International Standards prondıng advantages in Commerce
19 November 201418 min reading
“Standards; the international language of commerce, are the essential means of developing global markets, creating effective work environments, supporting economic growth and contributing to the reduction of climate change. Products and services in compliance with the standards guarantee the fulfillment of minimum requirements needed to be possessed by such product and services. Manufacturing in compliance with the standards provide customers the opportunity of accessing affordable products and services as it reduces the manufacturing costs and increases efficiency and competition.”
“Standards provide equal opportunities for everyone”… This sentence is the main theme of the joint message issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on 14th October, The World Standards Day.
Standards symbolize the body of rules which have been established, in its simplest term; in order to make life easier, maintain order in social, economic, cultural and likewise areas and which are not mandatory. The main reason for establishing standards is in fact is to eliminate inequalities as in the main theme of the joint message an as also highlighted in the message issued by the Head of the Turkish Standards Instıtute Hulisi Şentürk for 14th October, The World Standards Day. Referencing the emergence of the standards in his statement, ŞENTÜRK said that “Standards with regard to products date back to ancient times. The first emerging standards with regard to products were measurement standards. These standards were based on physical measurements so as to prevent creating unequal conditions for parties transacting goods or services.”
THE INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE OF COMMERCE
Defining standards as the international language of commerce, Mr. Şentürk explains that “Standards; the international language of commerce, are the essential means of developing global markets, creating effective work environments, supporting economic growth and contributing to the reduction of climate change. International standards reflect the opinions on which the world’s leading experts of all sectors; from energy efficiency to management systems, from climate change to information and communication technologies, have reached. Thus they support fast economic growth by putting forth the good practices that enable developing countries to avoid “reinventing the wheel” and provide change by eliminating the impediments to communication and cooperation. Products and services in compliance with the standards guarantee the fulfillment of minimum requirements needed to be possessed by such product and services. Manufacturing in compliance with the standards provide customers the opportunity of accessing affordable products and services as it reduces the manufacturing costs and increases efficiency and competition.”
In our day, life goes on within the frame of specific standards in every aspect of our lives. Certain standards in commerce are more important than ever due to their influences explained by Mr. Şentürk. There are various standards, from quality to packing, which are required by the buyers at every stage. At the moment, companies apply to nationally or universally accepted certification authorities with the purpose of exhibiting the importance they attach to their products or services and improving their commercial capacities, and being subject to audits by these authorities, the they acquire certificates representing particular standards. This is because certification of standards is nowadays a method of showing competitive power in global markets.
STANDARDS FOR MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY
Whether at national or international level regarding manufacturing industry, various standards have been formed. Leaving standards at national level aside, some fundamental standards that many companies active particularly in the manufacturing industry including the flour sector need to take the following standards into consideration:
• ISO 9000 Standard for Quality Management
• ISO 22000 Standard for Food Safety Management
• ISO 14000 Standard for Environmental Management
• OHSAS 18001 Standard for occupational health and safety management
All of these standards are internationally accepted and are applied in many countries. These standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and British Standards Institution (BSI) are accepted and published by the authorized representatives in these countries. The authorized representative of these organizations is Turkish Standards Institute (TSE). The standards accepted and published by TSE are known for the TS or TSE prefixes they bear. EN, Europeane Norm, is the abbreviation for the European Standards and has been formed to achieve the harmonization throughout the standards of the countries in the European Union.
ISO 9000 Standard for Quality Management
The purpose of the ISO 9000 series standards is to be of guidance in showing how to establish, document and maintain an efficient management system, establish an atmosphere of trust amongst companies; assure, maintain and improve the product/service quality by means of the management of the processes, reassure the confidence of the customers with regard to the product and service consistency.
ISO 9000 Standards for Quality Management are prepared so as to be applicable to all organizations regardless of their size or the type of the product.
ISO 9001:2008, a standard present in the ISO 9000 series standards, defines the requirements for a quality management system; ISO 9000:2005, includes the fundamental concepts and the language, ISO 9004:2009 focuses on how a quality management system can be executed more efficiently and effectively whereas ISO 19011:2011 is a guide for internal and external audits of quality management systems.
According to TSE, ISO 9001 should be applied because;
• It is a management system model that can be applied at national or international level which enables;
• The improvement of the sense of quality in a company
• The enhancement of profits, efficiency and market share,
• The reduction of costs
• The improvement of in-house communication
• The implementation of extensive surveillance and control over all activities and
• The reduction of refunds.
Benefits of the ISO 9001:2000 System
1. Improvement of the employees’ sense of quality
2. Improvement of the market reputation of the company (prestige)
3. Procurement of difference from competitors in marketing activities
4. Utilization of the commercial advantages provided by the company’s acquisition of an internationally valid quality certificate (certification of the quality for use with exportation)
5. Improvement of the customer satisfaction and customer loyalty
6. Procurement of the reduction in failures, wastes, reworks
7. Effective execution of input, production and end checks
8. Convenience in assessment, selection and monitoring of the suppliers,
9. Convenience in the determination and distribution of in-house authorities and responsibilities
10. Implementation of (the infrastructure) the documentation that will assure the standardization of business activities
11. Implementation of the infrastructure that will enable keeping retrospective records orderly
12. Ability to make status analyses based on data and statistical measurements and use the results of these analyses in making decisions regarding the future
13. An important step in institutionalization.
ISO 22000 Standard for Food Safety Management
ISO 22000 is an international standard and defines the requirements for the management of the food safety which include, from the field to the table, all companies in the food chain. This standard congregates key elements generally accepted for maintaining safety in the food chain. Some of these elements are:
• Interactive Communication
• System Management
• Control of dangers to food safety by means of prerequisite programs, HACCP plans
• Constant development and update of food safety management system
ISO 22000 is in real terms an international standard and a standard that applies to all the companies in the food chain including related companies such as manufacturer of parts, packing material, sanitation agents, additives and substances.
ISO 22000:2005 is also for companies looking to incorporate ISO 9001:2000 quality management systems and for the food safety management systems of these companies.
ISO 22000:2005, one of the standards found in the ISO 22000 series standards, includes the general rules regarding food safety management; ISO 22004:2014 provides general recommendations for the implementation of the ISO 22000 standard, ISO 22005:2007 focuses on the traceability in the feed and food chain; ISO/TS 22002-1:2009 includes the prerequisites for the food production; ISO/TS 22002-3:2011 includes the prerequisites for farming whereas ISO/TS 22003:2007 provides rules for the organizations of auditing and certification.
According to TSE, ISO 22000 should be applied so as to;
• Procure the production of food and delivery to the customers by preventing possible dangers
• Reduce costs
• Procure the application of an efficient auto-control system
• Create customer demand
• Provide commercial convenience
• Ensure compliance to regulations.
Benefits of the ISO 22000 System
1. Applicable to all the food chains
2. Convenience in decision making by means of providing critical information to the administration
3. Precise fulfillment of the customers’ demands with regard to food safety
4. Convenience in exportation as it is a system accepted at an international level
5. Reduction of the risk of recalling product
6. Improvement of the productivity and satisfaction of the employees
7. Improvement of the employees’ awareness about sanitation and food safety
8. Enablement of the proofing of the process control with documentation
9. Establishment of a staid and professional organization aware of its liabilities
10. Reduction of the risk of food poisoning and death
11. Procurement of compliance to legislation
12. Minimization of issues occurring during official audits
13. Minimization of food waste and expenses arising out of this wastage
14. Improvement of the working environment
15. Assurance of customer confidence and satisfaction
16. Getting the upper hand in marketing
17. Reduction of yield losses
18. Prevention of product safety problems
19. Determination of potential threats beforehand rather than depending on the experience gained by mistake
20. Assurance in fulfilling legal obligations for the production safe foodstuff by food companies
21. Systematical approach to development of efficient controls
22. Applicability at every level of the food chain
23. Supplementary to quality management systems such as ISO 9000
24. More effective than the conventional methods of inspection and control
25. A reliable system approved by FAO/WHO
ISO 14000 Environmental Management Standard
It has been widely accepted in the whole world that the world’s sources are diminishing every day and they are not infinite and the effects of products and areas to environment do not stay local but they are global. This consciousness brought the need to control environmental effects with market forces rather than legal applications with it.
Today's consumers request that the environment and world they are living in to be valued and respected and question this in the market as well as all their needs and expectations being met in highest level. These developments unearthed the reality that companies need management system to enable their control of interactions with the environment and enable their continuous improvement of environmental actions and successes.
The general aim of the ISO 14000 standards published by ISO is to support the prevention of the pollution of the environment and protection of the environment in a balanced way with socio-economical needs. ISO 14000 which is a systematic approach enabling the production by considering its environmental effects in every step from the first stage of the product to the presentation of it to the consumer in all kinds of production environments; is an international standard which defines the process of controlling and improvement of the environmental performance of a company. ISO 14000 series of standards contain environmental management systems such as ISO 14001:2004, ISO 14004:2004, ISO 14006:2011 and standards focusing on guides regarding the greenhouse gases such as ISO 14064-1:2006.
ISO 14001 according to TSE;
• Increasing the harmony with the national and/or international legislations,
• Increasing the environmental performance,
• Market Strategies:
- Facilitating advantage in international competition,
- Increasing the company reputation and market share,
• Decreasing the costs with the improvement of cost control and increasing efficiency,
• Decreasing the number of accidents or incidents which end up with responsibility by being prepared against the accidents or emergency situations (such as earthquake, fire, floods),
• Controlling the pollution from the source and decreasing it,
• Achieving input materials and energy savings.
• Simplifying the action of obtaining warrants and authorization documents,
• Since ISO 14001 is a common language known and used throughout the world, it should be applied in order to achieve the acceptability in global markets.
Benefits of ISO 14000 System
1. Increasing the harmony with the national and/or international legislations,
2. Increasing the environmental performance,
3. Market Strategies,
- Facilitating advantage in international competition,
- Increasing the company reputation and market share,
4. Decreasing the costs with the improvement of cost control and increasing efficiency,
5. Decreasing the number of accidents or incidents which end up with responsibility by being prepared against the accidents or emergency situations (such as earthquake, fire, floods),
6. Controlling the pollution from the source and decreasing it,
7. Enabling raw material and energy savings,
8. Simplifying the action of obtaining warrants and authorization documents,
9. Since ISO 14001 is a common language known and used throughout the world; achieving the acceptability in global markets,
10. Controlling effect of the company activities to environment by determining the risks to environment and with the help of this decreasing the elements affecting the environment in a negative way,
11. Decreasing the costs caused by environmental effects,
12. Being on accordance with the law and legislations regarding the environment,
13. Decreasing or completely removing the environmental effects which could occur during emergency situations,
14. Proving to legal authorities that legislations and regulations are complied with Environmental Management System and ISO 14001 Document,
15. Gaining prestige to the company by achieving the notoriety in both national and international areas,
16. Increasing the environmental consciousness of the company personnel with the help of providing training,
17. The fact that working in environment friendly company do not affect the motivation of the employees,
18. To meet the expectancy of the customers in relation to the environment, to reach to conscious customers and increasing the chances of winning them over,
19. Efficient use of the sources (making savings on energy, water etc.)
20. Decreasing the wastes left to environment.
OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and
Safety Management Standard
OHSAS 18001 standard prepared by British Standards Institute is the most widely accepted standard internationally although there are certain legal legislation and standards towards different occupational groups in every country in relation with Occupational Safety. OHSAS is a management model which foresees the systematic control of the risks which may affect the health and safety of the employees in workplaces.
OHSAS 18001 could be adopted by every company which would like to apply an official procedure in order to reduce the risks about health and safety for the public, customers and employees in that workplace.
OHSAS 18001 according to TSE;
• Increase profitability,
• Enabling the protection of the sources by integrating the İSG (Occupational Health and Safety) works to other activities,
• Show that the undertaking of the management is being carried out,
• Increase the motivation and attendance,
• Decrease the adjustment time and costs to national law and world standards,
• Increase the competence by meeting the request and expectations of the stakeholders,
• It should be applied to enable the systematic spread of the İSG (Occupational Health and Safety) activities which are being continued by the companies.
Benefits of OHSAS 18001 System
1. Enabling the employees to work in a comfortable and safe environment by being protected from the accidents and negative effects of the workplace,
2. Increasing the motivation and attendance of the employees,
3. Decreasing the costs and increasing the efficiency in business by minimizing the work and labor losses which might occur due to occupational accidents and diseases,
4. Enabling the company safety with the precautions taken in working environment as a result of removing the incidents such as fire, explosion, machinery breakdown etc. which might put the workplace under danger,
5. Enabling the compliance to the national and international law and standards,
6. Increasing the work performance,
7. Creating an image of responsibility and sensitiveness towards other businesses or customers,
8. Having an advantage against rivals,
9. Proving the sensitivity of the business towards occupational safety in front of official authorities.
CE mark is the shortened version of “Conformite European” and it means "European Conformity" compliance towards European norms. CE mark shows that a product or a product group is in accordance with the basic requirements called “product directives” which are formed by European Union for health, safety, environment and consumer protection. The goods which do not carry the CE mark cannot be able to enter European Union countries. Thus, CE mark could be defined as an industrial goods passport which enable the free circulation of the goods in European Union domestic market.
CE mark is not a quality mark. CE mark is not a brand taken from anywhere, it is attached to product/packaging/related document by the producer. However this mark could only be used on the product when the compliance is achieved with the conditions stated in the directives. Due to that reason existing directives should be examined based on the properties of the product and a decision should be made about which directive or directives shall be valid. CE mark which is located on the product shows conformity of the product to all related directives.
INVISIBLE STANDARDS OR BARRIERS
Governments are liable to take the necessary precautions for the goods to be supplied to the market to not to be harmful and create danger to human health, security of life and property, environment, animal and plant health, consumer rights or other basic values aimed for protection. Adopting and applying the international standards above meets an important part of these liabilities determined by governments. However it is possible from time to time, to meet some regulations for which these standards are not by themselves enough. These technical regulations which we can call as invisible barriers may create serious problems for products to be supplied to foreign markets.
Technical regulations to which the products shall be subjected to in import and export is a part of the country’s domestic and foreign trade policy. Thus, a company planning to export to a country should follow up and apply the technical regulations as well as the standards created by that country as well as the standards above. However, the abovementioned technical standards or administrational regulations sometimes may have an effect of invisible foreign trade barrier; in other words they could form an invisible mechanism which protects domestic producers against foreign competency.
Generally these regulations are high in number and variety. Some of them may not be based on a valid reason. For example Japanese government had prohibited importing skis made in a foreign country in the past and as a justification they stated that the snow is different in Japan than other countries. Similar to this in 1960's USA has prohibited bovine meat import from Argentina due to the reason that they contained anthrax and then included mutton within the same prohibition. However that disease was never seen in sheep in the abovementioned country.
Generally, together with the determination of the technical standards, required analysis methods are also shown in order to test the compliance of goods and equipment to these standards. Thus, documents which prove the compliance to standards is needed to be obtained from the authorized institutions (international surveillance companies) after the export goods are audited. This means the increase of bureaucracy in international trade. Another element barring the flow of international trade of goods is the inspections before loading and rules of origin. Likewise, labelling obligations showing the composition of the inputs used in the production of the goods which are to be sold in domestic markets, packaging and packaging conditions and other barriers regarding the type of marketing and problems about industrial or intellectual property rights create similar problems for products to be imported or exported.
Standards or generally invisible barriers create important problems in the transactions and disrupt the transparency in international trade. Regardless of decrease in the customs tariffs and import quotes after World War II, there was a huge increase in the number and scope of these invisible barriers in the recent past. Actually the factors limiting the world trade today are not customs tariffs but invisible barriers such as these.In order to not to bar the free circulation of the goods in world trade due to the different technical regulations applied by the countries, World Trade Organization to which Turkey was a member too, has prepared an Agreement of Technical Barriers in Trade. The abovementioned agreement adopts, as main principles, that no difference being made between the domestic and foreign goods during the preparation and application stage of the technical regulations, technical regulations to not to have limiting effects not more than what is needed to achieve the goal and transparency to be enabled by informing the other countries about their technical regulation drafts.
WHEAT FLOUR STANDARD IN TURKEY
TS 4500 Wheat Flour Standard which determined the related standards regarding the wheat flour in Turkey in the past, became void in 2010. The two standards which are in relation with the wheat or flour based products and which are still valid are TS 1620 Macaroni Standard and TS 2383 Biscuit Standard. Aside from these, there are three more standards which determine the general rules for the factories which produce these goods; TS 9557/April 2004 “Workplaces – Flour Factories – General Rules”, TS 9482/September 1991 “Macaroni Factories - General Rules” and TS 9600/November 1991 “ Biscuit Factories - General Rules”. Turkey's flour standard is being determined right now by "Turkish Food Codex Communique on Wheat Flour” which became valid after being published in the Official Gazette on April 2, 2013. You can find the details about the communique in the 41st issue (May 2013) of the Miller/Değirmenci Magazine.
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