Extended recommendations for production certification during a coronavirus pandemic

The Russian Ministry of Import, Ministry of Economic Development and the Federal Accreditation Service have developed extended recommendations for entities involved in the certification process in connection with the COVID-19 virus epidemic. They concern, among others, sanitary supervision, sampling procedures, as well as other activities due to the difficult epidemiological situation. Recommendations published in March 2020 are no longer applicable.

 Postponement of inspection control for 6 months

The document contains information that, with respect to valid certificates of conformity of mass production, if the next planned inspection is scheduled between March 15 and December 31, 2020, the certification body may decide to postpone the inspection control for a period of up to 6 months .

An important change concerns the fact that the certification body may issue new certificates of conformity for series production, whose validity expires between March 15 and December 31, 2020, as well as for new products that have slight differences in design (composition) and production technology, which do not affect its’ safety. An inspection of certified products, including an analysis of the state of production in accordance with compliance standards, should be carried out within a period not exceeding six months from the date of cancellation of the measures provided for in the document.

Video surveillance during the product sampling process

Sampling for serial product certification can be carried out by the applicant's or manufacturer's representative in the finished product’s warehouse under remote supervision of the certification body by videoconference. For video recording the certification body must provide documentation of the remote sampling procedure, as well as of the storage of materials.

Remote assessment of the state of certified production

Extended recommendations allow remote certification of production status by the certification body, in conjunction with the assessment of documents regarding the quality management system by the manufacturer. This solution allows the assessment of the manufacturer's ability to consistently ensure that certified products comply with the mandatory requirements of technical regulations, the conditions necessary for the implementation of the production process and other established requirements, until all restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are removed.

The remote assessment is carried out by videoconference, using the remote identification of persons, premises, equipment and location of the place of business by the manufacturer. Remote assessment cannot be carried out if such a format creates an unacceptable risk of lack of objectivity in assessing the state of production or compliance of the applicant's (controlled organization) management system with the established requirements.

What about newly marketed products?

The product batch or individual product certification schemes may apply to products that have been placed on the market for the first time. The certification body may also take samples of products in temporary storage, a customs warehouse or in a vehicle. Samples of such products may also be independently collected by the applicant, delivered to the Russian Federation under customs procedures as samples for testing and measurements, and forwarded to the certification body together with the submission of a sampling certificate.

If an inspection or transfer is not possible, it is recommended not to revoke or suspend certificates of compliance for such products while the epidemiological risk remains high.

Until December 31, 2020, extended recommendations may be equally applied by certification bodies to foreign products and products manufactured in the Russian Federation, provided that the applicant submits the relevant application. Compliance with these recommendations will be considered by Rosaccreditation for compliance with the established requirements without the application of administrative liability measures in accordance with the Code of Administrative Infringement, and without suspending the accreditation of these entities.