Peru: The Fastest Growing Market in LATAM for ISO 17020 Inspection

Assessing drivers of growth in the Peruvian ISO 17020 inspection market and implications for Latin America.

Critical to the health, safety, and competitiveness of countries globally are the thousands of testing, inspection, certification, and calibration firms that ensure conformity to global standards across industries. In a globalised world, these companies form an integral part of any country’s trade strategy by raising standards and building confidence between trading partners. Domestic demands for safer and higher quality products also require improved assessment mechanisms. These factors, and others, have set the stage for this often shrouded market to deliver consistent growth and opportunities for those with the right knowledge.

Sector & Segment combines deep sector expertise with data-driven insight to provide targeted and actionable reports. Our insight is based in our unique databanks that cover entire ecosystems of companies and customers. Over the past 6 months, we have processed more than 150,000 data points related to more than 2,200 accredited inspection bodies present in 13 Latin American countries.

Leveraging some insights from our analysis[1], this piece focuses on Peru, the fastest growing accredited inspection market in terms of number of accredited inspection firms in Latin America. It examines the reasons behind Peru’s explosive growth and some implications for the broader Latin American market.

Even among the strong growth present in the Latin American accredited inspection industry Peru has shown itself to be exceptional. Between 2012 and 2017 the number of accredited inspection bodies grew at a CAGR of 57%, outpacing all other countries in the region. The source of this growth lies in a series of policies targeted at advancing the protection of the environment initialised in 2013, alongside regulation targeted at rational use of energy, drinkable water, air quality, and  manufacturing quality, among others. The result is that Peru has an abundance of young accredited inspection firms that have been founded to meet these growing regulations.

This growth has not made Peru the Latin American industry leader in any end-user sector. Peru remains the 6th largest country by total number of accredited inspection bodies. It has, however, become the second largest country in terms of accredited bodies in consumer goods, and the third largest in environment. More importantly, the growth shows exactly how powerful policy can be in stimulating the inspection industry.

Demands for better protections

Within Peru, growth in the accredited inspection industry has spanned several end-user sectors. The strongest growth has been present in consumer goods, but energy, environment, and industrials in Peru have all displayed above average growth for Latin America in those sectors.

The overall accredited inspection growth that has been witnessed in Peru can be tied back to Peru’s overall economic growth. Between 2005 and 2015 Peru’s GDP grew at an average of 5.8%. Strong economic growth has perhaps created two opportunities: the government has had the leeway to increase regulation without fear of overburdening the economy, and citizens have become more demanding when it comes to consumer protections.

This is reflected in the rising number of technical standards being published each year in Peru. In the years following 2012, the number of technical standards published by the government and associated technical bodies have grown almost exponentially. While not all of these technical standards are related to the ISO 17020 accredited inspection market, the trend reveals both the aims and actions taken by the government to boost quality and transparency.

Key Sectors

According to data gathered by Sector & Segment, consumer goods and energy have been the strongest growth area in terms of the number of accredited inspection firms in Peru. Our findings are reflected in government priorities. 16% of all standards published between 2012 and 2017 were related to food, beverage, and clothing manufacturing and a further 10% were related to the manufacture of electrical equipment.

By looking at the committees responsible for the creation of standards, it is also evident why environmental inspection has experienced such strong growth. The technical committees responsible for the rational use of energy and environmental management have been highly active, producing 138 technical standards between 2012 and 2017.

Opportunities remain in Peru

No exponential growth lasts forever but opportunities still remain in Peru. In 2017 new technical standards appear to still be focused at energy, the environment, industrial goods, but also construction. The Peruvian accredited inspection market will have to continue to grow quickly to meet this influx in technical standards.

Although Peru has taken significant steps towards establishing its inspection market, there remains much potential within the country. Based on our analysis of the number of accreditation firms relative to both population and GDP, Peru continues to lag behind the broader Latin American market. This helps to explain the rapid increase in technical norms and standards which seek to level the playing field.

A model to emulate in other developing countries?

The growth evidenced by Peru also offers some insights into the future of the inspection market in Latin America. Environmental inspection has been long neglected but policies such as those enacted in Peru could generate further opportunities in their respective countries. Only six Latin American countries currently have any accredited environmental inspection bodies and only three of those countries have more than five bodies in total.

Furthermore, in Latin America there are several other countries with broadly undeveloped accredited inspection markets. Should those governments opt to follow Peru’s example with stronger consumer protections and industry standards there could be future booms in accredited inspection.

Peter Hays


[1] More information available in our 160-page report  “Industry Analysis of the ISO 17020 Accredited Inspection Bodies in Latin America” published in July 2018