Quality conformity document

At present, when all enterprises and organizations are given the right on independent access to the foreign markets, they face the problem of estimation of quality and reliability of their products. International experience testifies that that the certification is a necessary tool, which guarantees correspondence of the quality of production to the requirements of technical-normative documentation.

Today the certification has a wide acceptance in the world, practically the standards of certification are recognized by all countries, serve as the confirmation of the high quality of goods or services of the company. This document serves as a guarantee for the investment companies in providing influential support to enterprise for the development of capacity and improvement of production processes. The certificate principally differs from the licenses and other analogous documents. In the internationally recognized terminology, the certification is defined as the establishment of conformity, and the national legislative acts of various countries define concretely: to what the correspondence is established, and who establishes this correspondence.

In Azerbaijan there is a number of laws in this regard such Law on Rights of Consumers, which envisages protection of the rights of consumers via the realization of control over the observance of the regulations of trade and service in the spheres of trade. And the Law on Foodstuffs, accepted in February 2000, according to which the producer is obligated to pack and mark production, indicate designation and address of producer, date of production, period of validity and the data on the conditions of its storage. With regards to the direct questions of certification, there is a Regulation on certification of products (works, services) of the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan dated July 1, 1993.

This Regulation approved the list of products, which are subject to required certification. The voluntary certification of products is realized on the basis of the request of producer. Thus, the National Certification System AZS was established under the State Committee on Standardization, Metrology and Patent, as well as laboratories (centers), which conduct the tests of products, which correspond to legislative acts, were created.

Up to now, no organization has been established in Azerbaijan, which takes responsibility for the non-conformity of the host products and presence of low-quality foreign products in the local markets. For example, today State Committee on Standardization, Metrology and Patent is responsible for the production sector, but the monitoring in the retail network is carried out by the organization created under the Ministry of Economic Development, and the Ministry of Health issues hygienic certificates on the quality of products. However, in Europe the procedures of certification are carried out by the private organizations. Once a year, the private companies give report on the number of the issued certificates before the State organization. The State only inspects the company to determine whether the certificate was issued accurately.

In Azerbaijan the State is not prepared to stand away form the certification procedures because such private companies have not been established yet. Transferring the certification of the commodities is the requirement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) for Azerbaijan's entrance the organization. The State Agency for Standardization supports transferring the certification of the commodities to the private sector. However, currently it is impossible because there are not any companies in the country which contain relevant laboratories and specialists.

Certification appeared due to the need of protecting the domestic market from the products which are unfit for use. The issue of security, protection of health and environment force the legislative power to establish the responsibility of supplier (producer, salesman) for the low-quality products on one hand, to establish the minimum requirements regarding characteristics of the products.

Thus, limitation is established for products, which falls under the action of legislative acts. In this case, it is indicated that the products falls into the legislatively regulated sphere. If the characteristics of products do not fall under the national laws, then these products can be freely moved to the corresponding market, and in this case, the products fall into the sphere not regulated by legislation.

For the products, which fall into the legislatively regulated sphere, the official confirmation is required on their conformity with all legislation requirements. One of the forms of this confirmation is the certification of products, conducted by the independent third side (the first - producer, second - user).

Correspondence to the European requirements on the standardization makes it possible for the producers to, without additional efforts, export their production not only to the European market. Thus, many countries give up the national requirements on the certification and accept the model close to the European standards, since majority of the countries require observance of the European standards. Even in America, European certification models function together with the national systems.

The products in the sphere not regulated by the legislation can, without difficulty, be moved inside the market, and in this case, the requirements on the establishment of conformity are not officially introduced on it. Nevertheless, in the contract situation, user can require supplier to provide the proof of conformity of products with definite requirements, for example conformity with concrete standards or a group of standards, conformity with specific requirements, made by user (including conformity with the contract conditions). In this case, the certification of the third side also can appear as the confirmation of fulfillment of conditions that are fixed in the conformity certificate with the concrete requirements established by the costumer.

The supplier in the sphere not regulated by the legislation can carry out the certification of his/her products with the independent third side, also, through the private venture. In this case, he/she inquires the confirmation of conformity of products with the characteristics, selected for their discretion. Supplier can inquire the establishment of conformity of his/her products with specific standards, determined by the technical parameters, content of passport or advertising material.

Since the procedure of certification is expensive, it can involve either reduction in the profit of supplier or increase in the cost of products, which in turn can decrease its competitive ability in the market. Therefore, the supplier must distinctly present the mechanism of extraction of benefit from the procedure of certification, for example, by conducting advertising campaign with the attraction of the conclusion of the independent third side.

The management of ISO determined eight scheme of certification by the third side:

1. Model testings of products.

2. Model testings of products with the further control on the basis of supervision of the plant models, bought in the open market.

3. Model testings of products with the further control on the basis of supervision of the plant models.

4. Model testings of products with the further control on the basis of supervision of the models, acquired in the open market and obtained from the plant.

5. Model testings of products and the estimation of plant quality management with further control on the basis of supervision of plant quality control and tests of models, obtained from the plant and open market.

6. Only estimation of plant quality management.

7. Checking of consignment of products.

8. 100% control.

According to the classical scheme, the test of the models of products is realized by the testing laboratories. The results of tests, designed in the form of protocol, are transferred to other organ for certification. In this case, the testing laboratory does not have the right to interpret to disclose the obtained data. Organ for certification compares the results of the tests with the requirements of legislation (if product falls on the sphere regulated by legislation) or other characteristics provided by the supplier, the norms, the documents. If product corresponds to the requirements indicated, the organ for certification issues a certificate of conformity to supplier.

For instance, the enterprises in Azerbaijan which have obtained quality management certificate ISO 9001:2000 and national certificate AZS gain 'green light' both in internal and external markets. The quality is being confirmed by the certificate, and the standards of certification have been practically confirmed all over the world, serving as a guarantee of high quality and services of the company.

The absence of Etalon Center, independent laboratory and strictly fixed system of the work of organs for control on the quality of products makes Azerbaijan sideways. The laboratory on the approval of food will be put into operation in Azerbaijan only in 2010, and the National Etalon Center of Azerbaijan only conducts preparatory works for rendering services.

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