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AELI defends the interests of the private laboratories in Spain

Governing Board Dr. J. Oliver-Rodés

Dear colleagues of UILI,

First of all let me offer my sincere congratulations to Dr. Manahen Fernandez Alonso on his appointment last September during the General Assembly Meeting held in Paris as president of the Union Internationale des Laboratoires Independants.

I also would like to express the appreciation of AELI to Dr. Hideo Tabata for his continued dedication and effective work in front of UILI over the past four years.

Dr.Fernandez, whose laboratory has been a member of the Spanish Association of Independent Laboratories AELI, for many years, is currently a member of our Board and as with his steady performance has proven to be a staunch defender of our Associations so I'm sure his work in UILI will contribute significantly to its projection.

In these extremely complex moments in Spain due to the economic situation for three years with us, and if we consider the reports of economic forecasts that predict a decrease of GDP in Spain that could reach over 1% decline over this 2012, I am happy to say not only that the Association has maintained the number of partners but also that the activities carried out by our Association have increased and continue apace.

As you know the main objective of the Spanish Association is the defence of competition in our industry. Among its actions and competency framework, AELI monitors all matters that may involve a violation of free competition in the sector operating partners such as may occur with some Universities, Technological Centres or other public or subsidized organizations not using subsidies received to develop its objectives.

Around June 2008, a laboratory called "AENOR Laboratory" whose legal status is that of AENOR began operating in the field of provision of food analysis and testing.

From that moment, the fact is that a clearly privileged operator appears in the market for testing services and food analysis. AENOR, the Spanish Agency for Standardization, which competes directly in a sufficiently supplied sector by the activity of numerous companies, offering the same services as other operators, many of them small and medium enterprises.
From the very moment this occurred, AELI performed a series of actions to denounce the situation starting before AENOR itself, always within the law, and safeguarding all the recommendations established by the National Competition Commission and finally appealing this last entity seeking protection.

The National Competition Commission, government agency which ensures free competition in Spain issued in July 2010 a “REPORT ON THE CERTIFICATION OF QUALITY AND SAFETY” in which it recommends Public Administrations to introduce the legislative necessary regulatory changes allowing inter alias:

"To separate legal, accounting and functional activities of standardization and certification of the Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification (AENOR)

AENOR's name should be only reserved to the National Standardization Body. And it must be ensured that the standards body's actions conform to the principle of non-discrimination, ensuring equal treatment and avoiding discriminatory practices among the various certification bodies. "

This is a very important report because it allows AELI to continue working to modify this situation.

Other activities undertaken by our Association, some in collaboration with the Spanish Federation of Laboratories (FELAB), to which we belong, are:

  • The “VIII Simposium FELAB-AELI-EUROLAB Novedades y seguimiento de temas Técnicos y legales en el ámbito de actuación de los laboratorios”, held in Madrid in November 2011. The Simposium was of great interest to all, with over 100 people participating and with the presence of key Administration responsible that shared all legal and technical concerns that are currently under development.
  • During the year, our organization kept the important amount of meetings, especially with all State and local administrations, with the purpose of attending all subjects of interest as well as to keep the Association awareness on key decision taking entities.
  • Annual follow up meeting with ENAC ( Spanish Certification and Acreditation Entity).
  • Technical Training sessions (24), gave the opportunity to all associates and external colleagues to assure they get all technical and legal updates.

Greetings to all of you

Jordi Oliver-Rodés
President AELI