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WCA welcomes new Russian cement standards

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World Cement,

Interstate standard GOST 31108-2016 was introduces as a national standard in Russia from 1 March 2017. The technical characteristics requirements of the new standard are broadly similar to those of the EU’s EN 197-1: 2011 standard, but differ in the number of sub-types. The Russian standard includes 23 sub-types, while the EN 197 has 39.

The GOST standards also do not include specifications for regulated aspects, nor do they detail conformity assessment requirements, in contrast to the EU standards. These requirements are set out in separate legislation and the GOST R 56836-2016 standard.

“The WCA believes a compatible regulatory environment based around equivalent national and international standards would be in the interest of all cement market participants in both the European Union and the Russian Federation,” said Norman Greig, the association’s Secretary General. “The latest GOST 31108 standard is a step in the right direction on technical specifications, but the regulatory environment and the way that the ‘cement certification rules’ are being applied in the Russian Federation are considered, by many, to be technical barriers to trade, which can lead to reduced competition in the market”.

European commissioners and EU-based cement suppliers have complained to the Russian government and the World Trade Organisation about Russia’s cement certification rules, arguing that they constitute an unfair barrier to trade and effectively block imports of cement into Russia. As a result, some producers have diverted shipments into other markets.

The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has issued warnings to the companies certifying cement products. FAS has found that two certification bodies refused some applications for mandatory cement product certification without well-reasoned grounds as to why certification could not be performed under the National Standard of the Russian Federation GOST R 56836-2016.

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