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19. The document was prepared and introduced by the Delegation of Finland. It was emphasized that ISO/IEC Guide 25:1990 should form the basis of objective criteria for assessing the competence of testing laboratories involved in the import and export control of foods. In addition, such laboratories should participate in proficiency testing, and use validated methods. Some delegations preferred the deletion of the word “official” from the title of the text, while others preferred that testing laboratories remained within the framework of official control. The Committee agreed to include the word “official” in the title of the text. Some delegations stated that the reference to ISO/IEC Guide 25:1990 was sufficient and there was no need to refer to proficiency testing. However, it was pointed out that ISO/IEC Guide 25:1990 did not specifically address participation in proficiency testing in the field of food analysis, which is required to demonstrate competence in this field.

20. The Committee agreed to provide more general wording instead of referring to “third party” in the text and to include mailing addresses for each reference cited.

21. The Committee agreed that the following quality criteria be adopted by laboratories involved in the official import and export control of foods:

- Comply with the general criteria for testing laboratories laid down in ISO/IEC Guide 25:1990 “General requirements for the competence of calibration and testing laboratories”[9],

- Participate in appropriate proficiency testing schemes for food analysis which conform to the requirements laid down in “The International Harmonized Protocol for the Proficiency Testing of (Chemical) Analytical Laboratories”, Pure & Appl. Chem. 65 (1993) 2132-2144 (as adopted for Codex purposes by the Codex Alimentarius Commission at its 21st Session in July 1995);

- Whenever available, use methods of analysis which have been validated according to the principles laid down by the Codex Alimentarius Commission; and

- Use internal quality control procedures, such as those described in the “Harmonized Guidelines for Internal Quality Control in Analytical Chemistry Laboratories”, Pure & Appl. Chem. 67 (1995) 649-666[10].

22. The Committee noted that compliance with the criteria mentioned for laboratories involved in the official import and export control of foods needed to be assessed by suitable mechanisms. The bodies assessing the laboratories should comply with the general criteria for laboratory accreditation, such as those laid down in ISO/IEC Guide 58:1993, “Calibration and testing laboratory accreditation systems - General requirements for operation and recognition”.

23. It was agreed that the paper be revised, based on the comments and recommendations made during the session. Noting the work currently carried out by the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Certification and Inspection Systems in the area of import and export control in general, the Committee also agreed that the revised paper should be referred to the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Certification and Inspection Systems for its consideration, review and comments.

[8] CX/MAS 95/4.
Comment papers (USA, IDF & IUPAC)
[9] Currently under revision.
[10] Being recommended to the Commission for adoption (see para. 40).

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