Annual Meeting of the Sino-German Working Group on Accreditation and Conformity Assessment
More than 50 experts met on 20 April 2023 for the Annual Meeting of the Working Group on Accreditation and Conformity Assessment (WGACA). Throughout the virtual session, both sides emphasised the benefits of dialogue and cooperation within the WGACA. Agreement was reached on the focus of ongoing project lines. At the same time, new topics were acknowledged that are becoming increasingly important for the Sino-German cooperation on accreditation and conformity assessment.
Decarbonisation and Digitalisation as new focus topics of the Working Group
Digitalisation was one main topic of the session. Digital solutions are increasingly implemented within accreditation and conformity assessment in China and Germany. Accordingly, further cooperation will address opportunities in this field. Suggested activities are exchanges on the digitalisation of conformity assessment through blockchain technology, the digital transformation of inspection and testing, and the digital accreditation symbol developed by the German Accreditation Body (Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle - DAkkS).
Decarbonisation was highlighted as another focus of the Working Group for the coming year. BMWK (German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action) and CNCA (Certification and Accreditation Administration of the P.R. China) reaffirmed the key role of accreditation and conformity assessment for decarbonisation. It is planned to exchange information on the Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) and climate neutrality certification systems within the frame of the Working Group.
Sustainable Labelling of Products, Accreditation Systems and Conformity Assessment of Explosion Proof Electrical Equipment (CCC EX)
In addition, the Working Group will concentrate on the sustainable labelling of products. CNCA, BMWK and CQM (China Quality Mark Certification Group) agreed to enhance exchange on sustainable product labelling in China and Germany this year.
Currently, the experts work towards the finalisation of a comparative study on accreditation and conformity assessment systems in Germany and China. Moreover, they promote further knowledge exchange: Several workshops will be organised in 2023. The outcomes will be included in the comparative study.
The cooperation on conformity assessment of explosion proof electrical equipment will continue. Emphasis lies among further topics, on mutual recognition and areas of application for manufacturers. The Chinese certification body CQM highlighted how relevant regulations and policies in this area have successfully been shared with German stakeholders in the past.
The Sub-Working Group on Automotive Safety collaborates on L3 and L2 Vehicles, Batteries and Recycling, and Pre-Tests
Participants also reiterated their commitment to joint work in the Sub-Working Group on Automotive Safety. This Sub-Working Group is also part of the Sino-German cooperation within GPQI. Since 2014, this forum has served for technical exchange on automotive safety. In 2023, both sides plan to collaborate on L3 and L2 vehicles, batteries and recycling, as well as joint pre-tests to ensure conformity with China’s new national standards on IT and software upgrades.
BMWK and CNCA have been working closely together since 2013. Since June 2019, this cooperation has been based on a Memorandum of Understanding. The Working Group on Accreditation and Conformity Assessment is part of the dialogues of GPQI. With GPQI, BMWK offers representatives from industry, quality infrastructure institutions and governments a platform for technical policy dialogues on international rules and standards with important partners worldwide. Its aim is to reduce technical barriers to trade, enhance product safety and strengthen consumer protection.