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I. Background/Overview

The ASEAN consultative Committee on Standards and Quality is a sectoral body under the purview of the ASEAN economic Ministers. ACCSQ is tasked to address the removal of technical barriers to trade in order to realize the goals of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). The ASEAN realized that conformity assessment procedures such as testing and certification, which determines a product's marketability, may pose barriers to trade. This can be caused by a duplicative testing procedures arising from different systems of conformity assessment in various countries.

ACCSQ was established 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."

The ACCSQ includes three (3) Working Groups, two (2) Sectoral Committees, six (6) Product Working Groups and Task Forces established under PWGs.

The Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) as the national standards body of the Philippines is the focal point for standards and conformance activities. It represents the country in the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) Leaders Meeting.

It also represents the Philippines in the following:

1. Working Group on Standards and Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) - WG 1

2. Working Group on Conformity Assessment (together with the Philippine ACcreditation Bureau of DTI) - WG 2

3. Joint Secotral Committee for Electrical and Electronic Equipment (JSCEEE)

4. Automotive Product Working Group (APWG)

5. Rubber-based Product Working Group (RBPWG)

II. Programs and Activities

The ACCSQ through its different working groups has been active in harmonization of the national standards to international standards to implement mutual recognition arrangement on conformity assessment.

A. Harmonization of Standards

The ASEAN is also building its dtabase on ASEAN harmonized standards which can be accessed at http://atr.asean.org/standards/.

B. Development of Mutual Recognition Arrangements

Below are MRAs being implemented:

  • ASEAN Sectoral MRA for Electrical and Electronic Equipment
  • ASEAN Sectoral MRA for GMP Inspection of Manufacturers of Medicinal Products

Other MRAs are being developed for automotive products, building and construction and prepared food-stuff and bio-equivalence study for pharmaceutical products.

C. Development of Regulatory Regimes and Regulatory Frameworks

The end-goal of the integration initiatives in the standards and conformance area is to achieve harmonization of technical requirements or product safety and quality through the adoption of single regulatory regimes in ASEAN.

Currently there are three (3) single regulatory regimes for the cosmetic products sector, the electrical and electronic equipment products sector and medical device sector while negotiations are on-going for traditional medicines and health supplements. Also, work for the technical requirements for legal metrology such as verification procedures for NAWI and requirements for pre-packaged food products are also on-going

D. ACCSQ Structure

Working Group   Lead Agencies
WG 1 Working Group on Standards and Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAS) DTI-BPS
WG 2 Working Group on Conformity Assessment DTI-PAB/BPS
WG 3 Working Group on Legal Metrology ITDI/DOST
JSC EEE Joint Sectoral Committee on Electrical and Electronic Equipment DTI-BPS
RBPWG Rubber-Based Product Working Group DTI-BPS
ACC ASEAN Cosmetic Committee DOH-FDA
PPWG Pharmaceutical Product Working Group DOH-FDA
PFPWG Prepared Foodstuff Product Working Group DOH-FDA
MDPWG Medical Devices Product Working Group DOH-FDA
TMHSPWG Traditional Medicines and Health Supplements Product Working Group DOH-FDA
APWG Automotive Product Working Group DTI-BPS

E. ACCSQ Working Group and Sectoral Committees Scope of Activities

1. WG1 - Working Group on Standards and Mutual Recognition Arrangements

a. Monitor the implementation of the sectoral MRAs in ASEAN.

b. Establish of an ASEAN Guide to MRAs in ASEAN.

c. Harmonize of national standards to international standards.

d. Assist in promoting GRP concept to regulators.

e. Build confidence among regulators in the use of harmonized standards.

f. Promote transparency of technical regulations.

g. Explore new areas for development of MRAs and standards harmonization in ASEAN.

h. Develop a mechanism for cooperation between standards bodies and regulatory agencies; and

i .Recommend to the ACCSQ, proposals, activities or issues for ASEAN cooperation in relevant international and regional organizations such as ISO, IEC, APEC and ASEM.

2. WG2 - Working Group on Accreditation and Conformity Assessment

a. Enhance the capability of accrediation bodies in ASEAN member countries to achieve regional/international recognition.

b. Enhance the competence of competence of conformity assessment bodies in ASEAN member countries to facilitate the implementation of mutual recognition of test reports and certifications.

c. Assist new member countries in accreditation and conformity assessment.

d. Monitor the certification bodies within ASEAN.

3. JSC EE MRA - Joint Sectoral Committee for ASEAN Sectoral MRA for Electrical and Electronic Equipment

a. List, suspend, remove and verify Testing Laboratories and/or Certification Bodies in accordance with the ASEAN EE MRA;

b. Provide a forum for discussion of issues that may arise concerning the implementation of the ASEAN EE MRA;

c. Review and propose amendments to the scope and coverage of the ASEAN EE MRA;

d. Consider ways to enhance the operation of the ASEAN EE MRA, such as developing an outreach program for capactity building;

e. Consider ways on Good Regulatory Practice on electrical and electronic products.

 4. APWG - Automotive Product Working Group

a. Exchange of information on standards, rules, regulations, procedures and mandatory requirements in Member Countries related to Automotives sector;

b. Review and analyze the comparative study of regulatory regimes among Member Countries;

c. Identify areas for possible harmonization and MRAs, with the focus on harmonization ASEAN automotives safety and emission standards based on UN ECE reulations;

d. Develop sectoral MRAs; and

e. Identify the technical infrastructure needs and build-up mutual confidence in conformity assessment.

5. RBPWG - Rubber-Based Product Working Group

a. Enhance cooperation in conformity assessment, development and implementation of standarads and technical regulations for rubber based products among ASEAN Member Countries.

b. Strengthen and enhance networking and exchange of information among ASEAN Member Countries pertaining  to standards, quality and regulations of rubber-based products, with the view to facilitate cooperative undertakings in this area.

c. Identify standards for rubber-based products for ASEAN to harmonize with international standards and quality.

d. Enhance joint actions and approaches on international issues and adopt common positions in relevant international organizations, agreements and arrangements.

e. Identify fields of cooperation with related ASEAN Member Countries and Third Party countries and organizations in order to promote the development of standards for rubber-based products.

f. Strengthen human resource development in the area of standards and quality for rubber products.

g. Share equal responsibility to the tasks and activities agreed at meeting.

To know more about the ACCSQ and its recent activities and programs you may visit http://asean.org/asean-economic-community/sectoral-bodies-under-the-purview-of-aem/standards-and-conformance/

 

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