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GOST (Russian: ГОСТ) refers to a set of technical standards maintained by the Euro-Asian Council for Standardization, Metrology and Certification (EASC), a regional standards organization operating under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
All sorts of regulated standards are included, with examples ranging from charting rules for design documentation to recipes and nutritional facts of Soviet-era brand names (which have now become generic, but may only be sold under the label if the technical standard is followed, or renamed if they are reformulated).
The notion of GOST has certain significance and recognition in the countries of the standards' jurisdiction. Russian Rosstandart government agency has gost.ru as website address.
GOST standards were originally developed by the government of the Soviet Union as part of its national standardization strategy. The word GOST (Russian: ГОСТ) is an acronym for gosudarstvennyy standart (Russian: государственный стандарт), which means state standard.
The history of national standards in the USSR can be traced back to 1925, when a government agency, later named Gosstandart, was established and put in charge of writing, updating, publishing, and disseminating the standards. After World War II, the national standardization program went through a major transformation. The first GOST standard, GOST 1 State Standardization System, was published in 1968.
After the disintegration of the USSR, the GOST standards acquired a new status of the regional standards. They are now administered by the Euro-Asian Council for Standardization, Metrology and Certification (EASC), a standards organization chartered by the Commonwealth of Independent States.
At present, the collection of GOST standards includes over 20,000 titles used extensively in conformity assessment activities in 12 countries. Serving as the regulatory basis for government and private-sector certification programs throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the GOST standards cover energy, oil and gas, environmental protection, construction, transportation, telecommunications, mining, food processing, and other industries.
The following countries have adopted all or some of GOST standards in addition to their own, nationally developed standards: Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia, and Turkmenistan.
Because GOST standards are adopted by Russia, the largest and most influential member of the CIS, it is a common misconception to think of GOST standards as the national standards of Russia. They are not. Since the EASC, the organization responsible for the development and maintenance of the GOST standards, is recognized by ISO as a regional standards organization, the GOST standards are classified as the regional standards. The national standards of Russia are the GOST R standards.
The abbreviation GOST (rus) (SUST) (eng) stands for the State Union Standard. From its name we learn that most of the GOST standards of the Russian Federation came from the Soviet Union period. Creation and promotion of the Union Standards began in 1918 after introduction of the international systems of weights and measures.
The first body for standardization was created by the Council of Labor and Defense in 1925 and was named the Committee for Standardization. Its main objective was development and introduction of the Union standards OST standards. The first OST standards gave the requirements for iron and ferrous metals, selected sorts of wheat, and a number of consumer goods.
Until 1940 Narcomats (People's Commissariats) had approved the standards. But in that year the Union Standardization Committee was founded and the standardization was redirected to creation of OST standards.
In 1968 the state system of standardization (SSS) as the first in the world practice. It included creation and development of the following standards:
The level of technical development as well as the need for development and introduction of informational calculating systems and many other factors lead to creating complexes of standards and a number of large general technical standard systems. They are named inter-industrial standards. Within the state standard system they have their own indexes and the SSS has index 1. Nowadays the following standard systems (GOST standards) are valid:
The USCD and USTD systems take special place among other inter-industrial systems. They are interrelated and they formulate requirements for general technical documentation in all industries of economy.
The task of harmonization of Russia's standards and the GOST standards was set in 1990 by the Soviet Council of Ministers at the beginning of the transit to market economy. At that time they formulated a direction that obeying the GOST standards may be obligatory or recommendable. The obligatory requirements are the ones that deal with safety, conformity of products, ecological friendliness and inter-changeability. The Act of the USSR Government permitted applying of national standards existing in other countries, international requirements if they meet the requirements of the people's economy.
During the past years a large number of GOST standards were developed and approved. Nowadays there is a process of their revision so that they conform to international standard requirements. As the base is the system of international standards ISO, in Russia they created series of Russian standards such as GOST ISO 9001 or GOST ISO 14001, which absorbed the best developments of the world community but they also consider the Russia's specific.
Historically, GOST R system originated from GOST system developed in the Soviet Union and later adopted by the CIS. Thus, the GOST standards are used across all CIS countries, including Russia while GOST R standards are valid only within the territory of the Russian Federation.
This system is aimed at providing the Customer with safety and high quality of products and services. This right of the Customer for safety and quality is guaranteed by obligatory certification of not only native but as well foreign produce. Produce that enters the territory of the Russian Federation and that is subject to obligatory certification according to the legislation of the Russian Federation must meet the requirements of Russian certification system.
List of products subject to obligatory certification is defined by Gosstandart and can be seen on www.gost.ru. The very system of certification GOST R has been valid in Russia for many years. The main normative base for it was national standards. At the same time active policy of Russia towards entering the WTO was the reason for adopting the federal law "On Technical Regulation" № 184-ФЗ. This law was designed to match Russian and European legislation in the sphere of technical regulation.
Creation of certification systems in Russia is provided by the Federal Law №184 "On Technical Regulation" Evaluating the product's conformity to requirements of laws, standards, technical reglaments and other kinds of normative appears to be one of the most important possibilities of providing safety of different kinds of products for humans, environment and the state.
According to the FL № 184 any certification system includes:
There is a great variety of objects for certification (different products and manufacturing processes, management systems, construction sites, etc.). A little smaller is the lists of risks that you may encounter by using the products and from which you should protect the consumer. The variety of certification systems in Russia is explained by these two factors as well as by the wish of some corporations to introduce their own requirements for the products deliverers.
There two big groups of certification systems in Russia: voluntary and obligatory ones. From the names it is clear that the evaluation of conformity for the objects of obligatory certification system appears to be mandatory requirement for all Russian manufacturers and for the products from abroad.
It is only federal state structure who can create the obligatory certification system of Russia. The system must go through the procedure of state registration. The Rosstandart which is responsible for the certification in Russia as a whole keeps a registry of the RF certification systems. Only after receiving the Certificate of state registration with getting the unique registration number, you may perform activities in evaluating conformity as a new system.
There are 16 obligatory certification systems in Russia:
The obligatory GOST R certification system consists of sub-systems of certificating homogeneous products. The obligatory GOST R certification system consists of 40 sub-systems according to the kinds of homogeneous production. For example, the following sub-systems:
The management of state property in the sphere of technical regulation, organizing an performing works in certification in the GOST R system is performed by the Rostechregulation (former Gosstandart) which appears to be the Federal agency for technical regulation and metrology (now is called Rosstandart). The given agency is part of the structure of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the RF.
It became the very first and the largest system of evaluation of conformity in Russia and it encompasses all the groups of production that are to be evaluated according to the Federal Law "About protection of Consumers Rights" and it performs the other legislative acts considering separate kinds of goods The authority of the GOST R obligatory certification systems covers also the voluntary GOST R certification system because the applicants for the voluntary evaluation of conformity most often apply this very system.
Any Russian citizen may register such evaluation system according to the Law. While creating the system you must set the list of objects to be evaluated on conformity in its frameworks, the indicators and characteristics in accordance to which the voluntary certification will be performed, you must also formulate the rules of system and the pay order of the works in certification, and you must define the participants of the given system of evaluation of conformity.
Registration of voluntary certification system is similar to the procedure of registration of the obligatory system. In the case of refusal, the Rosstandart sends to the applicant explanations of reasons why the new system may not be registered. Nowadays there are more than 130 central certification organs that went through the registration procedure.
Here are the examples of voluntary certification: