Trimble Australia have announced that their GeoXT handheld computer, GPS Pathfinder ProXT receiver, and GPS Pathfinder ProXRT receiver obtained TÜV certification under the European Union (EU) Agricultural Directive Commission Regulation 796/04, Article 30. The directive supports the validation of area measurement methods for agricultural parcels in order to comply with the current common agricultural policy (CAP) of the EU.
Before January 2005, under the previous CAP, farmers received subsidies according to how much they produced. In June 2003, EU agricultural ministers agreed on fundamental reforms to those subsidies and established new rules under which farmers can claim a direct income support payment that is no longer linked to production. Commission regulation 796/2004 describes the ‘cross-compliance’ rules covering the requirements for all direct payments, including the requirements for accurately measuring the size of parcels under consideration for payments.
Article 30 of the regulation states that agricultural parcel areas shall be determined by any means proven to assure measurement of quality at least equivalent to that required by applicable technical standard, as drawn up at Community level. A measurement tolerance shall be defined by a buffer of maximum 1.5m applied to the perimeter of the agricultural parcel. The certification was performed for Category A of the regulation, which requires a buffer accuracy of less than 0.40m, far beyond the maximum tolerance of 1.5m, according to the area measurement validation scheme from the European Commission, Joint Research Centre – ISPRA, Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen, Agriculture unit.
TÜV SÜD is an international service organisation that focuses on the consulting, testing, certification and training. Actual TÜV certification was provided by NavCert, a subsidiary of TÜV SÜD, who offer support for the development, testing, and certification of positioning and navigation systems. TÜV certification involves rigorous testing of the applications for which a product is designed.
TÜV certification includes verification that the strictest European regulations are satisfied and ensures that the specifications are stated correctly. Periodic retesting of the product is required to maintain TÜV approval. Attaining this certification is a mark of quality and assurance that use of Trimble’s products for the mapping of agricultural parcel areas meets EU standards.