Government • 15 January, 2019

Government considers measures to ensure product safety: Quality control enhanced

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Jan. 15 at the Government meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development Zhenis Kassymbek, Minister of Healthcare Yelzhan Birtanov, Vice Minister of Agriculture Berik Beisengaliyev reported on the measures taken in the field of technical regulation and tasks for its further improvement.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development, in order to ensure the safety and quality of products in the domestic market and create conditions for export, in 2018, the Laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Standardization” and the accompanying legislative changes were adopted. To reorient the business to new requirements, the effective date of the laws is from April 11, 2019.

The adopted law on standardization is based on the experience of European countries and creates conditions for the transition to an international model of standardization and includes:

  • creation of a national standardization system with the definition of the National Standardization Body as a single operator of standardization works;
  • raising the status of technical committees on standardization as centers of a consensus discussion of standards between the “state-business-consumer”;
  • expanding the application of standards in public procurement, through technical specifications, in industry legislation for the purpose of establishing uniform requirements, including quality.

In addition, as part of the implementation of the tasks of the Third State Program of Industrial-Innovative Development, it is supposed to define standards for each product group, which will allow manufacturers to focus on high quality.

In general, according to Minister Kassymbek, the amendments are aimed at introducing an international model for the development of calibration of measuring instruments, that is, improving the quality of products.

“A plan to eliminate technical barriers in product promotion has been prepared. The key activities are: the study and coordination of requirements for processed products, adaptation of standards, as well as preparation of a base of accredited testing centers for attracting foreign certification bodies applying for accreditation in the Kazakhstani system. Currently, the implementation of this plan has already begun,” Kassymbek summarized.

It should be noted that an action plan to eliminate technical barriers to product promotion has been prepared jointly with the ministries of healthcare and agriculture.

Thus, the Minister of Healthcare Yelzhan Birtanov reported on the ongoing work on monitoring the safety of products for compliance with the technical regulations of the Eurasian Economic Union.

Currently, the Ministry of Healthcare monitors compliance with the requirements of 20 EAEU technical regulations, 10 of them on food safety, 6 — on the safety of non-food products and 4 — with other state bodies. For four years there has been a tendency to reduce the total number of non-conforming products in the consumer market. Thus, for the period from 2015–2018, the percentage of decline was from 26% to 14%.

“As part of the monthly monitoring of product safety in 2018, the purchase covered about 70 thousand product samples, out of which 9,740 do not meet the requirements of technical regulations according to the results of laboratory examination. Of this, 69% are non-compliant with manufacturers for labeling, 23% — do not comply with safety requirements, inconsistencies in physical and chemical indicators — 7.2%,” reported Birtanov.

Falsification was identified in 99 samples of dairy products on the content of vegetable fat and 143 samples of sausages. In general, according to the results of monitoring the safety of products, the main volume of non-conforming products — 66% falls on imported products, and 34% falls on products of domestic manufacturers.

To eliminate the revealed violations, more than 2 thousand orders were issued, and in 2017 — 1,166, 877 cases of administrative offenses were initiated, and 193 court orders were issued. More than 22 tons of hazardous products were removed from sale and destroyed (in 2017 — 20.5 tons). Fines were imposed totaling more than 70 million tenge, in 2017 — 44.3 million tons. The Committee on Public Health of the Ministry sent materials to 18 producers of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus for which veterinary and sanitary measures were taken, including enhanced laboratory control.

Thirty notifications were sent to the authorized bodies of the EAEU Member States regarding the identified non-conforming products for them to take appropriate measures.

Along with this, following the results of cameral control, the court suspended the activities of 47 participants in foreign economic activity, and since August 2018 the importation of children's toys in the conditional release mode has been prohibited. In general, the volume of imported goods in the conditional release mode decreased from 47% to 8.6%.

The Ministry of Healthcare has strengthened the work on informing about products that pose a risk to life and health. More than 4 thousand media coverage events were held, which is two times more than in 2017.

“A committee will be created at the Ministry of Healthcare with the task of controlling the quality and safety of goods and services that affect human health, the quality of medical services in the circulation of drugs and medical devices, including monitoring compliance with retail limit prices in pharmacies, ensuring the sanitary and epidemiological welfare of the population. The organizational arrangements for the creation of the committee and its territorial divisions will be completed in April 2019,” added Birtanov.

Vice Minister of Agriculture Berik Beisengaliyev reported that the ministry fulfills its functions of lifting restrictions with China, the countries of the Persian Gulf and other export-oriented countries. As a result, veterinary-sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions on priority types of goods are removed.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, it is necessary to begin negotiations with priority countries to determine the requirements and conditions for market access for Kazakhstani products. At the same time, to solve the question of concluding an agreement on their mutual recognition of the results of conformity assessment. For products that are positioned as being healthy, it is also necessary to negotiate access to such products. For the possibility of ensuring free access and application of standards by domestic manufacturers, the conclusion of appropriate agreements is necessary. Provide for the translation of foreign standards.

“We understand that Kazakhstan’s certificates of conformity at the initial stage will not be recognized in foreign markets. In this regard, as an operational measure, it is necessary to involve internationally recognized conformity assessment bodies operating in the EU, US and PRC markets. To do this, the Committee for Technical Regulation and Metrology of the Ministry of Infrastructure needs to simplify and reduce the time required for accreditation of such bodies in Kazakhstan,” said Beisengaliyev.

In addition, to ensure a coherent policy and centralization of state export support measures, it is necessary to resolve issues related to the Kazakh brands “Made in Kazakhstan,” “Qazaq Organic Food,” “KazMeat,” “Halal Kazakhstan,” “KazMai.” In particular, the mechanism for the provision of these brands, the conditions and responsibility for their application.

The Ministry of Agriculture is also proposing measures to regulate issues related to the production and sale of products with declared special properties or qualities. For example, a unified policy in the field of halal industry. Separate structural divisions with targeted functions for agricultural and food products need to be created urgently under the Committee for Public Health of the Ministry of Healthcare and the Committee for Technical Regulation and Metrology of the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development. According to Beisengaliyev, the implementation of the tasks set will not only promote export promotion, but also stimulate the transition of domestic producers to modern production standards.

During the meeting, the Chairman of the Board of the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs Ablay Myrzahmetov also made a report.

According to him, in the third quarter 2018 more than 11 thousand goods were removed from imports, of which about 4% did not provide the appropriate certificates at the right time. In this direction, starting in 2019, the Chamber will issue industrial certificates to domestic entrepreneurs in a legal manner. Today, in conjunction with the Kazakhstan Industry Development Institute, work is underway to draw up a register of commodity producers with a nomenclature of products. This project, according to Myrzakhmetov, contributes to the development of Kazakhstan business.

Following the consideration of the issue, the Prime Minister Sagintayev noted that today all the opportunities have been created, there are numerous benefits for the business. In this regard, public organizations need to strengthen the quality control of products presented on the domestic market. At the same time, it was entrusted to analyze the results of the work and, if necessary, raise the issue of returning some public services under state control.

In addition, it was entrusted to work out questions on the promotion of domestic brands outside of Kazakhstan. The need for issuing certificates for both imported and exported products has been noted. In this regard, the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development was instructed to accelerate the adoption of necessary legislative measures aimed at improving state control, including the introduction of information systems and the mechanism for the seizure of counterfeit products. In addition, it is necessary to complete the work on consolidating the function of exercising state control over industrial products.

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