In the heart of the Caucasus, work is underway to strengthen the conformity assessment systems of the Republic of Georgia, with the objective of aligning the National Quality Infrastructure with European Union legislation, with particular regard to harmonized regulations for product safety and CE marking.
This is indeed the goal of the EU funded Twinning project “Strengthening of institutional as well as human capacities of Georgian National Agency for Standards and Metrology (GEOSTM) according to the international/EU best practices” launched in Tbilisi on 13th of April 2022 for the benefit of the Georgian National Agency for Standards and Metrology (GEOSTM) and of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia (MoESD).
The Twinning project is managed by an Italian-Spanish Consortium leaded by the Italian Accreditation Body (Accredia), the Italian National Metrology Research Institute (INRiM), the Italian National Standardisation Body (UNI), and supported by the Spanish Metrology Center (CEM), the Fundaciòn International y para Iberoàmerica de Administratiòn y Polìticas Pùblicas F.S.P. FIIAPP and the Spanish Association for Standardization (UNE).
The project is contributing significantly to strengthening the institutional and human capacities of GEOSTM as well as enhancing the Georgian standardization and metrology infrastructure and its capability to offer fit-for-purpose services to the stakeholders, as demonstrated by an important result of this cooperation. Indeed, in November 2022, GEOSTM became an associate member of the European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET) and from January 2023 it upgraded its membership status as affiliate of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC). This result also highlights the awareness and capability of the EU Twinning project team and beneficiaries in dealing with the deep impact of the current critical geopolitical situation on the international metrology community, since GEOSTM was a member of the Euro-Asian Cooperation of National Metrological Institutions (COOMET) but, in the middle of the regional crisis, it speedily migrated to EURAMET, as well as the Ukrainian National Metrology Institute.
Among the other goals, in the field of legal metrology, approximation of the law relating to units of measurement was completed with the draft of non-automatic weighing instruments (NAWI) EU directive, while in the standardization area, recommendations on updating existing Georgian legislation to fulfil requirements of Regulation EU 1025/2012 and CEN CENELEC Guide 22, were shared. Moreover, the Standardization Department of GEOSTM successfully passed the first module of a UNI certified training course for Management System Lead Auditors, that is a real milestone for the process of certification of Quality Management System according to the standard ISO 9001.
In conclusion, the EU Twinning project is an occasion to establish lasting professional connections and partnerships serving as a start for further cooperation, as well as to open lines of communication and continued exchange, reinforcing collective strengths and further advances in the field of metrology and standardization. A shared vision and common efforts are shaping a future characterized by enhanced measurement accuracy, improved standardization practices, and increased confidence in the products and services delivered in the domestic and EU market.