Cooperation on measurement standards in the MAGHREB area


In February 2017, the Van Swinden Laboratorium (VSL) has started  a new cooperation and support  project on better measurement standards with Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

The project has been financed by out of the Shiraka Programme. The Shiraka Programme has been developed by the Ministry of Foreign affairs to support the sustainable democratic transition in the Arabic region. The programme, operational since 2016, supports both economic development as well as civil enterprises and cooperation with central and decentralized governments.

Van Swinden laboratorium
VSL is the National Metrology Institute in the Netherlands, which is appointed by the national government in the 'Metrology Act', to realize, maintain and develop the national measurement standards. These measurement standards serve a public interest and are important for e.g. fair trade, industry and science.

Purpose of the cooperation and support
Measurement standards are an important basis for industry and trade. Mutual confidence in trade is strengthened by proving that the applied measurement standards are comparable.

Purpose of this project is to enable Algeria and Morocco to become members of the Meter Convention, an international treaty relating to a uniform system for measurements. Tunisia has  been a member since 2012. This membership will facilitate:

  • Trade between Algeria-Morocco-Tunisia and the EU market.
  • Free transfer of goods and better cooperation between Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia amongst themselves through introducing similar working procedures and structured cooperation between the metrology institutes in the mentioned countries.

This will lead to a better enabling economic environment for small and medium sized companies to do business in these countries and it would contribute to more trade possibilities and thus to more employment in the region.

Cooperation will last two years
In this two year project, cooperation on measurement standards between the MAGHREB countries is established by performing Interlaboratory Comparisons (ILCs) and Proficiency Test Schemes (PTSs) according to the ISO/IEC 17043:2010.

  • On Thursday the 2nd of February 2017, the kick-off meeting of this project  took place at VSL in Delft.
  • The project starts with an inception phase of three months, during which all three participating countries will be shortly visited to meet the persons involved and to fine-tune the activities and the schedule.
  • A training course will be organized at VSL to teach a small group of experts from the participating countries in theoretical and practical aspects of the ISO/IEC 17043:2010.
  • The next step will be organizing ILCs and PT schemes for various measurements by VSL, in which the national metrology laboratories or main calibrations laboratories in the MAGHREB countries will participate.
  • During the last phase of the project ILCs and PT schemes will be organized by the MAGHREB countries themselves, both on a national and regional level.

The VSL project team is shown in the picture below:
from left to right Marion de Niet (back office), Erik Dierikx (project leader), Nellie Schipper (project manager), Adriaan van der Veen (ISO/IEC 17043:2010 expert / trainer), Peter van Otterloo (expert / ILC and PT organizer).