How importers / exporters can use the global network

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1. You will benefit most from the ILAC MRA if you do your research before you make any decision about importing (or exporting).

NATA cannot advise on specific importing requirements. This depends on the product type, where it is coming from, what it will be used for, and so on.

It is the responsibility of the importer to:

  • Investigate and identify any specific requirements in regard to testing and/ or inspection of products intended for import into Australia; and,
  • to clarify what the specifier/regulator will accept in regard to testing/inspection.

Obvious considerations include (but are not limited to) quarantine restrictions, various national and state regulations and the actual specifications of the product/material.

The ILAC MRA only applies where the conformity assessment(testing/ inspection) has been:

The specifier/regulator makes the final decision about acceptance. Hence, the importer/exporter must clarify what the specifier/regulator will accept in regard to conformity assessment.

While the ILAC MRA is designed to facilitate trade, it is not mandatory that specifiers/regulators accept reports from conformity assessment bodies accredited by ILAC MRA signatories.

Any questions about the validity of the test/inspection report should be directed to the accreditation body.

2. Finding a suitable conformity assessment body

Visit the ILAC website or contact the relevant ILAC MRA signatory to identify a suitable conformity assessment body.

3. Discuss your needs with the conformity assessment body you have chosen.

  • Ask for a copy of its accreditation certificate. Check it is current and that the issuing accreditation body is an ILAC MRA signatory.
  • Ask for a copy of its scope of accreditation and identify where your requirements are detailed in the scope.
  • If the specifier/regulator has specified Australian Standards these should be listed in the scope of accreditation of the conformity assessment body.
  • If the conformity assessment body advises that they are accredited for “equivalent” methods or standards, the acceptability of these other standards should be checked with the specifier/regulator. (If specifications call up Australian Standards then there is a good chance that an “equivalent” standard will not be accepted.)

4. Inform the conformity assessment body that you require an endorsed report.

A report that is not endorsed is not covered by the ILAC MRA.

5. The specifier/regulator will make the decision on what is acceptable.


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