Ukrainian national authority for standardization becomes profitable as reform goes on

Over 2016, Ukrainian national authority for standardization (public company “Ukrainian Research and Education Center for Standardization, Certification and Quality”) turned from a losing-making enterprise into a profitable company and launched comprehensive internal reforms. “We have already laid a good basis for sustainable development of the enterprise and its capacity to adopt European standards,” said Dmytro Sazonov, acting Director General of the Ukrainian Research and Education Center for Standardization, Certification and Quality. “Our aim is to bring Ukrainian standards in full compliance with European legislation, both in documents and in practice,” noted Maksym Nefyodov, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine.

Maksym Nefyodov emphasized that standardization reform is extremely important for businesses as it contributes to better competitiveness, simplifies export procedures, reduces administrative burden and production costs. “The State should not dictate what standards must be adopted and used. Its mission is to create appropriate infrastructure and give to businesses more opportunities in this field,” he stressed.

Shift to profitability

“In the 1st quarter of 2016 our losses were UAH 1 million 76 thousand. Since we started implementing our strategy, the next quarters were profitable, bringing UAH 400-500 thousand. We estimate that financial results of 2016 will show nearly UAH 300 of profit,” said Dmytro Sazonov. The standards sold in online-shop only brought almost UAH 900 thousand. According to Hanna Lisina, Deputy Director General of the enterprise, the company estimates 10 per cent sales growth in 2017.

Adoption of standards

“More than 1400 standards were adopted in 2016. Over 1 thousand 300 of them are European standards adopted as national standards,” said Yuriy Brovchenko, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine. Lists of standards have been revised, nearly 1642 were brought into compliance with European standards. In addition, Ukrainian authority for standardization signed agreements with СEN, СENELEC and standardization authorities of Lithuania and Poland.

“Three years ago only 30 per cent of our regulatory documents were in compliance with European standards, today this figure increased to almost 60 per cent,” noted Leonid Vitkin, Director of Technical Regulation and Metrology Department of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

Moreover, 1500 standards on construction have been adopted. Demining action standards, initiated by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, received award from the UN.

According to new regulations, standards can be used only on voluntary principle. Registration and approval of regulatory documents have been cancelled. This results in better business environment and contributes to innovations. In addition, a new methodology to assess standard cost was designed.

Internal optimization

The enterprise undertook internal optimization. The number of staff members was reduced from 189 to 104. This allowed to offer higher wages and introduce a flexible motivation system. A monitoring of Technical Committees work was held. As a result, 7 new Committees were created, including one on defense industry standards. Thirty Committees which almost ceased their work for various reasons will be reorganized.

Dmytro Sazonov said that the authority will change its brand into “Ukrainian Agency for Standardisation”.

Future prospects

Nearly 1 thousand standards will be aligned to European standards in 2017, said Hanna Lisina. In addition, the enterprise expects to adopt 1126 standards that had not been adopted on time. It will also continue preparation to membership in European Telecommunication Standards and work on aligning military equipment standards to NATO standards, as well as work on agreements on distribution of international and regional standards. “First of all, these are standards of International Electrotechnical Commission, European standards CEN and CENELEC a German standards DIN,” she noted.

In addition, the company is going to introduce unified e-management system with support of International Standards Organization (ISO) and to launch a specific Twinning project in partnership with one of EU institutions in order to improve performance management.

Time for businesses to take a lead

Maksym Nefyodov emphasized that business should take a lead in standards preparation as the government deregulates this field. “Businesses should understand that now this function is transferred to them. If you see that there is need to prepare a new standard or to revise the existing standards, you are welcome to participate in work of Technical Committees; if you need to speed up the process, you can make a financial contribution,” he said. To develop partnership with businesses, there will be 20 meetings with industry associations and entrepreneurs in 2017.