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BSIA’s SEMS section asks European Union to implement unified testing and certification regime to facilitate free trade

Published on 9 August, 2011
BSIA calls for the European Union to implement a fair, unified testing and certification regime 
 BSIA issues a firm position statement on third party testing and certification

The Security Equipment Manufacturers (SEMS) Section of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has issued a firm position statement on third party testing, calling for the European Union to implement a fair, unified testing and certification regime to facilitate free trade for security manufacturers throughout EU member countries.

Current procedures require security equipment manufacturers to get their products third party tested and certificated by individual test houses in many of the European member States, a procedure which is costly, time consuming and carries a significant administrative burden. Even with the advent of European standards in the 1980s, SEMS member products still have to undergo many different third party testing and certification regimes, even if the test houses are testing to the same European standard. The BSIA view is that this situation is unacceptable as it forms an unwelcome barrier to trade for all European security product manufacturers.

Tony Allen, Chairman of the BSIA's SEMS section, comments: "Although the European Union has proven successful in shaping regulations and standards applicable to the security industry, it has not managed to streamline the testing process for security solutions. The introduction of a pan-European testing and certification regime would mean that security products exported would be assessed against requirements shared by all European countries, therefore dramatically improving the overall quality of products entering the market, and reducing the confusion surrounding which tests are needed for each country."

Alex Carmichael, Technical Director of the BSIA, adds: "In these challenging economic times, the ability to reach out to new markets can make all the difference to a company's success. The introduction of one-stop testing and certification throughout Europe will enable a European quality mark to be introduced, reduce unnecessary multiple certification costs and thereby enable all manufacturers - both large corporates and SMEs - to compete in a level market. It will also allow manufacturers to increase funding into the research and development of new products."

Alex adds: "The BSIA supports the Certalarm scheme as the ideal quality mark for European security products, enforced through one-stop testing and certification. Certalarm aims to issue a certificate to products that have been third party tested to European standards and for this certificate to be accepted in all European countries without the need for product re-testing in each country."

The BSIA's SEMS section's position is firm on this issue, in that testing and certification should be to the European product standards only, or to the relevant BSI British product standard if a European product standard is not available. Also, it is the view of the section that there should be no additional third party testing requirements added to the European product standards by any organisation.

At the last meeting of the BSIA SEMS section, the industry unanimously reiterated its support for this position, and agreed that it will only seek approvals to EN standards through the Certalarm process.

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