The UK government renewed its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department for Business and Trade, even as UKAS continues to flout UK sanctions by providing accreditation services in Russia.

Oxebridge has learned that the UKAS-accredited certification body URS provided multiple ISO certificates to the Russian company SB-Group of Moscow in March of 2023, in violation of a standing IAF order not to provide accreditation in that country. The move also violates a specific UK sanction, defined in that country’s 2019 regulations. According to section 54C of the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019:

(1) A person must not directly or indirectly provide, to a person connected with Russia—

(d) auditing services,

(e) business and management consulting services,

(g) IT consultancy and design services

The ISO certificates granted to SB-Group by URS were for ISO 9001, ISO 45001, and ISO 27001. Two of those bear the IAF and UKAS accreditation marks and may be found here.

The IAF has refused to enforce its mandate to honor international sanctions against Russia. The IAF Chair, Emanuele Riva, also works for the Italian accreditation body Accredia, which recently re-accredited TEST, a St. Petersburg-based certification body. Riva’s salary is believed to be partly based on the number of certification bodies Accredia holds in its pool of clients, suggesting that Riva may be personally benefiting from money sent from Russian companies against EU and Italian sanctions.

To date, the governments of the UK and Italy have refused to hold their accreditation bodies accountable to the law.

UKAS has ignored a complaint sent to it in August of 2023, related to URS and alleged collusion with the consulting firm Vibrancy Consultancy. It is a violation of ISO 17011 for accreditation bodies such as UKAS to ignore formal complaints.

The IAF and its regional body EA have never taken any action to enforce ISO 17011 on UKAS, despite multiple complaints dating back years.


Aerospace Exports Inc

Why we report on these topics

Since 2000, Oxebridge has worked to improve ISO and related certification schemes by identifying problems and then proposing solutions. We report on issues affecting standards users because so few other news outlets do. Our belief is that in order to fix the problems in these schemes, we must first understand the nature and breadth of those problems. Our reporting aims to do just that. Elsewhere on the Oxebridge site you will find White Papers and other articles proposing ideas to correct these problems.