Standards and conformance play an important role in facilitating trade as well as in ensuring the welfare and safety of consumers.
The Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) as the National Standards Body (NSB) of the Philippines is the lead agency for standards and conformance activities in different international and regional initiatives where Philippines is a member such as the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and many more.
In the ASEAN, a sectoral body was established to oversee the implementation of the ASEAN cooperation on standards and conformance in the region. This body is known as the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ). It is participated by standards organizations from the ten (10) ASEAN Member States. For details about ACCSQ and its activities please visit: http://www.aseansec.org/23075.htm
While in APEC, the matters on standards and conformity assessments are discussed in the Sub-committee on Standards and Conformance (APEC SCSC). The APEC SCSC is composed of twenty one (21) standards organizations in the Asia Pacific rim The sub-committee meets twice a year in the host country for the APEC Summit. The link to APEC SCSC is: http://www.apec.org/en/Groups/Committee-on-Trade-and-Investment/Sub-Committee-on-Standards-and-Conformance.aspx
As a developer of standards, BPS must ensure that it has access on resources that will enable it to carry on its mandate. To achieve this, BPS maintains its membership to the world’s two largest and internationally recognized standards developer and publisher which are the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
ISO is the world’s largest developer and publisher of international standards. It is an organization composed of National Standards Bodies, one from each of the 162 member countries. As a member, BPS has participated in different Technical Committees and has incorporated/raised Philippine interest in the development of several standards. For more information click the following link: http://www.iso.org/iso/about.htm .
While, ISO concerns itself with numerous fields, the standardization activities of IEC cover the field of electrotechnical. IEC is a standards developing organization comprised of 81 members from various countries. For further details on its activities visit the IEC link: http://www.iec.ch/about/.
Another important organization that BPS is involved with is the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC). PASC is an independent organization with 25 members. PASC is one of the five (5) Specialist Regional Bodies recognized by APEC whose expertise falls on standards infrastructure activities. One of its goals is to exchange information as well as to ensure that international standardization activities are well coordinated on a consensus basis to facilitate trade. The link for PASC is as follows: www.pascnet.org .
Aside from participating in standards and conformance initiatives, BPS also negotiated and entered into agreements to streamline the processes under standards and conformity assessment procedures for exported and imported products.
In both ASEAN and APEC, Philippines participates in Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA) on Electrical and Electronic Equipment.
As defined a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) is an arrangement between two or more parties to mutually recognize or accept some or all aspects of one another’s conformity assessment results (e.g. test reports, certificates of compliance).
Through MRAs, products that are tested and/or certified before export can enter the importing country directly without having to undergo similar conformity assessment procedures in importing country. What is recognized in the MRA is the competence of the conformity assessment body of the MRA partner to perform conformity assessment activity against the other party’s requirements.
All MRAs have the potential to benefit exporters in terms of reducing costs, inefficiencies, and overcoming barriers to trade. Through MRAs, exporters can test products once and obtain certification and acceptance in all other markets that are party to the MRA. This helps to reduce time to market and unnecessary costs associated with duplicated testing and inspection of products.
MRA can enhance regulatory efficiency by recognizing and perhaps accepting another party’s testing and certification results. Hence the regulator’s limited resources can be diverted for other tasks. Moreover, regular evaluation of products and processes by the MRA partners and systematic sharing of product information between government regulators can enhance consumer protection.
Other Memorandum of Agreements and Memorandum of Understanding entered into by BPS
Since the establishment of BPS in 1964, the Bureau has entered into different agreements with other National Standards Bodies and conformity assessment bodies to strengthen its ties as well as to increase its capacity.
Agreements entered into cover mutual recognition arrangement and technical cooperation.
BPS has entered into agreements with organizations from Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Taiwan as follows:
Department of Trade and Industry - Bureau of Product Standards 3/F Trade and Industry Building
361 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City Philippines 1200, Telephone: (632) 751-4700 Fax: (632) 751-4706