Amidst the gloom brought by a raging COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB) got reason to rejoice. On May 05, 2020, DTI-PAB received a reaffirmation of its signatory status to the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA).

DTI-PAB first signed the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) (formerly Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation and Pacific Accreditation Cooperation) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for testing laboratories and calibration (ISO/IEC 17025) in 2005 and Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) for Quality Management System (QMS) and Environmental Management System) in 2002 and 2007 respectively. In 2019, the scopes of DTI-PAB’s APAC MRA signatory status was extended to its accreditation schemes for medical testing, inspection and food safety management system (FSMS) certification All accreditation schemes and scopes underwent actual peer evaluation on site except for accreditation to FSMS certification, which is a self-declaration. IAF issued a Resolution allowing ABs which are signatory to main scope i.e. ISO/IEC 17021 (Management System) to self-declare that their accreditation program under ISO/IEC 17021 (called subscope), e.g. FSMS complies with the requirements of APAC and IAF.

According to APAC regulation, renewal of signatory status is subject to a reevaluation visit in February 2020. However, because of the continuing travel ban brought by the pandemic, an onsite evaluation was postponed to a later date. The APAC evaluation team conducted document review in compliance to IAF instruction to APAC for its signatory members to transition to ISO/IEC 17011:2017 by November 2020. The team found DTI-PAB is compliant with ISO/IEC 17011:2017, an international standard that specifies requirements for the competence, consistent operation and impartiality of accreditation bodies assessing and accrediting conformity assessment bodies.

An essential pre -requisite of trade is that any product or service accepted formally in one economy can also be freely traded in other economies without having to undergo re-testing or re-certification. The World Trade Organization (WTO) recognizes that non-acceptance of test results and measurement data are technical barriers that discourage free trade.

In support of international trade, Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) – Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA) was established to harmonize accreditation practices in the region. This arrangement enhances the acceptance of test results and measurement data resulting in products and services able to enter national borders without undergoing additional re-testing or re-certification.

Signatory status to MRA enables test results and measurement data produced by DTI-PAB’s accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) to be accepted by economies represented by MRA co-signatories. A list of MRA signatory members may be viewed at

DTI-PAB offers accreditation of certification body, inspection body, testing and calibration laboratories and other bodies offering conformity assessment services against international standards. DTI-PAB is recognized internationally through its membership to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC), and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) Working Group on Accreditation and Conformity Assessment (WG2) and International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF).

For more information about the accreditation services, please contact the DTI-Philippine Accreditation Bureau at or visit

Release Date: 08 May 2020