ISO and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on 6 July 2011 signed a cooperation agreement on international standards related to the trade of animal and products derived from animals.

The ISO-OIE agreement was signed at the ISO Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, by ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele and OIE Director General Bernard Vallat.

From left, at the signing of the ISO/OIE agreement: Mr Kevin McKinley, ISO Deputy Secretary-General; Mr François Falconnet, Chair, ISO/TC 34, Food products: Mrs Sandrine Espeillac, Secretary, ISO/TC 34; Dr Bernard Vallat, OIE Director General; Mr Rob Steele, ISO Secretary-General; Mrs Gilian Elisabeth Mylrea, Deputy Head International Trade Department, OIE.

ISO, a nongovernmental organization with a membership comprising the national standards bodies of more than 160 countries, is the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards, with a current portfolio of more than 18 600.

The OIE is an intergovernmental organization with 178 member countries developing international standards concerning the safety of trade in animals and products of animal origin. OIE’s aim is to improve animal health and welfare worldwide. The OIE is one of the so-called "three sisters", along with the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the International Plant Protection Convention, whose standards, guidelines and recommendations are specifically recognized in the World Trade Organization’s Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) agreement.

Areas of ISO’s work of potential interest to the OIE include standards for food products, microbiology, animal feeding stuffs, fisheries and aquaculture, conformity assessment, tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry, quality management, biological evaluation of medical devices, consumer policy, ships and marine technologies, packaging and social responsibility.

The ISO-OIE cooperation agreement supports the ISO Strategic Plan 2011-2015 objective of "fostering partnerships that further increase the value and efficient development of International Standards" and complements ISO’s efforts to collaborate with key intergovernmental organizations.  

The agreement focuses on a targeted exchange of information on issues of mutual interest, provides for participation in each other’s work and encourages the use and reference of each organization’s standards, in accordance with their respective standards development rules and commercial policies.