A new global arrangement will make it easier for many New Zealand products to gain access to overseas markets, and vice versa. At the recent ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation) general assembly in Brazil, New Zealand’s accreditation organisation (IANZ) was one of the inaugural signatories to a new global mutual recognition arrangement (MRA). In total, 39 countries signed the MRA for accreditation of inspection bodies.
“This means inspection reports and services from inspection bodies accredited by other MRA signatories can now be accepted in New Zealand on the same basis as if they had been accredited here by us,” says IANZ chief executive Dr Llew Richards.
“This is particularly important for items such as pressure equipment, bridging structures and other heavy engineering products that are manufactured overseas.
“Given their complex nature, often it’s not feasible to inspect such products on arrival in New Zealand so the MRA will give a greater level of assurance that compliance with New Zealand regulatory requirements and standards has actually occurred.”
Dr Richards said the agreement also meant items inspected in New Zealand or food produced and inspected here can be exported to overseas markets with a higher level of assurance than may have previously been the case.
“This will be very useful for New Zealand manufacturers and allow them to gain easier access to overseas markets.”
While New Zealand accredited inspection bodies were already recognised throughout the Asia Pacific region, the new global arrangement extends such recognition to Europe, North America and South America.