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FAQ Organic food and Products - Frequently Asked Questions - Organic Link - ITC(28)

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     How can a local certification body receive recognition in international markets, thus providing market access for local exporters?

     To be accredited, a certification body must demonstrate that it complies with basic criteria of transparency and independence (freedom from the influence of vested interests). Certification bodies may be evaluated according to their ability to meet such criteria, and this requires an analysis of their certification systems, including an assessment of their personnel, standards and their inspection and certification procedures. An increasing number of importing countries require that certification bodies comply with the ISO 65 standard or equivalent norms which set out the details of such procedures. Because accreditation of local certification bodies in developing countries is rare in practice, local bodies tend to develop partnerships with international certification agencies. In general, the local body carries out the bulk of the activities leading to certification, while the international body periodically evaluates the implementation of certification procedures and sometimes issues the certificates. This may reduce costs for the producers and exporters, while providing access to an international certification mark.