Specialist Regional Bodies and Liaisons

Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) groups organisations in the Asia Pacific region responsible for accrediting testing, calibration and inspection facilities.Members are nationally recognized accreditation bodies and are usually owned or endorsed by government.

Accreditation is recognition by an authoritative body that an organisation or individual is competent to carry out specific tasks. APLAC members assess laboratories and inspection bodies against international standards, and accredit them as competent to carry out specific tests or inspections. This gives assurance that the test or inspection results are valid. Assurance of accurate results contributes to protection of public health and safety, environmental protection and trade facilitation.

See the website for further information: http://www.aplac.org

The Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) is an association of accreditation bodies and other interested parties whose objective is to facilitate trade and commerce among economies in the Asia Pacific region.

See the website for further information: http://www.apec-pac.org

The Asia-Pacific Legal Metrology Forum was established at a meeting convened by the Australian National Standards Commission in November 1994. Membership of the Forum now comprises thirty legal metrology authorities from twenty-five Pacific rim economies, including all of the APEC members except Brunei Darussalam as well as Cambodia, Colombia, Laos, Mongolia and DPR of Korea.

The Forum co-operates closely with the International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML), other regional legal metrology organisations (WELMEC, SADCMEL, SIM, IOLMF, EMCLM) and Asia-Pacific Specialist Regional Bodies.

The principal objectives of the Forum are:

  • To develop and maintain mutual confidence between legal metrology authorities in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • To facilitate trade in commodities and pre-packaged goods traded by measure and trade in measuring instruments.
  • To identify and promote the removal of technical and administrative barriers to trade in the field of trade and legal metrology.
  • To promote mutual recognition arrangements between members.
  • See the website for further information: http://www.aplmf.org

In August 1997, the APMP Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was established and 21 Full Member organisations and 3 Associate Member organisations have become signatories (with one Associate Member pending).

See the website for further information: http://www.apmpweb.org

On Oct. 14, 1999, 38 countries and two international organisations signed the mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) for national metrology standards and certificates issued by the National Metrology Institutes (NMIs). The measurement capability of each NMI is listed in this MRA in Appendix C, and there are two conditions for registration:

  • Participation in an international comparison to show the equivalence of the metrology standards of the NMI
  • Establishment of a quality system for calibration services.

ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 148 countries, on the basis of one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva , Switzerland , that coordinates the system.

ISO is a non-governmental organization: its members are not, as is the case in the United Nations system, delegations of national governments. Nevertheless, ISO occupies a special position between the public and private sectors. This is because, on the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.

Therefore, ISO is able to act as a bridging organization in which a consensus can be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society, such as the needs of stakeholder groups like consumers and users.

See the website for further information: http://www.iso.org

Every time someone, somewhere, picks up a telephone and dials a number, answers a call on a mobile phone, sends a fax or receives an e-mail, takes a plane or a ship, listens to the radio, watches a favourite television programme or helps a small child master the latest radio-controlled toy, they benefit from the work of the International Telecommunication Union.

The Union was established last century as an impartial, international organization within which governments and the private sector could work together to coordinate the operation of telecommunication networks and services and advance the development of communications technology. Whilst the organization remains relatively unknown to the general public, ITU’s work over more than one hundred years has helped create a global communications network which now integrates a huge range of technologies, yet remains one of the most reliable man-made systems ever developed.

See the website for further information: http://www.itu.int/

The Pan American Standards Commission, known as COPANT, is a civil, non-profit association. It has complete operational autonomy and is of unlimited duration.

The basic objectives of COPANT are to promote the development of technical standardization and related activities in its member countries with the aim of promoting their industrial, scientific and technological development in benefit of an exchange of goods and the provision of services, while facilitating cooperation in intellectual, scientific and social fields

See the website for further information: http://www.copant.org/

Conformity Assessment of products or services generates results that determine their marketability. A supplier may not be able to sell a product or service because the results of a conformity assessment process such as testing and certification are not accepted by the prospective buyer or by regulatory authorities in the target market. This does not necessarily mean that the product or services has failed to meet a certain standard.

Thus, more than standards themselves, it is often the duplicative testing procedures arising from different systems of conformity assessment in various countries have become serious barriers to trade.

Recognizing the contribution of these two “pillars” to facilitate and liberalize trade and investment in the region, ASEAN through the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) has endeavored to harmonize national standards with international standards and implement mutual recognition arrangements on conformity assessment to achieve its end-goal of “One Standard, One Test, Accepted Everywhere”.

See the website for further information: http://www.aseansec.org/6667.htm

The OECD groups 30 member countries sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy. With active relationships with some 70 other countries, NGOs and civil society, it has a global reach. The Centre for Co-operation with Non-Members (CCNM) co-ordinates the OECD’s Global Relations strategy, supports the External Relations Committee (ERC) and is the Organisation’s main contact point for non-members. Best known for its publications and its statistics, the OECD’s work covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics, to trade, education, development and science and innovation.

See the website for further information: http://www.oecd.org/

APEC was established in 1989 to further enhance economic growth and prosperity for the Asia –Pacific region and to strengthen the Asia-Pacific community.

Since its inception, APEC has worked to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers across the Asia-Pacific region, creating efficient domestic economies and dramatically increasing exports. Key to achieving APEC’s vision are what are referred to as the ‘Bogor Goals’ of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for industrialised economies and 2020 for developing economies. These goals were adopted by Leaders at their 1994 meeting in Bogor , Indonesia .

See the website for further information: http://www.apec.org/

The Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) assists the Committee on Trade and Investment to achieve the standards and conformance related components of APEC’s trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation agenda. This agenda includes the reduction of negative effects on trade and investment flows caused by differing standards and conformance arrangements in the region. The agenda also involves further developing open regionalism and market-driven economic interdependence through a number of activities including encouraging greater alignment of APEC Member Economies’ standards with international standards.


See the website for further information: http://www.apec.org/

The International Accreditation Forum, Inc. (IAF) is the world association of Conformity Assessment Accreditation Bodies and other bodies interested in conformity assessment in the fields of management systems, products, inspection, services, personnel and other similar programs.

The primary functions of IAF are to ensure that its accreditation body members only accredit bodies that are competent to do the work they undertake and are not subject to conflicts of interest, and to establish mutual recognition arrangements, known as Multilateral Recognition Arrangements (MLA), between its accreditation body members. These activities reduce risk to business and its customers by ensuring that an accredited certificate may be relied upon anywhere in the world.

See the website for further information: http://www.iaf.nu