Whether it’s going to far-flung lands or just the neighbouring country, we all need a passport to travel. But what about products? How do bananas from Costa Rica get through customs in France? Or watches from Switzerland get past border control in Australia? Their “papers” are often in the form of documents such as certificates that prove they have passed the various rules and requirements of their new country. International standards can help smooth the “immigration” process and are therefore a “passport to trade”.

Take the tasty mango for example. Importing it into the EU is duty-free for all countries, but it needs to comply with a wide range of measures, known as non-tariff measures or NTMs, for which the exporter must provide adequate proof. Add to that any extra requirements by the buyer, such as evidence that the product is organic or fair trade, and the exporter has quite some work to do.

But with internationally recognized tests, inspections and certificates, backed up by a system of accreditation, businesses can not only reduce the costs of meeting these requirements but also increase trade opportunities.

Research done by Accredia, the Italian Accreditation Body, showed that businesses with accredited certification saw productivity gains of 30 % to 60 % through entering global value chains. It also stated that “the development of common standards, supported by mutual recognition of accredited test results, inspection reports and certificates provide simplification and reductions in the cost of commerce”.

See more in: https://www.iso.org/news/ref2429.html

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