The Customs Laboratory operation was again assessed as competent
FINAS Accreditation Service assessed the Customs Laboratory and found it to be a high-quality operation. FINAS has assessed the Customs Laboratory operation since 1993. This time it was a question of a re-assessment, before moving on to the eight accreditation season. The whole Laboratory operation was assessed, from sampling to the reporting of the results. According to the assessment, the Customs Laboratory operation meets the requirements of the SFS-EN ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard for testing laboratories.
The assessment showed that the technical operation of the Customs Laboratory performs at a high level, is objective and confidential, and is constantly being developed. According to the assessment, the staff is competent and professional, and the development of their competence and the skill monitoring principles are of high quality. According to the assessment, the laboratory has implemented the changes in the SFS-EN ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard version to the extent necessary.
Through the Official Food Controls Regulation (EU 2017/625), the requirements regarding the scope of accreditation have grown. The Laboratory operation has been enhanced and the coverage of the methods has been expanded by adding substances to be tested and matrices for methods as well as by accrediting new methods.
The Customs Laboratory’s scope of accreditation, i.e. the methods that are covered by the accreditation, were expanded regarding allergen examinations as well as regarding several examination methods for foodstuffs and food contact materials. The operation has also become more efficient by updating methods, renewing instrument technology as well as through the elimination of individual methods and by the Laboratory switching to a more flexible scope.
The Customs Laboratory has around 70 accredited testing methods in the following areas: foodstuff sampling; microbiological, gene technological and chemical testing of foodstuffs; mechanical and chemical testing of consumer goods, forensic analytics, fuel analytics, gene technology and allergen analytics of foodstuffs.
The Customs Laboratory uses a so-called flexible scope in many areas. This means that the Laboratory can expand its scope within a given limit between the periodic assessments. A flexible scope is used in several methods regarding food analytics, toy examinations, forensic analytics as well as examinations of allergens and gene technology.
A third party carries out the accreditation using a procedure based on international criteria. The procedure includes an assessment of the operator’s competence, the correctness and comparability of the results as well as the reliability of the operator’s analyses reports. As proof of the fulfilment of the accreditation requirements in the presented scope of accreditation, the operator receives an accreditation decision. In Finland, the accreditation authority is the FINAS Accreditation Service.