Inspired by the objectives of the charter of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf aiming at achieving coordination, integration and interconnection between them in all areas leading to their unity, and Pursuant to the objectives of the GCC Economic Agreement calling for coordinating and unifying their economic, financial and monetary policies as well as their commercial, industrial and customs regulations in force therein, and Desiring to achieve more coordination and cooperation between them in the standardization areas with a view to unifying their regulations in this respect, and in implementation of the resolution of the GCC Supreme Council (22nd Session, Muscat, Oman, 30-31 December 2001) to establish a Standardization Organization for the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GSO) in preference to transforming the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO) into a Gulf organization..
The governments of:
Have agreed as follows:
Article (1) : Establishment of the Organization
An organization shall be established under the provisions of these Rules of Procedure within the framework of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf to be named "the Standardization Organization of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GSO)".
Article (2) : Definitions
The following expressions- wherever mentioned throughout these Rules of Procedure- shall have the meanings assigned to them unless the context otherwise requires:
•The Cooperation Council: the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC)
•The Supreme Council : the Supreme Council of the Cooperation Council
•The Ministerial Council: the Ministerial Council of the Cooperation Council
•The Competent Minister: the Minister to whom the standardization staff in each Member State report
•The Organization: the Standardization Organization of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GSO)
•The Member States: the Member States of the Organization.
•The Board of Directors: the Board of Directors of the Organization.
•The Technical Council: the Technical Council of the Organization.
•The General- Secretariat : the Secretariat of the Organization.
•The Secretary General: the Secretary General of the Organization.
•The year: the Gregorian year.
•The Gulf Technical Regulation: a document approved by the Board of Directors that lays down the specifications of the products and the relevant processing operations and the production methods, including the applicable administrative provisions to be adhered to. The Regulation may include or examine in particular the terms, definitions, packing and the marking or labeling requirements to be applied to the products, operations or the methods of production.
•Gulf Standards: a document approved by the Board of Directors that lays down, for normal and frequent use, the rules and instructions or characteristics of the products, operations or relevant methods of production thereof , the adherence to which shall not be compulsory. This document may include or examine in particular the terms, definitions, packing and the marking or labeling requirements to be applied to the products, operations or the methods of production.
•Gulf Conformity Assessment Procedures: a document approved by the Board of Directors that spells out any procedure to be directly or indirectly utilized to ensure that specific requirements of the Technical Regulations or Standards have been satisfied. The Conformity Assessment Procedures include sampling, testing, inspection, evaluation, verification, registration, approval and adoption as well as any procedures common between them.
Article (3) : Headquarter
The headquarter of the Organization shall be based in the city of Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Branch offices of the Organization may be established in any Member State by a resolution of the Board of Directors after obtaining the consent of the State where the branch office is to be established.
Article (4) : Objectives and Functions
1.The organization aims at helping the GCC achieve the objectives set forth in its charter and in the GCC Economic Agreement by unifying the various standardization activities and following up application and compliance of the same in cooperation and coordination with the standardization bodies in the Member States in an endeavor to develop the production and service sectors, foster the Intra-GCC trade, protect the consumer, environment and the public health, and encourage the GCC industries and agricultural production that would enhance the GCC economy , maintain the achievements of the Member States and minimize the technical trade barriers as envisaged by the objectives of the Customs Union.
For the achievement of those objectives, the Organization may undertake, in particular, the following:
3.1. Drawing up comprehensive plans for the Organization's activities according to the needs and potentials of the Member States. The Organization may seek assistance of the national standardization organizations in the Member States according to its Directives of Technical Work.
4.2. Formulating, adopting, updating and publishing the technical regulations , the Gulf standards, Gulf Conformity Assessment Procedures for commodities and products, measuring and calibration devices, definitions, symbols and technical terminology, and criteria for sampling, inspection , testing and calibration according to the relevant implementation rules issued in this connection.
5.3. Preparing draft Gulf technical regulations and standards according to the Organization's Directives of Technical Work.
4. Formulating the systems, regulations, and guides for organizing legal and industrial metrology , and measurement activities, and following up their application after approval.
6.5. Formulating the system, regulations, instructions and guides for conformity assessment procedures including the quality mark, the conformity mark, the Gulf conformity certificates and the various approval systems.
7.6. Following up application of Gulf technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures through the standardization bodies in the Member States.
8.7. Conducting research and studies for developing and unifying the concepts and methods of work at the Organization and the standardization organizations of the Member States.
9.8. Formulation and implementation of training plans covering the Organization's activities with a view to developing the know-how and skills of the standardization staff in the Member States.
10.9. Creating the necessary awareness concerning standardization by dissemination through appropriate media.
11.10. Keeping the Gulf standards as well as the Arab, regional and international standards and the relevant references and books at the Organization's Information Centre according to a sophisticated storage system that facilitates retrieval and utilization thereof, (and) control and implementation of the membership requirements, procedures and fees for applicant establishments and individuals.
12.11. Coordinating the positions of the Member States participating in the meetings of Arab, regional and International Standardization Organizations to safeguard the interests of the GCC Member States during the preparation and adoption of technical rules, standards, conformity assessment procedures and other decisions taken by such Organizations.
13.12. Participating in the Arab, Regional and International Standardization Organizations that serve the Organization's purposes.
14.13. Providing technical advice to the Members States in the field of standardization.
Article (5) : Bodies of the Organization
The Organization shall comprise the following main bodies:
•Board of Directors
Each of the above mentioned bodies may establish sub-bodies, at their discretion, to help the perform of their respective duties and functions entrusted to it.
Article (6) : Board of Directors
The Board of Directors shall be composed of the competent Ministers responsible for standardization of each Member State. If the competent Minister of any Member State cannot participate, his representative shall be of the same rank as the minister.
Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be attended by the Secretary-General of the Organization and the Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs at the GCC General- Secretariat without having the right to vote. Chairmanship of the Board of Directors shall rotate annually according to the State that preside the GCC.
Article (7) : Meetings of the Board of Directors
1. The Board of Directors shall convene twice a year and may hold extraordinary meetings at the request of one third of the Member States. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be deemed valid if attended by two thirds of the Member States.
2. The Board of Directors may invite representatives from the public and private organizations interested in the standardization affairs at the Member States to attend its meetings without having the right to vote.
3. Resolutions concerning the approval of the Gulf Technical Rules, amendment of the bylaws and opening branch offices of the Organization shall be taken by unanimous approval of the Member States. Resolutions of the Board of Directors concerning substantive matters are to be taken by unanimous approval of the representatives of the Member States present at the meetings. In procedural matters, resolutions and recommendations of the Board of Directors shall be taken by majority vote of the participants. In case of a tie, the Chairman shall have the casting vote.
Article (8) : Functions of the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is the highest authority in the Organization. It controls and manages the affairs of the Organization and adopts the general policy of the Organization and, for this purpose it may exercise, in particular, the following functions:
1. Approve the Organization's strategies in the light of the specified objectives and functions.
2. Approve the long-term and the annual plans reflecting the Organization's activities and programs.
3. Approve the Technical Rules, the Gulf Standards, the Gulf Conformity Assessment Procedures and proposed amendments thereto.
4. Approve the regulations, rules and directives relating to the standardization activities.
5. Approve the financial, accounting and administrative procedures of the Organization's General-Secretariat.
6. Approve the organizational structure (chart) of the General-Secretariat and the amendment thereof.
7. Follow up the Organization's activities and achievements and issue the appropriate resolutions and directives.
8. Appoint and terminate the Secretary General.
9. Adopt the annual budget of the Organization and approve the utilization of its allocated funds.
10. Approve the financial statements of the Organization.
11. Appoint the independent external auditor and determine his compensation.
12. Delegate some of its powers to the Technical Council and the Secretary-General.
Article (9) : Technical Council Formation and Meetings
1. The Technical Council shall comprise of the presidents or officials of the standardization organizations of the Member States or their representatives. The Secretary-General of the Organization and a representative of the GCC General-Secretariat shall attend meetings of the Technical Council without having the right to vote.
2. Chairmanship of the Technical Council shall rotate on an alternatively , and the Council sessions are to be chaired by the representative of the Member State that presides the Board of Directors at that time.
3. The Technical Council shall hold ordinary quarterly meetings and may hold extra-ordinary meetings at the request of one third of its members.
4. The Technical Council may invite other public and private organizations concerned with the standardization affairs in the Member States to participate in its meetings without having the right to vote.
5. Meetings of the Technical Council shall be valid when the majority of the Member States are present. The resolutions and recommendations of the Technical Council shall be approved by majority vote of the members present.
Article (10) : Functions of the Technical Council
The Technical Council shall have the following functions:
1. Examination and deliberation of the subjects listed on the agenda of the meeting of the Board of Directors and propose recommendations thereon.
2. Approve the technical rules, the Standards and the Gulf Conformity Evaluation Procedures and submit the same to the Board of Directors for approval.
3. Review the plans, budgets and programs submitted by the Secretary General and propose recommendations thereon.
4. Review the regulations, rules, directives and instructions governing the activities of the technical commission and propose recommendations thereon.
5. Examine and approve nominations of the Secretary General for the chairmanship, and membership of the technical standardization committees.
6. Review the Organization's annual reports and give appropriate advice and recommendations thereon and submit the same to the Board of Directors.
7. Carry out all the duties and powers delegated to it by the Board of Directors.
Article (11) : The General-Secretariat
The Organization shall have a General-Secretariat to run its affairs. The General-Secretariat shall be presided by a Secretary- General who will be appointed for a period of three years renewable for only another office period. The Secretary-General shall undertake the following:
1. Prepare the strategies necessary for fulfilling the objectives of the Organization and implement such strategies after having them approved.
2. Prepare the annual and long-term and annual plans for the activities of the Organization in the light of the approved strategic objectives, and follow up implementation of the same after having them approved.
3. Prepare the draft annual budget of the Organization and follow up implementation of the same after having it approved.
4. Supervise preparation of the technical rules, standards and Gulf conformity Procedures in cooperation and coordination with the standardization organizations in the Member States.
5. Prepare the Organization's draft regulations, rules and technical manuals and the administrative and financial rules of the Secretariat-General, and supervise implementation of the same after having them approved.
6. Coordinate with the standardization organizations in the GCC Member States concerning deputation of their experts and technicians to participate in achieving the Organization's activities.
7. Appoint the Organization's personnel and approve all decisions of the Personnel Affairs in accordance with the relevant appointment policies and procedures.
8. Propose the chairmen and members of the standardization technical committees according to the nominations received from the Member States.
9. Represent the Organization at the other organizations.
10. Arrange for the meetings of the Board of Directors and the Technical Council and prepare the agenda for the same.
11. Prepare periodic reports on the Organization's activities and achievements, and the problems and difficulties hindering its progress, and propose recommendations for its development.
12. Carry out the tasks and powers entrusted to him by the Board of Directors and the Technical Council.
Article (12) : Legal Personality
The Organization shall have an independent legal personality within the limits of the objectives and the tasks set forth herein. Provisions of the GCC Immunities and Privileges Agreement signed on 09/06/1404 H. (11/02/1984) shall apply to the Organization's immunities and privileges in the Member States. The Organization may conclude an agreement for its Headquarters which includes, inter alia, the immunities and privileges to be accorded to the Organization, its personnel, representatives of the Member States participating in the Organization's meetings and the experts providing assistance to the Organization and the other matters provided for in the Headquarters Agreements.
Article (13) : Relationship with the GCC
The Board of Directors shall submit annual reports to the Ministerial Council on its activities and achievements as well as the other matters to be covered by such reports. The Ministerial Council may give its instructions and directives to the Board of Directors that best ensure implementation of the Organization's objectives and duties provided for herein.
Article (14) : Budget and Resources of the Organization
The Organization shall have an independent budget to be funded from the following sources:
1. Financial allocations (contributions) of the Member States.
2. Aid and donations approved by the Board of Directors.
3. Fees charged by the Organization for its services as approved by the Board of Directors.
4. Other resources as approved by the Board of Directors.
Article (15) : Settlement of Disputes
The Board of Directors shall endeavor to settle amicably any disputes arising between two or more of the Member States over interpretation of these Rules of Procedures. If an amicable resolution can not be reached, the dispute shall be referred to the Ministerial Council for settlement. If the dispute is still unresolved, the dispute shall be referred to arbitration. An arbitration commission shall be formed for this purpose. Each party shall elect an arbitrator, and the chairman of this commission shall be nominated by the Ministerial Council. The judgment given by this commission shall be final and binding upon both parties.
Article (16) : Final provisions
1. These bylaws shall supersede those of the GCC Standardization Organization signed on 11th Rabie'a Alawal 1406 H. (23rd December 1985). The Organization established hereunder shall replace the Organization established under those abolished bylaws with all its rights and obligations including the devolution of its funds, assets and property. Any provision that contradicts the provisions of bylaws shall be nullified.
2. These bylaws, after approval by the Supreme Council, shall be submitted to the Member States for taking actions at the Member States level in accordance with the national legislation of each Member State. These bylaws shall come in force as of the date of depositing the fourth instrument of ratification with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (of the State hosting the Headquarters).
3. Interpretation or amendment of these bylaws shall be the competence of the Board of Directors.