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Saturday, November 3, 2012

ANSI accreditation of Georgian laboratories expected to boost trade

02.11.2012. ACLASS, one of three brands under the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), recently awarded international accreditation certificates to Multitest and Wine Laboratory, its first accreditations in the nation of Georgia. (See also: Accredited local laboratories to increase agriculture export, and U.S. Government supports international certification opportunities for Georgian agriculture products).

The accreditations are part of ANSI’s larger collaborative effort with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Economic Prosperity Initiative (EPI) – a $40 million program overseen by Deloitte Consulting LLP and a group of U.S. and Georgian economic experts – and the Georgia Accreditation Center (GAC) to bolster Georgian exports and overall economic growth through improvements to the country’s accreditation and conformity assessment.

Over the past year, a series of trainings, workshops, proficiency testing, and pre-assessments for both product certification bodies and laboratories were conducted based on a roadmap developed by ANSI, leading up to the full accreditation assessments of the two laboratories. These projects had a significant impact on the improvement of understanding of international standards and their requirements by the Georgian conformity assessment bodies operating in the food area. ANSI and ACLASS also increased the capacity of GAC by conducting workshops for its staff in Tbilisi and Washington and including them in ANSI and ACLASS assessments during the GAC visit to the United States, in accordance with the framework of the ANSI-GAC Memorandum of Cooperation.

The two accredited laboratories focus on the testing of agricultural exports, including wine, fruits and vegetables, and hazelnuts. The accreditation of Multitest and Wine Laboratory is expected to remove key technical barriers to Georgian agricultural export commodities by providing international importers, established grocery chains, and consumers with credible, universally accepted test results and certificates for food and beverage products in Georgia.

The certificates were officially awarded to Multitest and Wine Laboratory on October 17, 2012, at a ceremony at the Tbilisi Marriott in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital. The event was hosted by EPI and was attended by Stephen Haykin, mission director for USAID, as well as representatives of ANSI, GAC, the Georgian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, local laboratories, supermarkets, and food processors.

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