As global supply chains continue to grow, accreditation, underpinned by internationally agreed standards, plays an essential role in the support of competitive markets, national and cross-border trade. This is increasingly important as businesses seek to lower costs or satisfy contract terms while maintaining a level of confidence that products are technically compatible, to specification and safe.
Given the complexity of today’s supply chains, reassurance in the measurements, tests, inspections, and certifications that are performed in another jurisdiction or market sector is essential. Without a level of confidence, the free exchange of goods and services risks being hampered by technical barriers or varying levels of quality, thereby increasing costs for businesses and consumers.
The theme of this year’s World Accreditation Day, which takes place on 9thJune 2019, will focus on how accreditation adds value to supply chains and procurement activities.
80% of trade involves elements of testing, calibration, inspection and certification activities, collectively known as conformity assessment (Source: OECD). A report, produced by the World Trade Organization Economic Research and Statistics Division, stated that the inappropriate use of conformity assessment accounts for 10% of Specific Trade Concerns (STCs).
Accreditation, therefore, plays an important role in reducing the costs of trade and doing business, enhancing technology transfer, and reducing the need for duplicate testing. It also enables businesses to integrate into global supply chains, as they can demonstrate product quality through a common “technical language” needed to establish trust between business partners.