ISO Releases 2020 Survey Results

The results of the ISO Survey 2020 on ISO management system standards certifications have been published and the full results can be downloaded from the ISO website:


The results show the number of valid certificates, as of 31 December 2020, for each country for 12 ISO Management System Standards and the number of sites and sectors covered by those.


This is an annual Survey conducted by ISO and the providers of data are the certification bodies accredited by the IAF MLA Members.

SABS Communiqué on CSR Testing

Customer Specific Requirements (CSR) Testing

In the interest of improved stakeholder relations the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) would like to bring your attention to the fact that we delivered a presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry in the National Assembly, on Wednesday the 6th March 2019.


Our presentation focused on the recent organisational developments and the status of the SABS Turnaround Plan, which has been compiled by the co-administrators appointed by Minister Rob Davies. Included was an update on the critical subject of “partial testing”.

As you might be aware, in 2015 the SABS made a decision to limit all testing requirements to testing against a full South African National Standard (SANS). The unintended impact on business and industry has been severe. the dti and the SABS have received numerous complaints and requests to reinstate partial testing.
Our Laboratories Management Team has commenced with a customer and industry engagement process with the aim of further developing an understanding of what the industry requirements for Customer Specific Requirements (CSR) testing are and how the SABS can build our testing capacity to support such activities.
Currently, all new proposed CSR testing will follow a review process before being authorised by the SABS Executive: Laboratory Services. The SABS has implemented a development program to ensure that all of our laboratories are enabled with the required processes and procedures to execute on CSR testing.
We have, thus, implemented a program to enable the testing of certain components of the various national standards (SANS) which includes the testing of non-SANS standards or other customer specific testing requirements. After the initial industry feedback we noted that in order to support local manufacturing and enhance their export competitiveness, our laboratories will be required to expand their testing capabilities to test beyond national standards. Accreditation is still dependent on external laboratory accreditation processes and accreditation to non-SANS standards and methods will be explored on a case-by-case basis, dependent on market viability. It is therefore important to appreciate that accreditation to a non-SANS test methods will require stringent evaluation and correspondingly, an adequate lead-time for implementation.
In most instances, CSR testing is likely to originate from a customer-sourced sample and therefore, the test report that we will issued, will be in the form of a data report with a watermarked certificate stating “For Customer Information Only”.
This is not a statement of compliance to a standard or a part thereof. However, this results report should assist industry with an independent verification of the specific characteristics of their product as determined by the specific standard or specification clause and it is anticipated to be utilised constructively by industry in the support of product development or otherwise in the application of specific buyer controls.
Testing to Customer Specific Requirements (vs full SANS testing) also allow the laboratories to conduct testing to the Special Permit Conditions (SPCs) of the SABS Mark Scheme as well as specific testing requirements that the NRCS may propose through VC or other formal controls.
All other specific requirements are reviewed with our clients following a risk based approach, with consideration and sanction on a case by case basis authorised by the Executive: Laboratory Services.
We would like to request that you share this communique with the members of your industry organisation regarding their individual or your industry CSR Testing requirements. We encourage industry groups and individual organisations to register for future communications, by sharing their contact details with our call center or by e-mail on We are also expanding our communications on social media platforms.
We would like to make use of the opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support for the SABS laboratories as we deliver our turnaround strategy.
Your feedback is welcomed.
Yours sincerely,
Johan Louw
Executive: Laboratory Services

AU charts path for common standardization stamp

The African Organization for Standardization (ARSO), an African Union (AU) unit has set the wheels in motion to the establishment of the continent’s first commonly accepted standard for goods with a view to enhance access to international and regional markets for African Producers. Coined as Ecomark Africa (EMA), the certification issued to producers is expected to improve transparency on the origin of products to go along with the disclosure of the environmental and social conditions of production in Africa.


“There is a huge demand from consumers; people are getting wind of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the need to consume safe products. Internationally, there is a request especially in the Caribbean and South America to benchmark with this standard,” said ARSO Secretary General Hermogene Nsengimana. “From a practical sense, this marker will present products in a wider global market where it will be accepted as the Eco-marker is a confirmation of vigorous checks on acquired goods through our certification body,” ARSO President Eve Gadzikwa added.


The formulation of the standard marker is viewed as a step in the right direction and will serve to link up Africa’s fresh produce market with the rest of the world.


Kenya through its standardization body, the Kenya Bureau of Statistics (KEBS), has already signed on to the voluntary amplitude to bring with it five individual firms to the table to include the Kamuthanga  Farm, KOFINAF Limited, Coffee Management Services, Kabng’etuny Coffee Corporative Society and the Kapkiyai Coffee Corporative Society.


The Standards Association of Zimbabwe is the second standards body to be signed on to the audit whose label is currently being piloted in 8 other African states which includes Cameroon, Ghana, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia.


KEBS Marketing Surveillance Director Caroline Outa expects the successful implementation of the marker to ease standards conformity procedures and backs regional economic blocs (RECs), this to support the roll-out of the common standard. “RECs already have harmonized standards and could facilitate the fast tracking of discussions into uniform standards for goods across the continent and the solution to make ACFTA works,” she said.


(Citizen Digital 13 March 2019)

Precious metals refiners face new LBMA environmental standard

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) has launched a new standard that addresses environmental as well as sustainability issues in the gold and silver markets.


To do that in a credible way, the LBMA has been actively engaging with mining companies and producer nations.


For refiners to be listed by the LBMA, they need to demonstrate that they complied with the guidance under a third party audit.


“The reality on the ground for a mining company is that if they are not doing the right thing by the environment and meeting the sustainabilty agenda, refiners can’t take that material”, LBMA CE, Ruth Crowell, told Mining Weekly on the sidelines of the Investing in African Mining Indaba.


(Martin Creamer – Mining Weekly).

Solar industry association unveils PV GreenCard Programme

The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) recently launched its PV GreenCard Programme, an industry led quality mechanism for solar PV installations.

The PV GreenCard has been developed by SAPVIA in partnership with the German Solar Association and the German International Cooperation.

It will be a national, standardised hand-over or “as built” report for roof-top PV installations, aimed at improving the safety and quality of installations.

The programme was launched at the recent Electrical Safety Indaba Workshop, hosted by the Department of Labour (DoL), with the aim of providing stakeholders in the electrical industry with insights into safety and applicable compliance standards to be followed by industry players.

Key industry bodies such as South African National Accreditation System (SANAS), National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications, Association of Inspection Authorities (AIA) and Electrical Contractors Association of South Africa (ECASA) attended the event.