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ISO 8000 is on the march, so is your data compliant?

21 August 2017

Quality standards come in many forms. ISO 9001 certification has been a pre-requisite to potential suppliers on almost all tender documents for many years.

This certificate ensures that the quality management of the manufacturer is controlled by international standards. In addition, manufacturers produce their products to recognised international standards. It is therefore unsurprising that the data, which describes the product, should also conform to international standards. However, until recently, that standard, ISO 8000, is relatively unknown in the industrial workplace. That is about to change.

Manufacturers whose products are exported to Saudi Arabia are soon to become very aware of ISO 8000, as if they do not adopt this data standard for their products by 2018, there could be financial implications, as well as logistical issues, for the products entering that country. Other countries are also starting to look at the adoption of this standard, in order to process import documentation more effectively. In addition, some very large global companies in the defence, chemical, oil and gas sectors are also now insisting that their suppliers are providing parts with descriptions that conform to ISO 8000.

So, what does this all mean for manufacturers? 

Let us take the example of Saudi Arabia, a major export target for most industrial manufacturers.

As part of Vision 2030, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has developed a National Industrial Strategy (NIS). One element of this strategy is to create a National Industrial Information Centre (NIIC). The Electronic Commerce Code Management Association (ECCMA), based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States of America, has been chosen to lead this element of the project using their experience as project leaders of the international data standards ISO 8000 and ISO 22745.

Starting in June 2017, exporters of industrial items started to receive notification, requesting that they register standardised part numbers according to ISO 8000-115 and standardised commercial specifications according to ISO 8000-120 in an open global registry of technical specifications.

The registry of ISO 8000 compliant specifications is being managed by ECCMA, and is known as the ECCMA Technical Specification Registry (eTSR). This registry is free for manufacturers to upload specifications, and free to download specifications using a standard part number.

The standardised specifications will be used to improve the efficiency of several government departments including, import duty exemption and localisation compliance; the key points to note from this project are:

• The records in the registry shall conform to ISO 8000 parts 115 (part number) and 120 (specifications);

• All common military and industrial items imported into KSA shall be required to be registered in the eTSR, regardless of whether they are applying for exemption from duty or not;

• All government controlled corporations in KSA (ARAMCO, SABIC, SEC, SWCC, Maaden) are expected to use the eTSR to improve the quality of their master data and to identify local manufacturers as part of the government localisation requirements.

The project is being run by the new Ministry of Energy, Industry, and Natural Resources, via the Industrial Clusters, and is being sponsored by Saudi Aramco and Sabic.

Future import process to Saudi Arabia

So, what should manufacturers do?

A UK based software company, KOIOS, who are working closely with ECCMA, has produced a software suite which is specifically designed to guide you through six simple steps.

You can register your prefix name as part of the set-up process, and the technical specifications you produce are free to upload to the global ECCMA Technical Specification Registry (eTSR), and are free for your customers to download.

The identifier that is produced as part of the process replaces the need for all parties to maintain and manage URLs as pointers to technical specifications.

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