From 21 September to 3 October French expert Dr Pascal Poupet worked with the State Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Patent of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SCSMP) providing advice and training on the sales of Standards and the rules and policies under which SCSMP may provide International and European Standards for use in Azerbaijan.
As Azerbaijan's National Standardization Body, SCSMP is the Azerbaijani member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the European Standardization Body (CEN). Membership of these organizations gives SCSMP the rights for its industries to be represented in the development of European and International Standards, and to adopt and publish International and European Standards in Azerbaijan.
In the course of this high-level meeting, the participants discussed the latest developments and trends in international and European standardization and the opportunities this represents for Azerbaijan.
Dr Poupet emphasised that, faced with the emergence of private standardization consortia, particularly in the field of information technologies, the International standardization organizations are striving to include these innovative organizations and to feed their standards into processes governed by the principles of the World Trade Organization for voluntary standardization.
The participants reflected on the current policies of the European Union that are designed to deal with this new situation, in anticipation of the likely outcomes of the ongoing negotiation of a new trans-Atlantic free trade agreement (TTIP).
The emergence of China as a potential new leader in international standardization was also examined, along with its likely consequences on the structure of the standardization international organization (ISO).
The meeting concluded by drawing recommendations regarding the best course of action for Azerbaijan, in view of supporting the global leadership of ISO, of which the Azerbaijani national standards body is a full member.
The activity was part of the EU funded twinning project between SCSMP and European Standards Bodies from the UK (BSI), France (AFNOR) and the Slovenian Institute of Quality and Metrology (SIQ). The overall project aims to support the development of a modern system of standardization and technical regulations in Azerbaijan that complies with European requirements and the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement enabling Azerbaijan to:
"Work towards WTO accession on commercially viable terms;"
"Strengthen the institutions in charge of standardization, accreditation, conformity assessment, ... (and) integrate them to the extent possible within European and international structures"
"Move toward EU and international legislative and administrative practices for technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment."
"Simplify procedures of conformity assessment of industrial products, with the aim of avoiding compulsory certification of low risk products and repeat testing."