Product quality
A guide for small and medium-sized enterprises
Working paper

UNIDO

UNITED NATIONS INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION
Vienna, 2006

This publication is one of a series of guides resulting from the work of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) under its project entitled “Market access and trade facilitation support for South Asian least developed countries, through strengthening institutional and national capacities related to standards, metrology, testing and quality” (US/RAS/03/043 and TF/RAS/03/001). It is based on the work of UNIDO consultant S. C. Arora. The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The opinions, figures and estimates set forth are the responsibility of the authors and should not necessarily be considered as reflecting the views or carrying the endorsement of UNIDO. The mention of firm names or commercial products does not imply endorsement by UNIDO.

PREFACE
In the globalized marketplace following the creation of the World Trade Organization, a key challenge facing developing countries is a lack of national capacity to overcome technical barriers to trade and to comply with the requirements of agreements on sanitary and phytosanitary conditions, which are now basic prerequisites for market access embedded in the global trading system. The World Trade Organization has adopted two important agreements in these areas: the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade and the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (both available at http://www.wto.org). With a view to meeting this challenge, developing countries need significant technical assistance to develop institutional infrastructure related to standards, metrology, testing and quality in order to be an able partner in the global trade regime. With a view to developing national capacity among the South Asian least developed countries, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has implemented a project entitled “Market access and trade facilitation support for South Asian least developed countries, through strengthening institutional and national capacities related to standards, metrology, testing and quality”. The project was financed by the Government of India and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.
To facilitate understanding of the complex subject of standards, metrology, testing and quality, a number of small guides, as listed below, have been developed as part of the project. These guides are available free of charge to small and medium-sized enterprises and other interested users.

Role of standards
Product quality

Role of measurement and calibration in the manufacture of products for the global market
The purpose of the present guide is to assist small and medium-sized enterprises and other interested users to understand how to control product quality. Chapters 5-8 of the guide also cover various third-party schemes for product certification and pre-shipment inspection and also how the World Trade Organization Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade can facilitate product conformity assessment procedures.

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