IAF Regions' news

Scaling up skills in APAC

Aparna Dhawan

The Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) has developed an e-learning platform to broaden access to training by allowing delegates to learn from their desks. To date, 700 trainees have used this platform to take courses for ISO/IEC 17011 with IAF MD 20, ISO/IEC 17065 and ISO/IEC 17025.

APAC also organized the first training session of the newly published ISO/IEC 17029, ISO 14065 and ISO 14063-4 training in Seoul, Korea from 4-6 November 2019. The programme, which was developed by Dr. Stefanie Vehrin from TUV, Germany and Dr. John C. Shideler from Futurepast, USA, was organised for member economies of APAC.

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APAC is now developing an online introductory e-learning course on ISO/IEC 17029 and ISO 14065.

APAC Update on Product Certification Programme:

APAC has produced two guidance documents for Product Certification programme as per ISO/IEC 17065: APAC TEC 4-001 Guidance on description of scope for accreditation for product certification and APAC TEC4-002 Guidance on Application of ISO-IEC 17065 Organic Certification. APAC is now proposing a new IAF guidance document on accredited organic certification based on APAC TEC4-002.

Update from Japan Accreditation Board (JAB) on Product Certification Programme:

undefinedThe Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) has provided formal recognition of the Marine Eco-Label Japan (MEL) V2 scheme for the scope of Aquaculture and Fisheries on 12 December 2019.

Prior to that the Japan Accreditation Board (JAB) awarded the Japan Fisheries Resource Conservation Association (JFRCA) with the first accreditation to ISO/IEC 17065:2012 for the scope of fishery and agriculture of MEL V2 on 28 March 2019. The Certification Body (CB) extended its accreditation scope to include COC later in September of that year.

GSSI’s recognition demonstrates that their Aquaculture Management Standard (AMS Version 1.0, 2018) and Fisheries Management Standard (FMS Version 2.0, 2018) are in alignment with all applicable Essential Components of the GSSI Global Benchmark Tool (version 1.0, 8 October 2015). GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool provides formal recognition of seafood certification schemes that successfully complete a rigorous and transparent benchmark process, underpinned by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Guidelines. The Tool aims to minimize the overall environmental impact of how we produce, catch and supply seafood to meet a growing global demand.

The MEL V2 scheme is the 9th in the world and the 1st in Asia recognized by GSSI. With GSSI recognition, MEL certified products are accepted to meet procurement requirements in accordance with the sustainable sourcing code set out by the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Committee. Now the Japanese food industries are looking forward to providing a greater variety of fresh and certified seafood produced locally to customers and visitors from all over the world. Accredited certificates under the IAF MLA to GSSI recognized scheme have opened up the opportunity for overseas retailers and consumers to respond to the growing demand for Japanese seafood. Aiming at promoting exports, the Japanese government provides direct financial support to CBs to compensate part of their accreditation costs.

MEL V2 suits the dynamics of the Japanese fishery and seafood industry. Japan consists of islands and has a long history of coastal fisheries. The majority of fisheries are small-scaled coastal and close off-shore fisheries. The MEL V2 scheme fully accommodates this market structure without compromising compliance to FAO Guidelines. The approach is suitable for use by fisheries in other Southeast Asia economies, and any other economies which share geographical and industrial similarities to Japan.

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