Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLS) Product Certification Mark

Today, the SLS Mark has become a well known mark in every household in Sri Lanka as a symbol of quality. It is a mark which denotes, when appearing on a product or affiliated to a product that the Sri Lanka Standards Institution has certified the product to the fact that it has been manufactured in conformity with the relevant Sri Lanka Standard Specification.

Sri Lanka Standards Institution which is commonly known as SLSI is the National Standards Body inSri Lanka. Among its role of providing facilitation services in order to enhance the quality of products and services, one such facilitation service is providing a third party assurance to the consumer regarding the quality of products. Here the term quality encompasses conformity to the relevant Sri Lanka Standard Specification. This assurance is depicted through a mark which is commonly known as the SLS Mark.

By implementing the SLS Marks Scheme, both the manufacturers and the consumers will reap benefits. The consumers who will become helpless in the market in choosing the right quality products will be benefited by identifying a quality product due to the appearance of this Mark. The manufacturers will be benefited by being able to convince their customers that they consistently manufacture quality products since they have to compete with substandard products in the market.

In order to apply the Mark to a product, the brand owner of the product should seek permission from the SLSI by submitting a formal application form by furnishing with certain information. Since the Mark denotes the compliance of the product to the relevant Sri Lanka Standard Specification, the existence of a Sri Lanka Standard will be a pre-requisite to apply for the Mark. Having receipt of an application form, SLSI has to basically determine two capabilities of the manufacturer before granting permission to use the Mark. One would be the capability of manufacturing the product up to the standard. The other would be the capability of the manufacturer to maintain the firstly mentioned capability in the long run. That is whether the manufacturer has the capability of producing goods consistently up to the Sri Lanka Standard specification in the long run.

The firstly mentioned capability, which is the capability of manufacturing the product in accordance with the standard, could be determined by drawing samples by SLSI and getting them tested against the relevant Sri Lanka Standard specification. If the test reports showed the conformity of the samples to the Standard, that will indicate the capability of the manufacturer in manufacturing the product in conformity with the standard. However, maintaining this capability in the long run would be a different capability and that would be determined by assessing the manufacturer’s quality management system.

Accordingly, having receipt of an application two samples will be drawn for testing against the relevant Sri Lanka Standards Specification. However, the date of manufacture of the two samples should be apart from each other at least by two months. Those two samples should conform to the relevant Sri Lanka Standards Specification. In addition, an audit will be carried out on the manufacturer’s Quality Management System to determine the capability of maintaining consistency in quality. The criteria used for this audit would be the requirements of the ISO 9001. If any nonconformities are found during the audit, corrective actions should be taken and submit proof to that effect.

Subsequently, the applicant should sign an agreement that he will abided by the conditions related to the use of the Mark. Then a permit will be issued permitting him to use the SLS Mark affiliated to his product up to a maximum of three years and as long as he abide by the conditions during that period.

After issuing the permit, surveillance would be carried out at least once a year to verify the compliance of the permit conditions. Three of such conditions are conforming the product to the relevant Sri Lanka Standard, maintaining a quality management system in line with ISO 9001 and making relevant payments to SLSI.

If permit conditions are violated, SLSI has the authority to cancel the permit at any time. However, SLSI’s intention is to see that the permit holders perform well in quality and hence it attempts to re-direct the permit holders to abide by permit conditions when any violation is observed.

An SLS Mark has been designed and constructed by using three letters i.e. S, L and again S surrounded with a border line and indicating the identification number of the relevant Sri Lanka Standards Specification under the three letters. Accordingly, many SLS Marks are in existence, one mark for each standard. For example, following is the mark related to Ordinary Portland Cement. The relevant Sri Lanka Standard is the SLS 107.

107
Those who wish to obtain a permit to use a mark can contact the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) of which details are given below.

Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI),
17,Victoria Place,
Elvitigala Mawatha,
Colombo8,
Sri Lanka.

Telephone: Six consecutive numbers starting from +94 (0) (11) 2671567 up to 72
Fax: +94 (0) (11) 2671579 and +94 (0) (11) 2672617
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.slsi.lk

(The above article received from the SLSI is reproduced as part of Trade Watch Series on account of its value to the industrialists and consumers. The Trade Watch thanks the SLSI for sending this communication to the FCCISL)