Print testing

For documents of the Registry in the Dutch “Papier- en Schrijfmiddelen Besluit” special requirements are mentioned with respect to durability. In the 90’s a procedure has been established for testing equipment for the production of records for Registry office, so that after 100 years the documents are still maintainable and readable. COT is an independent testing institution designated to carry out these tests (Ministry of Justice circular dated December 14, 1997, no. 668307/97/6 and Evaluation Ministerial Regulations Archives, part 1/3 Advisory Rules durability archive documents, The Hague, December 2006 ) and carry out the testing regularly, especially commissioned by printer manufacturers.

Many printers, copiers and multifunctionals have been tested and have been issued a certificate of approval. For the current list of approved machines COT can be contacted.

An approval is only valid for the tested combination of machine, toner and standard paper (the paper used by the municipalities for deeds, normally being paper is 120 g/m² ). By experts it was decided that the validity of an approval is three years. Then there is the possibility for an abbreviated retest.

Closely related to the “Papier- en Schrijfmiddelen Besluit” , the Regulation Sustainability Archive Documents, which applies to all records of councils, water boards, regional police forces of the police and (semi-) public enterprises. It demands to include paper, inks and toners, and refers to the standard ISO 11798. Documents for archives must meet the requirements of ISO 11798, but also an alternative method can be used. The Provincial Archives Inspections have decided in 2005 that copiers or printers that meet the requirements of the Act COT printer inspection are also considered to meet the requirements of ISO 11798.

The test procedure document printers (COT 94.3) includes tests regarding resistance to pressure and UV light, smudge resistance, heat load, variable load RV, mechanical resistance and chemical resistance. The test conditions are severe. The pressure test, for example, has a pressure of 100 kg/m² for 14 days, which is equivalent to a stack of 10 million sheets of A4 paper (a tower of 1100 meters high). The detailed specifications of all tests in the printer test can be requested at COT.