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Special Report: 26th Meeting of the ISO/TC54 Committee for the Standardization of Essential Oils

By Arantxa Bordas, president, ISO/TC 54, "Essential Oils"

Madrid, 27-29 October 2008

At the 26th meeting of the ISO technical committee 54, essential oils, 10 out of 14 member countries were present. This year the working session took place in Madrid, after Avignon (1990), Madrid (1994), Paris (1996), New York (1998), Sidney ( 2000), Berlin (2002), Taormina (2004) and Grasse (2006). A total of 24 experts participated, representing the following countries: Argentina, Australia, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. As in the past, the meeting was organized and hosted by the national normalization committee, in this case by AENOR (Spain). AENOR is also holding the ISO/TC54 secretariat. The debates were moderated by the ISO TC/54 president Arantxa Bordas, assisted by the ISO/TC 54 secretary J. Ignacio Aguado. There were 31 points on the agenda, being mainly propositions of new working items for ISO standards, the follow-up and revision of existing standards. The discussions were, as in the past, very constructive. The aim of these meetings is to come to final conclusions for the publication of an ISO standard, or as in some cases to reorient the work based on the input of the experts. This purpose was well achieved with the debates based on very well prepared dossiers by the delegates.

The delegates have discussed in depth how to adapt or include in the future standards the upcoming analytical methods, as for example the gas chromatography on chiral column.

All 31 agenda points have been treated and the conclusions are formalized in a final resolution which has been adopted unanimously by the delegates. The resolutions include also the attribution of new working items to countries having volunteered to be project leader. Twenty four working items have been attributed to the different delegations with the following repartition: France (8), Spain (5), Germany (4), Australia (2), USA (2), Hungary (2) and Argentina (1).

It is important to point out the close relationship between the ISO/TC 54 committee and the EDQM (European Directorate for Quality Management) which is responsible for the development of European Pharmacopoeia monographs, as we can agree with physicochemical and analytical properties of the essential oils. During the meeting it was proposed to extend this close collaboration regarding essential oils with other organizations.

For the next meeting in 2010, China volunteered to organize it in Shanghai. This proposal was accepted unanimously by the delegates.

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