A bright future for digital product conformity, credentials and eCertificates exchange

Industry News May 13, 2022
A bright future for digital product conformity, credentials and eCertificates exchange
NATA team

  • International product conformity bodies came together this week to discuss digitisation pathways for aligning physical product flow and product claims information
  • Standards and trade facilitation organisations joined the discussion with interest in enhancing global supply chain integrity

The round table discussion took place in the context of a circulated draft industry consultation paper and pilot project launch.  It brought together key pieces of the supply chain puzzle, including global representatives of the product conformity community, international trade facilitation and standards bodies.

In remarks addressing the virtual event, Chair of the ISO – IEC Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO), Reinaldo B. Figueiredo emphasized the importance of using ISO – IEC CASCO Standards.  Referencing the draft consultation paper, Mr Figueiredo said “NATA, JAS-ANZ and GS1 in Australia have helped to define pathways for digitalisation of international product conformity systems that are the backbone of international mutual recognition agreements that support global trade”.

The consultation paper and the virtual session focused on opportunities to strengthen linkages between physical shipments of products and well-credentialled conformity data – a ‘missing link’ in global supply chains.  Brett Hyland from NATA, who has been involved in the collaboration with JAS-ANZ and GS1, said “There are well established global standards for tracking of goods moving through global supply chains, so it seems logical to apply this existing architecture to the associated conformity assessment data.”

2022 has been an extraordinary year in terms of landmark reports and strategies to address global supply chain digitalisation.

The consultation paper is titled Certificates, Claims and Credentials Exchange for Enhanced Digital Product Conformity – A Standards-Based Approach and follows important earlier reports, including a joint report by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Economic Forum, The Promise of Tradetech – Policy Approaches to Harness Trade Digitalization and a WTO/ International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) publication, Standards Toolkit for Cross-border Paperless Trade.

Round table discussion participant and co-author of the WTO/ICC Standards Toolkit, Emmanuelle Ganne of the WTO said “It is encouraging to see the public-private sector collaboration to solve the conformity claims and credentials exchange challenge, in a digitalized trading environment.”

Hannah Nguyen of the ICC Digital Standards Initiative, who co-authored the WTO/ICC report with Ms Ganne, also participated in the round table and noted that “Governments, businesses, and consumers are demanding a harmonized approach to evidence-based data exchange especially for ESG related credentials to facilitate market access, trade finance and product differentiation.” 

The work being undertaken by NATA in collaboration with JAS-ANZ and GS1 aims at leveraging existing international standards to simplify the way product conformance information is managed in digital trade settings. Mr Hyland noted strong support for adopting global standards and processes in digital trade, making reference to a recently released Australian Government Digital Trade Strategy which calls for “agreement to adopt international digital trade standards and cooperate in relation to the development, application and adoption of standards.” 

For additional information about the initiative, please direct enquiries via email to: