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Cement certification: an end to counterfeiting or a token measure for business?

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Cement certification: an end to counterfeiting or a token measure for business?

Counterfeit products on the cement market, according to different sources, account for more than 50% of all sales. Will compulsory certification help to overcome the problem?

 

Since March 7th, 2016, according to the RF Government resolution №930, dated 03.09.2015, compulsory certification of cement has been in place. The meeting of the Technical Committee 465, which took place in the “Construction” SRC, was dedicated to the issue.  

 

The moderator of the event, the Deputy Minister of Construction, and the Chair of TC 465, Elena Sierra, remarked:

— Certification is targeted at the market obtaining quality products and being protected against counterfeits. Currently, according to different sources, counterfeit volumes are about 50%.

To bring discipline to this market segment, the government resolution was adopted. According to this, some types of cement are to pass compulsory certification. The resolution came to pass on March 7th

It should be noted that some experts spoke against the introduction of compulsory certification. According to them, it adds “mess” to business processes, as many producers cannot manage to get certificates on time.

And here is another reason against it:

— The introduction of certification is further grounds for somebody earning money, that’s all, the chief researcher of the Concrete and Reinforced Concrete Research Institute named after A.A. Gvozdev, Svetlana Podmazova, claimed.

— All over the world, compulsory certification has been introduced for products that may impact upon human health. Cement cannot do this, so I do not understand the reason for such a resolution being taken.

— Why has the compulsory certification of cement been introduced? asks the Head of the “Krost-D” laboratory, Evgeny Borisov. He cited the concrete certification system, which does not work, as an example.  

— Producers pay money to certifying institutions, but nobody checks anything seriously. But certifying institutions earn money from it.

—  “Mr. Director, the next stage has come: you are to pay 80,000—100,000 roubles for certification”, and “Mr. Director” pays the money. That’s the way it goes, Mr Borisov told us.  

According to him, the result would be different if all regulating and supervising authorities actually inspected the products and gave their conclusions.  

However, the Deputy Minister terminated the discussion on the pretext that the Government resolution is coming into operation, so there’s no use in discussing it.

The meeting’s participants came to a discussion of the National State Standards (GOSTs) certifying cement. Two GOSTs are in operation in Russia simultaneously: 10178-85 and 31108-2003. The latter is synchronized with European norms and regulations, but a number of enterprises keep working according to GOST 10178-85.

So, which GOST should be adhered to? Should both of them be followed or should GOST 10178-85 be cancelled?

— We’d like to receive expert opinion on the two GOSTs. They are to be compared, Elena Sierra said.

The experts’ opinions were different: some spoke for the immediate cancellation of the old GOST and the use of GOST 31108-2003, others spoke for a transition period of introduction (but not too long a period), as producers are to get gradually used to the new conditions.

Some experts spoke against the cancellation of GOST 10178-85.

Still others spoke for the creation of a new document integrating all the positive sides of the two GOSTs, such as Nickolai Rozental, the head of the laboratory at the Concrete and Reinforced Concrete Research Institute named after A.A. Gvozdev. So the meeting was highly emotional. We hope that its results will be useful. The TC 465 and the participants’ proposals will be summarized, analyzed and sent to the Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology (Rosstandart).

Gennady LULKIN

 

 

REFERENCE

Some types of cement were included on the list of products for compulsory certification: portland cement, aluminate cement, slag cement, super-sulfate cement and hydraulic cements – colored, uncolored, readymade and clinker.

 

Principal differences between GOST 31108-2003 and GOST 10178-85:
* instead of cement types, strength grades have been introduced similar to those of EN 197-1;
* there are additional norms for strengths at the age of 2 days for cements of all strength grades besides those at the age of 28 days , excluding classes 22.5
Н and 32.5Н; and for cements of  22.5Н and 32.5Н class — the strength at the age of 7 days;
* for all strength grades, except 22.5, the cements are divided according to their  rate-of-hardening parameters into regular hardening and fast hardening ones, which allows one to minimize cement consumption in the course of construction due to its optimal selection as to its hardening performance.

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