Background

Participation in international trade, increasing regional integration as well as strengthening of competitiveness of national industries and consumer protection require a functioning quality infrastructure. The criteria for delivering services of metrology, standardization, testing, quality assurance as well as accreditation and certification need to be internationally harmonized if to avoid technical barriers to trade.

In the environmental and food sector of countries in the region, the services of quality infrastructure institutions are of different quality and rendered to a very different extent. The criteria for international recognition are complied with in some cases and not always with reliable reproducibility. This results in unused market opportunities that arise from the global interconnection between trade and economy and open national and regional markets. Insufficient quality infrastructures furthermore inhibit efficient monitoring of environmental or consumers protection policy implementation.

Existing regional cooperation approaches demonstrate that utilization of complementary resources can maximize benefits for individual institutions and impact of economic performance. Specialized regional organizations play an important role in connecting national quality infrastructure institutions and representing their interests at the international level. Adequate consultation mechanisms to continuously monitor the needs of developing country members and services tailored to these needs constitute major prerequisites to reach this goal.

 

Objective

The project objective therefore is directed to support the specialized regional organizations SIM (metrology) and IAAC (accreditation) in their efforts to offer to their members competent services within the scope of conformity assessment in the environmental and food sector.

 

Components of support

Project activities aim at fostering regional cooperation and increase of international recognition of services delivered from quality infrastructure organizations in the region. A focus is given to establish opportunities for experience exchange among member countries in the region with different levels of development of their quality infrastructure. Selected inputs are sought from other regions according to needs to increase technical competence of staff and management competence of member organizations.

For this aim benchmarking exercises are supported like:

  • laboratory intercomparisons to increase the level of comparability of measurements in the environmental and food sector both on the reference as well as on field laboratory level;
  • Evaluator trainings to harmonize procedures of conformity assessment on a regional level.

Efforts include activities aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two regional organizations.

 

Cooperation

The project is part of an international agreement between the Organization of American States and the German Government.

 

Implementation Partners

The project is jointly implemented by the OAS and the specialized regional bodies for metrology (Sistema Interamericano de Metrología SIM) and accreditation (InterAmerican Accreditation Cooperation IAAC).

Source of finance Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Commission value 500 000 EUR

Term From April 2008 to October 2011