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ISTA 100th Anniversary Celebrations & Annual Meeting – July 2024

2024 Annual Meeting of the International Seed Testing Association Set to Commemorate Centennial Milestone in Cambridge, UK

Wallisellen, Switzerland – April 05, 2024 – The International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) is thrilled to announce that the highly anticipated 2024 Annual Meeting will be held in the historic city of Cambridge, UK, from July 1st to July 4th, at the Cambridge Union Society in Cambridge, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This year’s gathering holds special significance as it coincides with the remarkable centennial anniversary of ISTA, marking a century of progress in seed quality assurance.

ISTA, a globally renowned association dedicated to promoting uniformity in seed testing procedures and standards, has been at the forefront of fostering innovation and ensuring the quality and reliability of seeds worldwide since its inception in 1924. As it celebrates its hundredth year of advancing the science and practice of seed testing, the 2024 Annual Meeting promises to be an event of unparalleled significance and impact.

Set against the backdrop of the illustrious University of Cambridge, this year’s meeting will bring together leading experts, researchers, industry professionals, and stakeholders from around the world. Attendees can expect a comprehensive program featuring insightful presentations, engaging meetings, and interactive discussions on the latest advancements, trends, and challenges in seed testing, quality assurance, and seed technology.

In addition to the academic and professional sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to explore the picturesque city of Cambridge, renowned for its historic architecture, cultural heritage, and world-class research institutions. The meeting venue, nestled amidst the stunning landscapes and iconic landmarks of Cambridge, will provide an inspiring setting for networking and fostering collaborations among participants.

Registration for the 2024 Annual Meeting of ISTA is open, with early bird discounts available for a limited time, until 30 April 2024.

For more information about the program, registration, venues and accommodations, please visit the official conference website at ISTA2024.

Join us in Cambridge from July 1st to June 4th, 2024, as we commemorate a hundred years of excellence in seed testing and embark on a new era of innovation and collaboration in ensuring global food security and sustainability.

To register click Here

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OIML / BIML Notice of Webinar – 23 April

The BIML is pleased to inform you that a series of webinars has been planned, organised by the OIML Digitalisation Task Group (OIML DTG).

The first webinar in the series will be held on Tuesday, 23 April 2024 from 12:00 to 14:00 CEST (“Paris time”) on “The fundamentals of digitalisation in the quality infrastructure”.

It will be based on the January 2024 OIML Bulletin article which reported on the Chiang Mai Seminar, and the main speaker will be Dr Sascha Eichstädt, Chair of the OIML DTG.

The webinar will last approximately two hours and will include presentations followed by an open discussion session.

Please distribute this information within your organisations. To pre-register for the webinar, please click Here

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TC24 – Notice of IMEKO Web discussion – 30 April

Event: 45-minute Discussion Club “IMEKO Talks on Chemical Measurements”
Organised by: IMEKO TC24 “Chemical Measurements”

Topic: An Overview of Chemical Metrology Activities in the Philippines

Chemical metrology in the Philippines encompasses a broad spectrum of activities aimed at ensuring the accuracy, reliability, and comparability of chemical measurements. The focus lies on developing reference materials and implementing proficiency testing schemes for the accurate measurement of contaminants and additives in food and water. These efforts are crucial for safeguarding public health by ensuring the safety and quality of food products consumed by the population. Reference materials play a pivotal role in calibrating analytical instruments and validating measurement methods, thus enabling consistent and reliable results across different testing laboratories. Proficiency testing schemes further enhance the competency of local testing laboratories, including those in private, academic, and government institutions, by providing regular assessments of their measurement capabilities. This collaborative approach not only strengthens the country’s capacity to monitor and regulate food safety but also fosters trust in the integrity of the Philippine food industry both domestically and internationally.

Alleni T. Junsay graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a master’s degree in Chemistry, now serving as the head of the Metrology in Chemistry Section within the National Metrology Division of the Industrial Technology Development Institute, under the Department of Science and Technology. Her role involves overseeing the production of reference materials and implementing proficiency testing schemes for chemical measurements, ensuring accuracy and reliability in scientific endeavours.

To join the meeting, please click Here.

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New TBT Committee Guidelines on Conformity Assessment

During its recent meetings from March 13 to 15, the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) adopted new guidelines (G/TBT/54) to support regulators in selecting and designing conformity assessment procedures.

The guidelines’ main goal is to assist regulators in ensuring that conformity assessment procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade while verifying compliance with technical regulations and standards. The guidelines note the value of accreditation in providing confidence in conformity assessment body activities, and how the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) and ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) can support the global acceptance of conformity assessment results.

Additionally, members agreed on guidelines for notifying measures they have implemented to uphold the TBT Agreement. The guidelines will facilitate access to information on government agencies involved in standards and regulations.

In line with a ministerial declaration adopted at the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13), members noted the importance of dialogue and cooperation on standards and regulations in addressing emerging challenges such as climate change, human health, and the digital economy.

Read more about the meeting here.

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ILAC Chair presents at UNECE Forum

On 4 April Etty Feller, ILAC Chair presented at the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Working Party 6, Forum 3 on Digitalization of Quality Infrastructure Processes, looking at current trends in the use of technologies in accreditation, and challenges that these may cause.


The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was set up in 1947. It is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations, and its major aim is to promote pan-European economic integration. UNECE includes 56 member States in Europe, North America and Asia. Over 70 international professional organizations and other non-governmental organizations also take part in UNECE activities.

The Working Party on Regulatory Cooperation and Standardization Policies (WP6) encourages increased regulatory coherence in specific sectors that have a critical impact on sustainable development and promotes greater resilience to natural and man-made hazards. WP6 also works to:

  • Promote the use of standards by policy-makers and businesses as a tool for reducing technical barriers to trade, promote increased resilience to disasters, foster innovation and good governance;
  • Advocate the use of standards in the implementation of UN-wide goals, including the implementation of the AGENDA 2030 and the Sendai framework for action.

The project has already delivered a paper detailing how standardization and harmonization of regulations are necessary for the transition to a digital, green economy. More information about the WP.6 AI project is available here: https://unece.org/trade/wp6/digital-regulation-goods-artificial-intelligence

The Forum

WP6 hosted its Third Forum from 2 to 5 April 2024 focused on Green Digital Transformation including AI. Digital technologies are opening up new possibilities for economic development, policy implementation and the management of public services. They also offer the potential for an improved management of natural resources and facilitate the shift towards a circular economy by filling information gaps, increasing efficiency and making new forms of economic activity possible, including changes in production and consumption patterns.

The Advisory Group on Market Surveillance (MARS) was established in 2003 to promote global trade and economic cooperation. It actively brings together member States to discuss best practice for countering sub-standard and counterfeit goods. It has developed comprehensive guidance and serves as a forum of best practice and development of recommendation guidelines. Market surveillance is a set of activities by designated authorities to ensure that products comply with mandatory requirements and do not endanger any aspect of public interest. This involves proper calibration of machinery and measurements (metrology) as well as actively engaging with other border control agencies such as customs.

The conference looked at current trends in the use of technologies in quality infrastructure and challenges that this may cause. Market surveillance authorities, conformity assessment bodies, testing laboratories and standards development organizations were invited to attend the conference.


  • Ariel Ivanier, Market Access Section, UNECE Economic Development and Trade Division (Welcome and introduction)
  • Tauno Kangur, UNECE WP.6 (Moderator)

Reducing carbon footprint

  • Chikako Makino, International Accreditation Forum (IAF)
  • Antoine Anney, Solutions to support authorities with Market Surveyance by COTECNA
  • Martin Michelot, Executive Director Europe, TIC Council

Digitalization of quality infrastructure processes

  • Etty Feller, International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC)
  • Dorina Nati, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • Ian Dunmill, International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML)
  • Vera Despotovic, Associate in the Market Inspection Sector to coordinate and improve inter-sectoral cooperation in market surveillance, Serbia

Further information on the work of the UNECE and WP6 is available here

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IAF and ILAC Announce 2024 Poster Contest Winners

IAF and ILAC are pleased to announce the three winning designs in the IAF/ILAC 2024 World Accreditation Day poster contest, which received a total of 98 entries. This year’s contest invited contestants to explore the theme of Accreditation: Empowering Tomorrow and Shaping the Future.

Congratulations to the team of Japhet Tolosa Celis and Jazzy April Macogue Tolosa, who won the first-place prize of USD 1500. Their design, which portrays the Earth being held by a mechanical hand representing the Fourth Industrial Revolution and a potter’s hand representing accreditation as an agent of change, reflects accreditation’s critical role in shaping a better and more sustainable world. Learn more about the winning team and their inspiration here

The winning poster is available for download here.

We would also like to congratulate our second-place winners, the team of Aliya Ospanova, Anara Tleuova, Zulyal Kabenova and Yelena Trifonova, and our third-place winner, Joshua Egahi-Ojo Alhassan. Each runner-up entry earned a prize of USD 500. Learn more about these designers and their posters here. [insert link]

Thank you to all participants!

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Case Study – Accreditation for the efficient use of water


Learn how ILAC member EMA ac, and accredited inspection bodies, are helping the Mexican State to administer, manage and preserve the quality and quantity of water within their economy.

“At present, the extraction of national waters in the country faces a principal-agent problem caused by information asymmetries relating to the actual amount of water extracted by users. This situation leads to inefficiency in the use of water and, at times, to the under-declaration of volumes to the Mexican authorities.

The national water program in Mexico, since its publication in 2019, has designated the NMX-AA-179 standard as mandatory. In this regulation, it is established that both the ISPs and the Inspection Units are responsible for the selection, installation and operation of the meters or measurement systems, as well as the remote transmission of the measurement information to the authority. In addition, they play a crucial role in ensuring the correct measurement of national waters through the conformity assessment procedure.

Due to these circumstances, it is imperative to make an accurate measurement of the volumes of national waters extracted. This action contributes significantly to counteracting existing information asymmetries, thus strengthening transparency and efficiency in the management of this vital resource.”

You can view the full case study here

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ILAC Chair attends WADA 25th Anniversary Symposium

ILAC and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have a long-standing relationship spanning over 20 years.

ILAC and WADA first signed an MoU in 2007, with the latest copy re-signed on 25 November 2021.

WADA-ILAC Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) 2021

Accreditation of anti-doping laboratories by an ILAC MRA signatory is a pre-requisite for WADA accreditation. ILAC and WADA work together to formally recognise the technical competence of the anti-doping laboratories, and this then leads to community confidence in laboratory outputs which are measurement results that are fit for their intended use.

ILAC provides the professional knowledge in assessments, to ensure the professional competence of the testing laboratories for WADA. WADA is responsible for harmonisation between laboratories, training assessors and, as necessary, updating the requirements and binding documents.

Key areas of the ILAC – WADA partnership are:

  • Exchange of information and expertise on accreditation of anti-doping laboratories;
  • Development of guidelines to harmonise and optimise the accreditation practices worldwide;
  • Mutual representation on selected committees and working groups;
  • Organisation of assessor training; and
  • Participation in each other’s annual and associated meetings, including the ILAC General Assembly and the WADA Foundation Board.

Our complementary roles are essential in the fight against drugs in sport.

ILAC Chair, Etty Feller attended WADA’s Annual Symposium & 25th Anniversary Celebrations in Lausanne, Switzerland on 12-13 March. She presented during the “Partnerships with International Organizations” session, and the subsequent Q&A, along with representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA).

“We strive to continue to lead together in accordance with ILAC’s Mission”, Ms Feller said.

Pictured above are Victoria Ivanova Senior Manager, International Partnerships Science and Medicine Department WADA , Etty Feller, ILAC Chair and Prof Olivier Rabin, Senior Director Science and Medicine WADA.

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Joint IFCC / ILAC webinar – March 19 – Registration Open

We are pleased to announce that registration to our joint IFCC – ILAC webinar “Quality System in Labs and Accreditation – Challenges of the new ISO 15189:2022”, is now open. 

The webinar will show how the harmonized implementation of management systems according to ISO 15189 in medical laboratories, improves the validity of clinical results essential for patient care. It will also describe the ILAC role in this process.

Visit the link below to register:


The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) is a worldwide organisation for clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine. It has a range of roles that include: global standard setting in collaboration with other international organisations; supporting its members through scientific and educational endeavor; and providing a series of congresses, conferences, and focussed meetings, for laboratory medicine specialists to meet and present original findings and best practice.

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Gender equality, accredited certification helps companies fill the gaps

Friday 8 March was International Women’s Day!

Gender equality is vital for sustainable development. Read how ILAC member Accredia, and accredited certification, are helping to address the inclusion and active participation of women in Italian workplaces.

You can view the case study here

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