory practice, conformity assessment procedures and standards
    • the inability of developing countries to participate due to limited resources, membership costs, lack of qualified personnel, location of meetings
    • the importance of developing countries' participation in the development of international standards to ensure their global relevance, thus preventing unnecessary barriers to trade
conformity assessment
Conformity assessment

Conformity assessment procedures (testing, inspection and certification) offer assurance that products fulfill requirements specified in regulations and standards. They may:

  • apply to a product, a service or a management system
  • be 'first party' (supplier's declaration of conformity (SDoC))
  • be 'third-party' (by a government or private company)

Conformity assessment plays a critical role in sustainable development and trade and developing countries must decide:

    • what types of conformity assessment are needed and for what purposes.
    • whether conformity assessment is mandatory (regulations in specific sectors), or whether to rely on market determined conformity assessment requirements.

based on a risk assessment for a particular product or process, and on an understanding of the impact the associated costs and benefits will have on achieving sustainable development

if conformity assessment requirements differ
If conformity assessmentrequirements differ:
  • Products may need duplicate or different testing, or multiple inspections
  • Products may be denied market access if:
    • testing procedures or results are not recognized
    • tests were performed by someone who is not in a peer assessment scheme or who is not accredited
  • Additional certification will increase costs for exporters
  • Barriers to trade may occur, effectively keeping some producers out of certain markets

A 1996 OECD study showed that the cost of standards, technical regulations, testing and compliance certification, is between 2 % and 10 % of overall production costs


“third-party attestation related to a conformity assessment body conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks” (ISO/IEC 17000)

  • Depends on peer evaluation of technically competent facilities that consistently apply appropriate technical and management principles of international standards and guides (ISO/CASCO)
  • Helps provide the necessary confidence among users of conformity assessment services (business and government)
  • Accounts for the growth of mutually recognized conformity assessment services throughout the world
  • Helps provide assurance that suppliers of tests and certificates are competent
  • Helps in overcoming trade barriers and in complying with the requirements of the WTO TBT Agreement
importance of accreditation for developing countries
Importance of accreditation for developing countries

"…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." Section 6.1.1 of the TBT Agreement

  • i.e. use of an accreditation system reduces the possibility of goods being denied access on the basis of inadequate conformity assessment

For developing countries:

  • Lack of access to accreditation programmes prevents full integration into the world trading system
  • The absence of an accreditation service is recognized as a development priority
  • Developing an accreditation infrastructure is daunting if a government does not have the knowledge, experience or financial resources
  • Systems have been successfully developed in the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) and the Southern African Development Community in Accreditation (SADCA)
the composite approach to development assistance
The composite approach todevelopment assistance
  • Holistic consideration of a country's needs
  • Plan of action is then agreed
  • Assistance coordinated and synergies between parts of the technical infrastructure established, which strengthen the technical infrastructure, enabling it to contribute the country's sustainable development and trade potential
  • Each part of the technical infrastructure is interdependent:
    • Metrology and physical standards are basis for accurate measurements
    • international documentary standards state their accepted performance
    • these then are the basis for conformity assessment activities
    • these activities can then be accredited, peer assessed or both
However ...
  • The cost of providing all of these activities at their most advanced level is prohibitive
  • Even in developed countries the sophistication varies between parts of the technical infrastructure
  • Parts of the infrastructure are often jointly owned or shared between one or more countries, or services of another country are relied upon

For sustainable development and trade purposes it is important:

  • to ensure that societies and industries in developing countries have a technical infrastructure that reflects their needs
  • to effectively participate in global trading activities, including participating in international organisations' work
jcdcmas recommendations
JCDCMAS Recommendations

To provide for a composite approach to developing technical infrastructures, the JCDCMAS members recommend that assistance be based on:

  • thorough needs assessment of the economy (including domestic, societal or import sectors, and trade and export sectors)
  • understanding that there is no ready-made model for technical infrastructures (components, sophistication, delivery). Developing countries must decide on this and give ongoing political commitment
  • careful consideration of the needs and assistance to ensure new technical infrastructures are sustainable and planned
  • identifying the resources needed to sustain the infrastructure
  • remembering that bi-lateral or regional options may give better economies of scale (but must take account of historical, political and cultural sensitivities)
  • The JCDCMAS was established to improve the coordination of assistance to developing countries in the areas of metrology, accreditation and standardization
  • International specialist organizations with technical expertise and funding agencies must work together to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of technical infrastructure capacity building
  • Collaboration with partners is the key to efficient use of resources and to long term, sustainable development
  • Effective development assistance needs a coordinated approach, that is demand-driven and a country-owned process undertaken in partnership with aid agencies