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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

SADCA

The Southern African Development Community Cooperation in Accreditation (SADCA) is one of the cooperation structures that have been established following the adoption of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Annex to the SADC Protocol on Trade in July 2008 and subsequently accredited in July 2014.
The main objective of SADCA is to establish, manage and maintain a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) between accreditation bodies in the region.


SADCA shall facilitate the creation of a pool of internationally acceptable accredited laboratories and certification bodies in the region as a tool to remove technical barriers to trade.


ILAC

International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) is an international cooperation laboratory and inspection accreditation bodies with the objective to help remove technical barriers to trade.

MAURITAS has been an affiliate member of ILAC since year 2000. MAURITAS is now an associate member of ILAC since November 2008 as it has already started conducting assessments and granting accreditation.

Accreditation allows people to make an informed decision when selecting a laboratory, as it demonstrates competence, impartiality and capability. It helps to underpin the credibility and performance of goods and services.

Accreditation bodies around the world, which have been evaluated by peers as competent, have signed an arrangement that enhances the acceptance of products and services across national borders. The purpose of this arrangement, the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement, is to create an international framework to support international trade through the removal of technical barriers.

The ultimate aim of the ILAC MRAs is the increased use and acceptance by industry as well as by regulators of the results from accredited laboratories and inspection bodies, including results from laboratories in other countries.


IAF

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) is a global association of accreditation bodies, certification/registration body associations and other organisations involved in conformity assessment activities in a variety of fields including management systems, products, services and personnel.

MAURITAS is a member of IAF since the year 2000. The purpose of the IAF was to operate a program for the accreditation of bodies dealing with conformity assessment, in order to ensure that certification of products, processes or services in one region or country should be accepted in other regions or countries.

Also, IAF aimed to ensure that equivalent conformity assessment procedures used by organisations should be developed. One means of doing this was to have member organisations engage in regular discussion to seek agreement on the desirability of mutual recognition of each other’s accreditation systems and to cooperate with one another in exchanging information and procedures on their accreditation programs.

The primary objective of the IAF is to develop a single, worldwide program of conformity assessment, which reduces risk for business and end users by ensuring that accredited certificates may be relied upon. Accreditation assures businesses and end users that the Conformity Assessment Body providing certification to a standard has the required competence and impartiality to do so.

The second objective of the IAF is to establish Multilateral Recognition Arrangements (MLAs) between its accreditation body members. The object of these arrangements is to ensure mutual recognition of accredited certificates between signatories to the MLA.


IOC ARC

The Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), launched in Mauritius in March 1997, is a grouping of nineteen Indian Ocean-rim States, whose aims are to facilitate trade and investment in the region.

Member States include Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. China, Egypt, France, Japan and the United Kingdom are Dialogue Partners, while the Indian Ocean Tourism Organisation is an Observer.

IOR-ARC activities include several on-going topical projects and work programs conducted by member countries of shared interests, all of which under the umbrella of 3 separate working groups, namely the Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI), the Indian Ocean Rim Business Forum (IORBF), and the Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG). The Association holds a Council of Ministers meeting once every two years.

The Association disseminates information on trade and investment regimes, with a view to helping the region’s business community better understand the impediments to trade and investment within the region. These information exchanges have been intended to serve as a basis for the expansion of intra-regional trade.


AFRAC

The African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC) is a cooperation of accreditation bodies, sub-regional accreditation cooperations and stakeholders whose objective is to facilitate trade and contribute to the protection of health, safety and the environment, in Africa and thereby improve Africa’s competitiveness.

AFRAC is one of the four pillars of the Pan-African quality infrastructure established by the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency to support intra-African trade, improve the competitiveness of African goods and services and to facilitate health and safety of the public and the environment. The other three pillars are the Intra-Africa Metrology System (AFRIMETS), the African Electro Technical Standardisation Commission (AFSEC) and the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO). AFRAC whose establishment was partially funded by PTB Germany is to facilitate capacity building in accreditation across the continent with the goal of sustaining an internationally acceptable mutual recognition arrangement.

The broad objectives of AFRAC are to support trade in Africa and enhance global market access through the removal of technical barriers to trade, to facilitate the recognition of conformity assessment certificates and reports worldwide, to improve competitiveness of African goods and services and to facilitate health and safety of the public and the environment.

MAURITAS was admitted a full member of AFRAC on 26th September 2013.