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ISTA Launches its New Website

The International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) is thrilled to announce the launch of its new website: www.seedtest.org.

The improved, modern, and better structured website, mirrors ISTA’s commitment to quality, professionalism, and expertise in a relevant and improved design, highly practical functionalities, user-friendly, and purposeful content.

Through the redesign, the Association provides an upgraded platform, where information can be found faster and tasks completed easier and in a more effective way. Furthermore, the enhanced site structure, and intuitive navigation attains good user experience, which is of paramount importance for every well designed and functional website.

Included in the redesign of the website is the improved Member Search area, providing advanced search criteria for Member Category, type of Test and Method used.

Ordering ISTA Certificates has also been made easier through an automated form.

Technical Committees are presented in a more visual and intuitive layout, while Bookstore contains modern features, allowing for a good shopping experience, aligned with contemporary standards.

Registrations for the GMO Proficiency Test will now be done directly via an online registration form; while the registration process for Events has been generally enhanced, with adapted payment methods for both Annual Events and Workshops.

We invite you to go ahead and explore the new ISTA website and we hope you will enjoy the new user experience!

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OIML activities on digitalisation

1) OIML Digitalisation Task Group (DTG)
2) Joint Statement of Intent (JSI)
3) World Metrology Day (WMD) 2022: “Metrology in the Digital Era”

15th March 2022
International Bureau of Legal Metrology (BIML)

1) OIML Digitalisation Task Group (DTG)
The digital transformation for all organisations is advancing at a rapid pace on a worldwide scale. The OIML, with 125 members in the field of legal metrology is part of this transformation, which will affect all processes and services relating to metrology, standardisation, accreditation and conformity assessment.

An OIML “Digitalisation Task Group” (DTG) has recently been established to examine relevant matters, technological advancements and opportunities related to digital transformation that will benefit the OIML, in cooperation with Quality Infrastructure (QI) partners, based on the Joint Statement of Intent on the digital transformation in the international scientific and quality infrastructure (JSI).

2) Joint Statement of Intent (JSI)
The organisations underpinning international QI have been working together for many decades to ensure the worldwide comparability, interoperability and reliable application of measurement and measurement data for worldwide trade, industry, health, science, and society.

In the future, QI organisations should seek to find a common language for measurement data in digital formats that is not only usable for humans, but that also allows integration into new autonomous digital systems.

By participating in the JSI, the OIML signals that it is interested in shaping the digital future of international QI in its various legal metrology activities, ranging from technical work, the OIML Certification System (OIML-CS) to activities in support of Countries and Economies with Emerging Metrology Systems (CEEMS), based on the international system of units: “The Digital SI Framework”.

3) World Metrology Day (WMD) 2022: “Metrology in the Digital Era”
The theme this year is “Metrology in the Digital Era”. This theme was chosen because digital technology is revolutionising our community, and is one of the most exciting trends in society today.

The 2022 poster was designed in association with the Euro-Asian Cooperation of National Metrological Institutions (COOMET) and the National Scientific Centre “Institute of Metrology”, Ukraine.

On the Resource Website, you may download the Press Release, the Directors’ Message and the poster; the poster is available in PDF format in English and in French, and in Photoshop format in English. The COOMET poster is also published on the Posters page.

Last year’s World Metrology Day was a huge success; we hope to build on that success in 2022.
Please help us to spread the word about World Metrology Day and let the World Metrology Day Team know by email about the events you are organising in your country so that we can include them on the website. For inspiration, you can see the events organised by other NMIs in previous years on the website.

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ISTA : Egypt hosts 33rd ISTA Congress 2022

The International Seed Testing Association takes pleasure in inviting you to its 33rd Congress, to be held in Cairo, Egypt, from 08 to 11 of May 2022.

The Venue of the Congress will be Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino.

On Sunday, 08 of May 2022, the Seminar “Advancements and innovation in seed testing: from science to robust test” will take place.

On Monday, 09 of May 2022, there will be the presentations of ISTA technical work.

The next day, Tuesday, 10 of May 2022, ISTA will be hosting the meetings of the Technical Committees in joint and parallel working sessions

During the last day of the Congress, on Wednesday, 11 of May 2022, we will hold ISTA Ordinary General Meeting.

Registration has already opened. For information on the programme, registration fees, and more other details, please click here.


Another important development at this point is that the Seed Symposium ‘Quality Seed for Sustainable Agriculture’ will take place in Athens, Greece, from 02 to 04 of November 2022. Abstract submission for the Symposium will be reopened in May. All authors of already submitted papers for the canceled Symposium in Christchurch, NZ, will be contacted by the ISTA Secretariat.

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ILAC Accreditation committee (AIC) update

As is the nature of international work, we have begun our 3rd year of operation still affected by the COVID-19 pandemic preventing face-to-face meetings. During the pandemic a large pool of items have been handled remotely including revision of almost ten ILAC guides and policies. While we hope that remote meetings will come to an end soon, as there are many challenges that come with remote work, we continue to deal many topics via Zoom meetings.

On the agenda for the meeting 19 April is the:

– Presentation of comments to the draft ILAC G19 for forensics,
– Presentation of the final draft on ILC G24/OIML D10 on calibration intervals developed together with OIML,
– Developments in liaison activities with (among others) the BIPM, OIML, ITU and JCGM,
– Status on the FDIS ISO 15189 expected to arrive May-June 2022; and the
– Status on the DIS ISO 17043 expected to arrive end of April 2022.

This year ISO/IEC 17025:2017 will be 5 years old. That will be celebrated with a workshop at the meeting in Montreal November 2022 allowing thorough discussions on a select number of topics. This includes measurement uncertainty arising from sampling, sampling in calibration, and options A and B for management system and compliance with requirements (and decision rules).

Erik Oehlenschlaeger

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Accreditation supports organic production in Guatemala

Through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food, the Republic of Guatemala regulates the correct application of organic agriculture legislation, controls the certification bodies for certified organic operators and registers them, and provides third-party recognition that the Guatemalan organic exportable officer has met the required quality standards for each country and territory the products are marketed to. The main export markets for Guatemalan products are: the United States, Europe, and Japan, among others.

Mandatory compliance to a conformity assessment scheme, confirmed through accredited conformity assessment, ensures the traceability and differentiated value of the product and provides confidence for consumers, in the sense that the production system complies with the international requirements for organic classification.

In Guatemala, organic agriculture is an important industry, because it represents a more favourable price for the national producer, promotes connections among those involved and provides healthy food for people to consume. It is friendly to the environment by promoting conservation, appropriate use of natural resources and protection of biodiversity, helping to mitigate the negative effects of climate change.

Currently there are 164 organic operators that include associations, federations, cooperatives and individual producers. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the growth is maintained at an average of 7% per year in production volume, already exceeding 200,000 hectares of arable land. Initially only coffee was offered as an organic product, however, market demand has diversified the Guatemalan organic exportable offer to the following products: cardamom, cacao, macadamia nuts, honey, lettuce, green beans, black tea, papaya, and broccoli, among others.

The mode of cultivation promotes connections between small producers, links more than 60,000 farmers,  and generates approximately 20,000 permanent jobs and more than 80,000 temporary or indirect jobs. The most important markets for the exports are the United States with 80%, the European Union with 15%, and Japan, Canada and Arab countries with 5%.

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Signatory Status – KCA

The signatory status of Kyrgyz Centre for Accreditation (KCA), Kyrgyz Republic, to the ILAC MRA has been extended to include Inspection (ISO/IEC 17020).

The full list of signatories to the ILAC MRA is available from https://ilac.org/signatory-search/ .

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Signatory name change – ENAO

Ethiopian National Accreditation Office ( ENAO), Ethiopia has changed its name to Ethiopia Accreditation Service (EAS) as of 28 March 2022.

We look forward to continuing working with our EAS colleagues

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Signatory status – BELAC

The signatory status of Belgian Accreditation Body (BELAC), Belgium, to the ILAC MRA has been extended to include RMP (ISO 17034).

The full list of signatories to the ILAC MRA is available from https://ilac.org/signatory-search/ .

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Signatory status – BATA

The signatory status of Institute for Accreditation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BATA), Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the ILAC MRA has been extended to include Medical Testing (ISO 15189).

The full list of signatories to the ILAC MRA is available from https://ilac.org/signatory-search/ .

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World Metrology Day 2022

The World Metrology Day project is realised jointly by the BIPM and the OIML and is celebrated on 20 May each year.

The theme for 2022 ‘Metrology in the Digital Era’ was chosen because digital technology is revolutionising our community, and is one of the most exciting trends in society today.

More widely metrology, the science of measurement, plays a central role in scientific discovery and innovation, industrial manufacturing and international trade, in improving the quality of life and in protecting the global environment.

The 2022 World Metrology Day website is now live and can be accessed here. The website includes the Press Release, Directors’ Message and a promotional poster which is available in English and French.

Please feel free to access these materials and use them to support and promote the importance of metrology and World Metrology Day.

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