Member Organisations

BIPM : Bureau International des Poids et Mesures

The intergovernmental organization through which Member States act together on matters related to measurement science and measurement standards

The unique role of the BIPM enables it to achieve its mission by developing the technical and organizational infrastructure of the International System of Units (SI) as the basis for the world-wide traceability of measurement results. This is achieved both through technical activities in its laboratories and through international coordination.

OUR OBJECTIVES :

  • To establish and maintain appropriate reference standards for use as the basis of a limited number of key international comparisons at the highest level.
  • To coordinate international comparisons of national measurement standards through the Consultative Committees of the CIPM; taking the role of coordinating laboratory for selected comparisons of the highest priority and undertaking the scientific work necessary to enable this to be done.
  • To provide selected calibrations for Member States.
  • To coordinate activities between the NMIs, such as through the CIPM MRA1, and to provide technical services to support them. To liaise as required with relevant intergovernmental organizations2 and other international bodies3 both directly and through joint committees4.
  • To organize scientific meetings to identify future developments in the world-wide measurement system required to meet existing and future measurement needs in industry, science and society.
  • To inform, through publications and meetings, the science community, the wider scientific public and decision makers on matters related to metrology and its benefits.

IAF : International Accreditation Forum

The IAF is the world association of Conformity Assessment Accreditation Bodies and other bodies interested in conformity assessment in the fields of management systems, products, services, personnel and other similar programmes of conformity assessment. Its primary function is to develop a single worldwide program of conformity assessment which reduces risk for business and its customers by assuring them that accredited certificates may be relied upon. Accreditation assures users of the competence and impartiality of the body accredited.

The primary purpose of IAF is two-fold. Firstly, to ensure that its accreditation body members only accredit bodies that are competent to do the work they undertake and are not subject to conflicts of interest. The second purpose of the IAF is to establish mutual recognition arrangements, known as Multilateral Recognition Arrangements (MLA), between its accreditation body members which reduces risk to business and its customers by ensuring that an accredited certificate may be relied upon anywhere in the world.

The MLA contributes to the freedom of world trade by eliminating technical barriers to trade. IAF works to find the most effective way of achieving a single system that will allow companies with an accredited conformity assessment certificate in one part of the world, to have that certificate recognised elsewhere in the world.
The objective of the MLA is that it will cover all accreditation bodies in all countries in the world, thus eliminating the need for suppliers of products or services to be certified in each country where they sell their products or services. Certified once - accepted everywhere.

IEC : International Electrotechnical Commission

Making electrotechnology work for you

Millions of devices that contain electronics, and use or produce electricity, rely on IEC International Standards and Conformity Assessment Systems to perform, fit and work safely together.

Founded in 1906, the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is the world’s leading organization for the preparation and publication of International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. These are known collectively as “electrotechnology”.

IEC provides a platform to companies, industries and governments for meeting, discussing and developing the International Standards they require.

All IEC International Standards are fully consensus-based and represent the needs of key stakeholders of every nation participating in IEC work. Every member country, no matter how large or small, has one vote and a say in what goes into an IEC International Standard.

Close to 20 000 experts from industry, commerce, government, test and research labs, academia and consumer groups participate in IEC Standardization work.

IEC complements its standards development activities with international conformity assessment activities and thus creates greater value.

IEC operates four global conformity assessment (CA) Systems, IECEE, IECEx, IECQ and IECRE, each with participating testing laboratories and certification bodies from all over the world. Harmonised and documented operational and testing procedures combined with common interpretation of the international standards, then using peer assessment to ensure that the harmonised procedures and common interpretation are applied, ensures consistent and reproducible results from anywhere in the world. This is part of the value proposition offered by IEC global CA services, and is central to the success of the multilateral mutual recognition agreement that guarantees market access.

For more information, please see www.iec.ch

IIOC : Independent International Organisation for Certification

Raising awareness of the benefits of certification and assurance services

IIOC (Independent International Organisation for Certification) is a trade body of a number of key international certification bodies, each delivering a range of management system certification schemes. It represents their views on management system certification issues and provides technical input that influences decision making in this field. IIOC is a key source of support to organizations involved in management system certification.

IIOC also supports the regulatory framework and development of industry-led schemes to ensure management systems deliver improvements in performance the market expects from third party certification.

Membership of IIOC is open to international certification bodies plus national and regional certification associations that share and support its aims.

For more information, please see www.iioc.org

ILAC : International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation

Accredited once, accepted everywhere

ILAC is the international organisation for accreditation bodies operating in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011 and involved in the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies including calibration laboratories (using ISO/IEC 17025), testing laboratories (using ISO/IEC 17025), medical testing laboratories (using ISO 15189) and inspection bodies (using ISO/IEC 17020).

Accreditation bodies that are signatories to the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC MRA) have been peer evaluated as competent to assess and accredit conformity assessment bodies to the relevant internatinal standards. The results from the laboratories and inspection bodies accredited by the ILAC MRA signatories are then able to be recognised internationally.

The ILAC MRA provides significant technical underpinning to the results of the accredited conformity assessment bodies and in turn delivers confidence in the acceptance of results. The ILAC MRA supports the provision of local and national services, such as providing safe food and clean drinking water, providing energy, delivering health and social care or maintaining an unpolluted environment. In addition, the ILAC MRA enhances the acceptance of products across national borders. By removing the need for additional calibration, testing, medical testing and/or inspection of imports and exports, technical barriers to trade are reduced. In this way the ILAC MRA promotes international trade and the free-trade goal of “accredited once, accepted everywhere” can be realised.

For more information, please see www.ilac.org

ISO : International Organisation for Standardisation

ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 162 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges. Our Central Secretariat is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

International Standards make things work. They give world-class specifications for products, services and systems, to ensure quality, safety and efficiency. They are instrumental in facilitating international trade.

ISO has published more than 19000 International Standards and related documents, covering almost every industry, from technology, to food safety, to agriculture and healthcare. ISO International Standards impact everyone, everywhere.

For more information, please see www.iso.org

ITC : International Trade Centre

The International Trade Centre (ITC) is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC's mission is to foster sustainable economic development and contribute to achieving the United Nations Global Goals for sustainable development in developing countries and transition economies through trade and international business development. In sum, ITC promotes trade impact for good.

ITC has a strong track record of connecting developing country businesses to global value chains, building sustainable market linkages and delivering positive development outcomes. ITC’s distinctive feature is to offer integrated solutions by building institutional, managerial and entrepreneurial capacities simultaneously at government, institutional and enterprise levels.

All ITC’s work is focused on Aid for Trade, an initiative that helps developing countries in building capacity and trade-related infrastructure to expand trade opportunities.

In the field of standards and quality, ITC helps SMEs in developing countries to meet technical requirements in international markets and overcome technical barriers to trade (TBT/SPS), the most frequent obstacles to trade. To help SMEs find related information, conform to requirements, and demonstrate compliance in a cost effective manner, ITC assistance is delivered through a mix of quality related services, designed and delivered with partner trade support institution.

For more information, please see www.intracen.org

ITU : International Telecommunication Union

ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.

ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technology (ICT), offering a neutral platform to broker consensus on technical and policy considerations crucial to the development of the global ICT ecosystem. ITU has a unique private-private partnership of members comprising 193 Member States and over 900 private-sector players and academic and research institutes.

ITU is responsible for the global coordination of satellite orbits and radiofrequency allocations. We develop international standards (ITU Recommendations) that enable the interconnection and interoperability of ICT networks and devices. And we build capacity in the application of advanced ICTs within enabling policy and regulatory frameworks.

The ITU Conformity and Interoperability (C&I) Programme was initiated in 2008 at the request of ITU’s membership to enhance the conformity and interoperability of ICT products implementing ITU Recommendations or part thereof, solicit feedback to improve the quality of ITU Recommendations, and bridge the ‘standardization gap’ by assisting developing countries with human-resource and infrastructure capacity building.

This programme is based on four pillars: Pillar 1: Conformity assessment (CA); Pillar 2: Interoperability events; Pillar 3: Human-resource capacity building; and Pillar 4: Assistance in the establishment of test centres and C&I programmes in developing countries.

More details are available at the ITU C&I Portal: www.itu.int

OIML : Organisation Internationale de Métrologie Légale

Paving the way towards a global metrology system since 1955

The International Organization of Legal Metrology is an intergovernmental treaty organization which

  • develops model regulations, standards and related documents for use by legal metrology authorities and industry,
  • provides mutual recognition systems which reduce trade barriers and costs in a global market
  • represents the interests of the legal metrology community within international organizations and forums concerned with metrology, standardization, testing, certification and accreditation
  • promotes and facilitates the exchange of knowledge and competencies within the legal metrology community worldwide
  • cooperates with other metrology bodies to raise awareness of the contribution that a sound legal metrology infrastructure can make to a modern economy

The OIML issues several categories of publications:

  • International Recommendations, which are intended as model regulations for a number of categories of measuring instruments, and which OIML Member States are morally obliged to implement as far as possible
  • International Documents, which are informative and are intended for guidance purposes
  • other publications such as Vocabularies, Guides, Basic Publications and Expert Reports.

In addition, the OIML has developed the OIML Certification System (OIML-CS) which is a system for issuing, registering and using OIML Certificates and their associated OIML type evaluation reports for types of measuring instruments (including families of measuring instruments, modules, or families of modules), based on the requirements of OIML Recommendations. In the OIML-CS participants declare that they intend to accept and utilize OIML Certificates and/or OIML type evaluation reports from those participants that are entitled to issue them. The OIML-CS was launched on 1 January 2018, replacing the previous OIML Basic Certificate System and the OIML Mutual Acceptance Arrangement (MAA).

For more information see: www.oiml.org

UNECE : United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was set up in 1947 by ECOSOC. It is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) as a multilateral platform facilitates greater economic integration and cooperation among its 56 Member States and to promote sustainable development and economic prosperity through:

  • policy dialogue
  • negotiation of international legal instruments
  • development of regulations and norms
  • exchange and application of best practices as well as economic and technical expertise
  • technical cooperation for countries with economies in transition

UNECE brings together 56 countries located in the European Union, non-EU Western and Eastern Europe, South-East Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and North America. All these countries dialogue and cooperate under the aegis of UNECE on economic and sectoral issues. However, all interested United Nations member States may participate in the work of UNECE. Over 70 international professional organizations and other non-governmental organizations take part in UNECE activities.

Norms, standards, conventions and regulations developed within UNECE carry global significance, because a large proportion of the rule-making activities are open to participation on an equal basis by all UN Member States and in all other activities, all UN Member States are allowed to participate as observers.

UNECE contributes to enhancing the effectiveness of the United Nations through the regional implementation of outcomes of global United Nations Conferences and Summits. It gives focus to the United Nations global mandates in the economic field, in cooperation with other global players and key stakeholders, notably the business community.

For more information, please see www.unece.org

UNIDO : United Nations International Development Organisation

UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. UNIDO’s vision is of a world where economic development is inclusive and sustainable and economic progress is equitable. UNIDO aspires to reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID).

UNIDO’s mandate is fully recognized in SDG-9, which calls to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The relevance of ISID, however, applies in greater or lesser extent to all SDGs. All countries should have the opportunity to grow a flourishing productive sector, to increase their participation in international trade and to safeguard their environment. Accordingly, the Organization’s programmatic focus is structured in three thematic priorities, each of which represents different aspects of ISID:

  • Creating shared prosperity
  • Advancing economic competitiveness
  • Safeguarding the environment

UNIDO has developed a comprehensive programme to help developing countries and economies in transition to overcome the shortcomings of their standards and compliance requirements. UNIDO’s assistance in the area of metrology, accreditation, standards and conformity assessment aims to:

  • Enable national standards bodies to offer services for industrial compliance with WTO agreements, especially on TBT/SPS, while taking into account private sector, exporter and consumer needs
  • Develop local capacities in metrology, calibration and product testing, in order to provide services to local testers, producers and exporters according to international best practices, and also to enhance consumer protection
  • Make internationally recognized certification services for international public and private standards regarding, inter alia, quality, environment, social accountability, food safety, and traceability, available to exporters and local enterprises
  • Enable national and regional accreditation schemes to assess the performance of local and regional laboratories, inspection units and certification bodies; and
  • Build the capacities of consumer associations to promote consumer rights based on national policies and in line with international best practices.

In carrying out the core requirements of its mission, UNIDO has proven its worth for diverse customers in different business sectors in Africa, Asia, Middle East and Latin America. Its technical services have considerably increased over time. At the same time, it has also substantially increased its mobilization of financial resources, testifying to the growing international recognition as an effective provider of catalytic industrial development services.

For more information, please see www.unido.org

WBG : World Bank Group

With 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group (WBG) is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries. WBG works in every major area of development to

  1. provide a wide array of financial products and technical assistance, and

  2. help countries share and apply innovative knowledge and solutions to the challenges they face.

The WBG Quality Infrastructure (QI) team provides advisory support to the clients aimed at:

  • Identifying critical gaps in QI through diagnostic and Gap Assessment;
  • Supporting quality policy development and dialogue, including dissemination of information and awareness raising;
  • Reforming QI legal and institutional framework, including capacity building;
  • Developing competent quality assurance service providers (national or regional);
  • Streamlining technical regulations and standards, and harmonizing them with target markets;
  • Complying with industry standards to attract investments and join global value chains;
  • Fostering innovation and technology upgrade to meet high-quality standards.

For more information, please see www.worldbank.org, and www.worldbank.org/qi

WTO : World Trade Organisation

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world's trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible. The WTO has many roles: it operates a global system of trade rules, it acts as a forum for negotiating trade agreements, it settles trade disputes between its Members and it supports the needs of developing countries.
The WTO currently has 164 Members, of which 117 are developing countries or separate customs territories. WTO activities are supported by a Secretariat of some 700 staff, led by the WTO Director-General. All major decisions are made by the WTO's Member governments: either by ministers (who usually meet at least every two years) or by their ambassadors or delegates (who meet regularly in Geneva).

The WTO agreements are lengthy and complex because they are legal texts covering a wide range of activities. But a number of simple, fundamental principles form the foundation of the multilateral trading system.

•  Non-discrimination
A country should not discriminate between its trading partners and it should not discriminate between its own and foreign products, services or nationals.
• More open
Lowering trade barriers is one of the most obvious ways of encouraging trade; these barriers include customs duties (or tariffs) and measures such as import bans or quotas that restrict quantities selectively.
• Predictable and transparent
Foreign companies, investors and governments should be confident that trade barriers should not be raised arbitrarily. With stability and predictability, investment is encouraged, jobs are created and consumers can fully enjoy the benefits of competition — choice and lower prices.
• More competitive
Discouraging 'unfair' practices, such as export subsidies and dumping products at below cost to gain market share; the issues are complex, and the rules try to establish what is fair or unfair, and how governments can respond, in particular by charging additional import duties calculated to compensate for damage caused by unfair trade.
• More beneficial for less developed countries
Giving them more time to adjust, greater flexibility and special privileges; over three-quarters of WTO Members are developing countries and countries in transition to market economies. The WTO agreements give them transition periods to adjust to the more unfamiliar and, perhaps, difficult WTO provisions.
• Protect the environment
The WTO's agreements permit Members to take measures to protect not only the environment but also public health, animal health and plant health. However, these measures must be applied in the same way to both national and foreign businesses. In other words, Members must not use environmental protection measures as a means of disguising protectionist policies.

For more information, please visit the WTO Website: https://www.wto.org/index.htm.

Technical barriers to trade

The Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement aims to ensure that technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade. At the same time, it recognises WTO Members' right to implement measures to achieve legitimate policy objectives, such as the protection of human health and safety, or protection of the environment. The TBT Agreement strongly encourages Members to base their measures on international standards as a means to facilitate trade. Through its transparency provisions, it also aims to create a predictable trading environment.

Please visit the TBT Gateway for more information on Technical Barriers to Trade: https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tbt_e/tbt_e.htm.