Celebrating the World Accreditation Day

Accreditation Day

World Accreditation Day (9th June) was celebrated on 8th June 2012 at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce when the Accreditation Body of Serbia (ATS) organised a conference dedicated to the accredited testing laboratories performing testing of food and drinking water, whereas the main theme was in accordance with that of the World Accreditation Day – safe food and clean drinking water. The conference was organised in cooperation with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and consumer organisations.

World Accreditation Day is a global initiative jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation-related activities.

ATS Management Board Chair, Snježana Pupavac, offered her congratulations to all accredited CABs, ATS management and employees on celebrating the World Accreditation Day and Accreditation Day in the Republic of Serbia, and wished them lot of success in maintaining the level of competence confirmed by assessors of the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) and explained that the following peer evaluation would take place in April 2013.

Snježana Pupavac

During his opening address, Dejan Krnjaić PhD, ATS Director, addressed the conference participants and emphasised that Serbia was no longer a part of Europe in terms of its geographical location, but in terms of adopted values such as signing of the multilateral agreement (MLA) with EA, and on that occasion he thanked the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia and the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development (MERR) for assisting the ATS and for reforming the legislation and technical regulations that led to signing of this important international agreement.

Dejan Krnjaić PhD, ATS Director

Furthermore, he thanked the respective ministries, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Water Management, and emphasised that the Ministry of Agriculture was one of the best examples of how a legislator could determine the competence and use these findings in case of inspection, certification and testing. This would actually mean that safe products, first of all food and drinking water, would reach consumers and citizens. Mr Krnjaić informed the conference participants that after signing of the MLA all conditions to obtain full ILAC membership status had been met (starting from 24th May) in case of testing and calibration. “These agreements boost the importance of a large family of accredited CABs and we hope that the role of CABs would become ever more important in the future, and that accreditation and conformity assessment will thus contribute to the removal of barriers to trade and increase the competitiveness of our economy”, said Mr Krnjaić.

Freek Janmaat, Head of the European Integration Section of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia, emphasised that the MLA would foster the EU integration process of Serbia and remove barriers to trade, whereby enabling free movement of goods and services, and reduction in costs for both producers and consumers, and, what was important, the access thereof to the EU and world markets. Practically speaking competence of the Serbian economy would increase, while the production costs would be reduced. “EU provides significant support to the Republic of Serbia in the field of food safety and drinking water, since it is necessary to completely harmonise and implement regulations in this field in order to fulfil the EU legal requirements. Additionally, we will continue to support Serbia by upgrading another segment of the quality infrastructure in Serbia  - market surveillance through the EU funded project (2.5 million Euros) that should contribute to a greater protection of consumers”, explained Freek Janmaat.

Freek Janmaat, Head of the European Integration Section of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia

Jelena Popović MSc, MERR Assistant Minister, explained that the ATS made one giant leap towards the EU integrations which was important not only for our economy, but for the increase of its competitiveness as well. “QI system has been intensively developing in Serbia since 2008 so that it could become a modern EU system and fulfil two key objectives – safety of Serbian products on national and  foreign markets, and free access of our products to the EU and world markets”, said Jelena Popović and added that the Ministry would continue to transpose the remaining EU directives governing this field (5 of them had already been transposed), and to continue to communicate with other ministries to meet the objectives defined in the National Integration Plan.

Mr Jelena Popović, MERR Assistant Minister

Prof. dr Marija Jeftić, Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Health, emphasised that it was necessary to establish cooperation between all institutions - from the respective ministries, inspections, market surveillance to consumers so that safe food and drinking water could reach our citizens.

Prof. dr Marija Jeftić, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Health

According to Tatjana Jovanić PhD, expert in the EU project entitled “Strengthening Consumer Protection in Serbia”, consumer protection system involves different parties - country, CABs and representative consumer associations or citizen associations which implies participation of consumers in the adoption of standards, legislation, and surveillance procedure. “This participation should get ever more important in all spheres, including accreditation”, emphasised Ms Jovanić.

Slavoljub Stanojević, Head of Department for Veterinary Organisations and Veterinary Services at the Veterinary Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Water Management, emphasised the importance of a good organised network of accredited laboratories and reliable laboratory tests so that there would be enough quality and safe food for the citizens. Hence the key laws introduce accreditation as a legal obligation for all CABs. The next step that the Ministry will work on will be to improve the quality of work of inspection services and authorised veterinary organisations entrusted with the performance of public administration activities that will definitely lead to the introduction of international standards to this field as well.

Slavoljub Stanojević, Veterinary Directorat

Vidosava Džagić, Vice Chair of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, emphasised that the most important motto of the world accreditation system is “Tested once, accepted everywhere”. “When it comes to export of food this is the field with the best potentials for the development since we have a positive balance in this field. Our joint message implies that we should join our forces to upgrade the system of quality infrastructure, accreditation and market surveillance and thus putting competence above all”, said Vidosava Džagić.

Vidosava Džagić, Vice Chair of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce

On behalf of the ATS Management Board, and Association of Accredited Food Laboratories that is part of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and EKO-LAB quality management laboratory, Snježana Pupavac presented the ATS Director with a painting in honour of the success that was achieved and the World Accreditation Day.

Snježana Pupavac and Dejan Krnjaić PhD

Zvonko Platiša, Ministry of Health

Biljana Tomić, Snježana Pupavac, Dejan Krnjaić PhD, Vidosava Džagić and Natalija Jovičić Zarić

Promotional ILAC & IAF film entitled “Once accredited – accepted everywhere” was played in the honour of the World Accreditation Day at the beginning of the conference.

Snježana Pupavac, ATS MB Chair, and Jovan Jovanović, Consumer Protection Centre “Forum” Niš

The conference was attended by a large number of delegates

We would like to thank all the representatives of accredited laboratories performing food and water testing that attended the conference and lectures, and to our renowned guests that provided their support in organising this thematic conference