Access to EU market through recognized accreditation

Representatives of the European Union, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the National Accreditation Agency of Ukraine discussed the role of accreditation in the development of trade between the EU and Ukraine at a  conference in Kiev on 01 October 2013. symbolique de la poignée de mains sur fond de Drapeau européenThe conference was dedicated to the successful closure of an EU-funded  Twinning project between the National Accreditation Agency of Ukraine, The British Standards Institution, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service, the National Physical Laboratory (UK) and the Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing of Germany.

Accreditation is among the key areas in cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union. The conference highlighted their role for the cross-border trade and economic development in Ukraine, especially with regard to the future Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Ukraine.

“The project has been a long-lasting partnership, the philosophy of which was to create opportunities for Ukrainian market operators. Accreditation is an instrument to create confidence in products and sellers, which facilitates access to the EU market and eventually opens doors to the world’s markets ” – said H.E. Mr Jan Tombinski, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine.

Mr Anatolii Maksiuta, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade: “Accreditation represents an instrument to build confidence not only in the national quality infrastructure, but in the national economy as a whole. The Ministry supports further reforms in the technical regulation system of Ukraine”.

Mr Volodymyr Ruschak, the Acting Chairman of the National Accreditation Agency of Ukraine,  gave a detailed review of the progress made by NAAU in obtaining International recognition and stated that the country’s competitiveness in the global trade depends on the development of its technical regulation system, which the accreditation forms part of.

The Ambassador of the United Kingdom, H.E. Mr Simon Smith: “Access to the market of 500 mln consumers is a colossal opportunity. The project has brought this opportunity closer to the reality”. He also underlined the importance for Ukraine to become a full member of Bureau des Poids et Mesures.

The vast majority of trading nations belong to the Bureau des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) based in Paris, which manages all the International Standards or Etalons at international trading measurements. Ukraine is the only major Industrialized Nation not to be a full member of BIPM, and it is now time that it makes the last small step and moves from being an associate to a full member, which was again stressed by the Resident Twinning Advisor of the project Mr. Hugh Berridge.

The key speaker of the Conference, a Chairman of European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA) Mr. Thomas Facklam in his speech gave an overview of accreditation system in Europe and the role of NAAU in it. He explained the purpose and structure of the EA, touched upon standards of accreditation, spoke about the competences required for Accreditation Bodies and Conformity Assessment Bodies and shared with the audience the ideas about further developments of the EA in order to upgrade it into an even more professional organization.  Mr.Facklam also reminded the results of the peer evaluation of NAAU in 2011 and gave valuable recommendations as to the upcoming evaluation of NAAU by the EA which is due to happen in spring of 2014.

Speaking about the results of the project, the Member State Project Leader of the project Mr. Volodymyr Yakubov underlined that it has been a very successful project with 100% of its goals achieved, which was the result of the teamwork of the beneficiary and the European side, so this was the case when the word “twinning” fully justified its meaning. Mr. Yakubov expressed a wish that with the help of this project NAAU will continue developing its capacities which will lead to strengthening trade and political relationship between the EU and Ukraine and raising the well-being of all Ukrainians.

Background.

The event was organised on the occasion of successful closure of the Twinning project which have been implemented in NAAU and drawing upon the wide experience of the United Kingdom and Germany. Twinning projects bring together Ukrainian and EU Member States (MS) public bodies to share expertise and best practice in the work towards agreed reforms. The Ukrainian institution, together with an EU Member State civil servant, called Resident Twinning Adviser (RTA), based in the institution, runs workshops, training sessions, expert missions and counselling to improve citizen services and the legal framework modelled after good European practices. The activities of two consecutive Twinning projects with the National Accreditation Agency of Ukraine (NAAU) have supported NAAU in becoming an Associate member of the European Cooperation for Accreditation in October 2011 and further extending its recognition to 4 accreditation areas.

For additional information, please contact:

Ms Yana Naralska, Resident Twinning Advisor assistant, y.naralska@gmail.com, Tel +38044 285 87 86, Fax: +38044 286 62 84

Photos of the event are available here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/89735755@N03/sets/72157636286836813/