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Policy and research in security

Regulatory & certification issues

Eric Milos ©

Complementary to industrial standards is the need for more consistency in the regulation and certification of security-related equipment and services.

This would provide certainty of technical reference for a wide range of stakeholders, from industry and technology innovators to end-users, regulators and policy makers.  And it would go a long way toward helping create a single market and, above all, anchoring the conditions for interoperability of equipment across borders.

Such interoperability is crucial for public services such as transport security, disaster response or the identification of dangerous materials. For example, the Security Research programme supports efforts to strengthen the cross-border comparability of equipment used to identify CBRN materials.

While speed and high levels of accuracy are the performance norms within each Member State that produces CBRN equipment, their testing and certification rules are not comparable. This hinders the circulation of an important capability across the EU27, while imposing heavy costs on manufacturers who have to physically transport and re-certify their equipment in each separate market.

One illustration of how the EU is tackling this problem is the Security Research project known as CREATIF.

A 30-month endeavour, CREATIF’s research consortium is small – only seven members – but they are drawn exclusively from the public sector and represent the bulk of Europe’s CBRN-testing and certification authorities.  If they eventually accept CREATIF’s blueprint for the mutual recognition of each other’s testing and certification norms, this will propel the sector beyond its current fragmentation, lower costs for industry and keep Europe one step ahead of those might exploit these materials for malevolent intent.

For details about the CREATIF project and others, see our descriptive catalogue of Security Research projects.

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