Pursuant to Article 7, paragraph 1, item 12) of the Law on Standardization (Official Gazette of RS no. 36/2009 and 46/2015) (“the Law”), the Institute for Standardization of Serbia (“the Institute”) published on April 12, 2022, the Rules for obtaining approval for the use of the National Mark of Conformity with Serbian standards (“the Rules”).
According to the notice published on the same day on the Institute’s website, the national mark of conformity with Serbian standards (“the National Mark of Conformity”) is awarded according to the rules and procedures established on the basis of the Law, founding act and the Statute of the Institute, whereas its application represents a message from manufacturers and service providers about a high degree of reliability, quality and care for consumers, as well as market competitiveness, thus the use of the respective mark will affect the acquisition and increase of consumer confidence and the recognition of manufacturers/service providers in the market.
What is the National Mark of Conformity?
The National Mark of Conformity is a mark which, under the rules of the national standardization body of the Republic of Serbia (the Institute), certifies the conformity of products, processes, and services with Serbian standard.
Subject and scope of application of the Rules
The Rules regulate the appearance of the National Mark of Conformity, conditions and procedure for obtaining the approval for its use, supervision over the use of the National Mark of Conformity, suspension of approval for its use before the expiry of the approved period, as well as a waiver from the use of the National Mark of Conformity.
Appearance of the National Mark of Conformity
The subject mark comprises of two styled intertwined squares that connect to form a unity (the aforesaid graphic design is enclosed in Appendix 2 to the Rules).
Conditions for obtaining approval for the use of the National Mark of Conformity
The approval for the use of the National Mark of Conformity is issued for the product, process or service for which:
- procedure of conformity assessment for placing and delivery in the market of the Republic of Serbia, under the Serbian standard, does not require the engagement of the third independent party;
- conformity with Serbian standard, for the purpose of placing and delivery in the market of the Republic of Serbia, has been implemented and confirmed by the third independent party.
The right to obtain approval for the use of the National Mark of Conformity may be exercised by a manufacturer, representative or importer placing or delivering a product, process or service in the market of the Republic of Serbia.
Procedure for obtaining approval for the use of the National Mark of Conformity
This procedure is instituted by submitting of the request to the Institute, in electronic or written form, on the prescribed form. Documentation filed with the request is considered business secret and it is only accessible to individuals acting upon the request under the Rules.
Upon receipt of the request, the person responsible for the National Mark of Conformity examines whether the request was properly submitted and whether all prescribed documents have been filed. If the request is complete and product, process or service that is subject to the request meets the criteria for approval to use the National Mark of Conformity, the Commission for the use of the National Mark of Conformity (“the Commission”) shall be formed as a temporary working body that decides on each individual request.
The Commission subsequently prepares the Verification Program, which refers to a specific product, process or service or a group of products, processes or services and implements the verification of proofs of conformity.
The decision on approval/non-approval of the use of the National Mark of Conformity is passed by the Director of the Institute within 45 days upon filing of the request, pursuant to the Commission’s report on conducted verification. The Director will approve the use if the final assessment of the report proves that certain product, process or service is in conformity with the requests established by Serbian standard(s).
Having obtained positive decision approving the use of the National Mark of Conformity, the applicant and the Institute conclude the agreement on approval of the use of the National Mark of Conformity, for the period of three years. By concluding of this agreement, the client becomes the user of the National Mark of Conformity and in order to maintain approval for its use it shall be obliged to, once a year, submit signed and stamped statement in the prescribed form, whereby it warrants and acknowledges under material and moral responsibility to still meet the conditions for using of the National Mark of Conformity. The Institute also checks (at least) once a year the use of the National Mark of Conformity.
The use of the National Mark of Conformity ceases by expiration of three-year period, by its suspension by the Institute or waiver by the user.
Distinguishing between the National Mark of Conformity and Serbian conformity mark
Under the Law on Technical Requirements for Products and Conformity Assessment (Official Gazette of RS no. 49/2021), Serbian conformity mark is a mark that proves that the product placed in the market or put into use in the Republic of Serbia is in conformity with the requirements of Serbian technical regulation, given that such regulation prescribes its placing.
Therefore, Serbian conformity mark is used to verify conformity with domestic technical regulation, while the use of the National mark is voluntary, thus it cannot cover the products, processes and services already defined by legal regulations.
This article is to be considered as exclusively informative, with no intention to provide legal advice. If you should need additional information, please contact us directly.
By Lara Maksimovic, Senior Associate, PR Legal