Standing Committee Meeting in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv (11 October 2010): The 67th meeting of the Standing Committee took place in Tel Aviv (Israel) on 11 October 2010. It was the first time that the Convention was meeting outside Europe. The meeting was hosted by the Standards Institution of Israel (SII) and attended by around 50 officials representing 22 countries of which 18 Contracting States and 4 other States (Croatia, Italy, Moldova, and the Ukraine).

The meeting was chaired by Mr. Ronald W.A. Le Bas (Irish Assay Office). Mr. Le Bas was re-elected Chairman for a period of two years. Ing. Martin Novotny (Czech Republic) was elected Deputy Chairman for the same period.

The Committee took note that Italy would submit a membership application shortly. It also noted that following the entry into force of the 2001 Amendment to the Convention, the first palladium articles were struck with the Common Control Mark (CCM). According to a survey, palladium is considered a precious metal in 10 out of 19 Contracting States. The Committee also noted that the Depositary was in the course of registering the Convention, as modified by the 2001 Amendment, with the UN Secretariat in line with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.

The Committee finalised a proposal on the revision of the Convention's Annexes. Under the proposal, Assay Offices, authorised under the Convention, will be able to mark multimetal articles with the CCM.  Moreover, they will have the possibility in some cases to apply only 3 instead of 4 minimum marks.  The proposed revision will be officially communicated to all Contracting States by the Convention's Depositary, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affaires. 

The Committee mandated the Standing Technical Committee (STG), a sub-committee established under the Convention, to review a proposal to revise technical decisions agreed by the Committee.  The revised decisions should enter into force at the same time as the revised Convention's Annexes. 

The Committee also reviewed statistics on the number of articles marked with the CCM as well as the operation of the Convention in general (e.g. consultations between Assay Offices, fake CCM, etc.). It agreed to conduct a Round Robin on Marking Technique and mandated the STG to elaborate guidelines on the independence of Assay Offices.

Members agreed to reconvene in Geneva (Switzerland) on 21 March 2011.  Poland generously offered to host the autumn meeting on 19 September 2011.

The meeting was followed by a meeting of The International Association of Assay Offices (www.theiaao.com).

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