Accreditation, as defined in ISO/IEC Guide 2:1996, is the “procedure
by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition that a body or
person is competent to carry out specific tasks.” This is a means of
determining the competence of bodies or persons to perform specific
types of testing, measurement and calibration, providing formal
recognition to competent bodies or persons, thus providing confidence
that the customer will have access to reliable testing and calibration
the determination, by measurement or comparison with a standard, of
the correct value of a reading on a measuring instrument.
Certificate of conformity
||A certificate of
conformity is a document, tag, label, or nameplate, provided on
delivery to the buyer that attests a product, process, or service’s
compliance with standards or technical regulations.
Certification, as defined by ISO/IEC Guide 2:1996, is “a procedure by
which a third party gives written assurance that a product, process or
service conforms to specified requirements.”
Code of Good Practice
The Code of Good Practice, Annex 3 of the WTO TBT Agreement, provides
disciplines, including those related to transparency, for the
preparation, adoption and application of standards by standardizing
bodies. The Code’s acceptance is voluntary and open to any
standardizing body, whether central government, local government or
non-governmental and regional standardizing bodies.
Conformity assessment procedure
Conformity assessment procedures are technical procedures - such as,
testing, verification, and certification – used to determine that
goods or services fulfill the requirements laid down in technical
regulations and standards.
Enquiry Point is a focal point, established under the WTO Agreement on
Technical Barriers to Trade, where other WTO Members can request and
obtain information and documentation on a Member's technical
regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures, whether
impending or adopted, as well as on participation in bilateral or
plurilateral standards-related agreements, international or regional
standardizing bodies and conformity assessment systems.
Equivalence means the acceptance of the technical regulation or
conformity assessment procedure of another party as fulfilling the
same legitimate objectives as do one’s own technical regulation
or conformity assessment procedures, even if this fulfillment is
reached through different means.
Industrial metrology is the area of metrology that concerns assuring
the accuracy of the instruments used and measurements made.
Legal metrology is that area of metrology that concerns the
regulation of weighing and measuring instruments used in commercial
||The WTO TBT
agreement specifies that technical regulations shall not be more
trade-restrictive than necessary to fulfill a legitimate objective.
Legitimate objectives specified under the TBT Agreement are, inter
alia: national security requirements; the prevention of deceptive
practices; protection of human health or safety, animal or plant life
or health, or the environment. In assessing such risks, relevant
elements of consideration are, inter alia: available scientific and
technical information related processing technology or intended
end-uses of products.
Metrology is the science of weights and measures. In the area of
trade, metrology includes all technical procedures concerned with the
maintenance of the accuracy and international reproducibility of
measuring instruments and with all procedures implemented in order to
specify and to ensure the quality and credibility of measurements
related to official controls, trade, health, safety and the
Mutual recognition agreement
A mutual recognition agreement is a formal agreement between two
countries that provides for a reciprocal reliance upon facets of each
other's regulatory systems, to the degree specified in the agreement.
Scientific metrology is the area of metrology that deals with the
organization and development of measurement standards and with their
standard is a document approved by a recognized body that provides,
for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for
goods or services, or related processes and production methods.
Standards are generally established by consensus in technical
committees of experts; compliance is not mandatory.
Supplier’s declaration of conformity/ Manufacturer’s declaration of
referred to as “self-certification”, supplier’s or manufacturer’s
declaration of conformity is a process by which a
supplier/manufacturer declares that his goods or services meet a
specified requirement. Suppliers/manufacturers base this declaration
on their confidence in their production quality control system, or on
the results of testing or inspection.
Technical barrier to trade (TBT)
standard or technical regulation, or a procedure to assess conformity
with standards or technical regulations, becomes a technical barrier
to trade if used in a way to impede international trade rather than
for the purposes of achieving a legitimate objective.
technical regulation, (sometimes also referred to as a “mandatory
standard” or a “compulsory standard”), is a document which lays down
product characteristics or their related processes and production
methods, including the applicable administrative provisions with which
compliance is mandated by law. Unlike voluntary standards, technical
regulations are set out by governments and are obligatory.
Traceability, referring to metrological standards, is a property of
the result of a measurement or value of a standard whereby it can be
related to stated references, usually national or international
standards, through an unbroken chain of comparisons all having stated
uncertainties. Traceability is the property by which comparability and
confidence of results are assured.
Trade facilitation measures
Trade facilitation measures are actions undertaken with the objective
of facilitating market access of traded goods and services in areas
within the scope of a trade agreement. These actions can include inter
alia: provisions for expediting and simplifying conformity assessment
procedures, certification or accreditation of laboratories.
WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement)
WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, as part of the Agreement
Establishing the World Trade Organization, aims to ensure that
technical regulations, standards, testing and certification procedures
do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade, while recognizing the
right of countries to adopt necessary standards to achieve some level
of protection of their legitimate objectives.
WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade
WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade, created in the WTO TBT
Agreement, has as its objective to allow member countries to
periodically consult on any matters relating to the operation of the
WTO TBT Agreement or the furtherance of its objectives.