More and more exporting companies are deciding to offer themselves to potential Russian importers, consumers, or investors with the seal of quality offered by the GOST R ISO 9001 certificate. This certification demonstrates the existence of a quality management system within the company, and this can be very important on a business level.
In practice this is like a voluntary GOST certificate that, instead of certifying that a certain product conforms to a standard, certifies the conformity of the company as a whole – along with its internal procedures – to the international standard ISO 9001:2008.
We would like to emphasize as clearly as possible that the GOST R ISO 9001 Certificate is not necessary in order to carry out exports to Russia or the Eurasian Union. It may be a prerequisite for participation in public tenders but, unfortunately, these days, this option is very restricted for European companies. It can also offer certain advantages when it comes to granting credits, but, here again, Russian companies usually benefit more than foreign ones.
However, despite all these nuances, and based on our own experience, we do recommend it to some very specific types of companies:
Companies that have to certify their products on a recurring basis.
We’re referring here more to Certificates than to Declarations, that is to say, procedures in which the certification laboratories have a relevant role and where tests are carried out. This is the case, for example, with western european manufacturers of children’s footwear which are, almost entirely, GOST R ISO 9001 certified. For this type of company, it is very easy to bear the costs of this certificate and, even though the quality of their products isn’t in any doubt, they always enjoy the double security of demonstrating, with laboratory testing, that they are a company that is committed to the principles of the “Russian system” and well established within it.
Companies that do NOT have the international certification ISO 9001.
Obtaining Russian certification is relatively affordable (the current cost is around £3.000 for a certificate with 5 years validity) and is very well regarded in the Russian market. It can be an excellent letter of introduction for companies that do not have an established commercial network, and which are starting to take steps towards the Eurasian market.
Companies that incorporate quality certification into their international strategy…
…but that cannot find, within the GOST voluntary certification system, any fully comparable certificate, with the same seals of quality that it enjoys in its trading in the European Union. In this case, the GOST R ISO 9001 can be an excellent tool to make up for the legislative delays that can exist in Russia in certain areas.