For imports into the Customs Union, almost all kinds of products need to be tested and certified. Current certification legislation is based on the Technical Regulations of the Customs Union. The technical regulations are definitions of standards which describe the characteristics of different products and their production processes in terms of quality, security, technical characteristics, etc.
The new legislation was established to replace the old “GOST standard”, which no longer reflected the requirements of modern production and industry, since product certification had become, to a certain extent, a business in which the main concepts of security and quality had disappeared. In the first decade of the new century Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan started to implement the new standards which they called the Technical Regulations, which involve minimum requirements in terms of health and safety, security of property, protection of the environment, energy efficiency, etc.
However, at that time the Technical regulations were only national standards, with conformity documents being valid only in the country in which they had been issued.
With the introduction of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, a unified product certification system became
indispensable and in 2010 the three countries decided to introduce the Technical Regulations of the Customs Union (abbreviated as “TR TS” or “TR CU”).
The task of establishing the Technical Regulations, as well as coordinating and controlling the related procedures, was assigned to the Commission of the Customs Union. Within the Technical Regulations of the Customs Union, the Commission established a unified list of products for which conformity according to the Technical Regulations was obligatory.
From January 2012, the new Technical Regulations of the Customs Union were introduced step by step, and the respective national standards became invalid. For example, on February 15, 2013, when the Technical Regulation on the security of lifts (elevators) came into force, the national norms in this field expired.
The scheme developed by the Customs Union has introduced 55 regulations to date, of which 35 have already come into force and 23 others are awaiting approval.
For goods which have been proved to be compliant with the Technical Regulations, one of the following documents is issued:
- a conformity declaration
- a conformity certificate
The type of product, its customs tariff number and the field of use determines which of the two is to be issued. Both documents may be issued for:
- a specific delivery (with indication of the invoice and delivery contract number)
- serial production (with a validity of one, three or five years)
In either case, the applicant needs to provide certain documents assessing the goods’ compliance to security standards, such as technical data sheets, construction plans and instructions of use.
Additionally, the manufacturer needs to provide samples for the testing protocol, which is the basis on which conformity documents are issued. In some cases, particularly when obtaining conformity certificates for serial production, an audit of the production site is necessary.
One of the new aspects, and probably the most widely discussed, is the application process for conformity certificates and declarations. The applicant for a TR TS document needs to be a legal entity of one of the countries of the Customs Union, since the certification process and also, to a certain extent, the security of the product itself, is the responsibility of the applicant. For this reason, the manufacturer and applicant need to conclude a contract on the representative function of the applicant for certification purposes.
Besides the most common conformity declarations and conformity certificates, there are dozens of other types of product registrations, licenses and authorisations. Examples include the so called ‘State Registration’, formerly known as the Sanitary certificate (which is issued for food or cosmetic products), the metrological certificate for measurement devices, and the registration required for medical devices, to name a few.
The Certification system in Ukraine provides almost all kinds of products which need to be tested and certified. The technical regulations are definitions of standards which describe characteristics and properties of products production processes in terms of quality, security, technical characteristics, etc.
The system is designed to conduct mandatory and voluntary certification of products, processes and services. Certification of compliance with regulatory requirements and regulations stipulated by the legislative acts is carried out exclusively in the system. Certification bodies in the system can be accredited organizations and state-owned enterprises. If the system has several accredited certification bodies of the same product, the applicant shall have the right to certify products in any of them. Certified production systems are issued a certificate of compliance and are marked in compliance.
Procedure for certification of products generally contains:
- filing and consideration of the application for certification,
- analysis of submitted documentation,
- a decision on the application indicating the certification model,
- inspection of production,
- certification of production provided by the certification model,
- selection, identification of product samples and testing,
- analysis of the results and decide whether a certificate of conformity and the license may be issued,
- the issuance of the certificate of conformity, the granting of licenses and introduction of certified products in the system registry,
- recognition of the certificate of conformity issued by a foreign authority,
- technical supervision of certified products within the process of its manufacturing,
- information on the results of certification works.
The Certification model on products delivery should be determined by the certification agency in consultation with the applicant to start work on certification. Selection of the certification model depends on the type of product, its amount and other production state baseline data.Once the test results in an accredited laboratory turn out positive, appropriate certificates can be issued.