Standing Committee Meeting in Geneva


Geneva (29 April 2012): The 70th meeting of the Standing Committee (SC) took place in Geneva (Switzerland) on 26 March 2012 under the chairmanship of Mr. Ronald W.A. Le Bas (Irish Assay Office). The meeting was attended by 57 officials representing 24 countries of which 18 Contracting States, 3 Applicant States (Croatia, Italy and Ukraine) and 3 non-Members (Bahrain, Romania, and Russia).

Following the revision of the election procedure at its last meeting, the SC elected a new Second Deputy Chairperson in the person of Mr Ashley Carson (Sheffield Assay Office). 

The SC discussed the invitation to accede to the Convention to Italy which was circulated to all Contracting States by the Convention's Depositary (the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs).  The 4-month consultation period, which was still running, would end in early May. The SC noted that following a change of Government in Croatia a new Head had been appointed at the Croatian State Office for Metrology. The application form and questionnaire would be submitted later in the year. To speed up the ratification process by the Ukraine the Chairman had written to the Ukrainian Prime Minister. 

The SC adopted a new glossary on commonly used terms as well as a revised a Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) for analytical samples. Both the new glossary and the revised SOP would be incorporated into the SC's Compilation of Acts. The SC also adopted an amendment to the Compilation of Technical Decisions. Both the amended Compilation of Acts and the amended Compilation of Technical Decisions would enter into force on 1st July 2012.

The SC reviewed the operation of the Convention and adopted a proposal to revise the Guidelines on the Convention's Round Robin on testing (the Round Robin is an interlaboratory proficiency testing scheme on precious metals) and introduced more detailed rules regarding non-accredited Assay Offices, which would exceed the permissible limits under the Round Robin (RR). The latter is run jointly with the International Association of Assay Offices (www.theiaao.com).

The SC discussed two surveys: the first on legal standards and weight exemptions; and the second on multimetal articles (both to be posted on the web site).  It reviewed the number of precious metals articles marked with the Convention's Common Control Mark (CCM): 6,490,374 articles were marked with the CCM in 2011; this was down by 6.6% in comparison with 2010.  

The SC was given a presentation on the latest Round Robins on Marking Techniques (laser marking and press-marking).  

Subject to confirmation, Members agreed to reconvene in Rome (Italy) on 20 September 2012. 

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