East African Private Sector Standards

East African Private Sector Standards Platform

The East African Business Council (EABC) is the apex body of business associations of the Private Sector and Corporates from the 5 East African Countries. It was established in 1997 to foster the interests of the Private Sector in the integration process of the East African Community. EABC’s overarching objective is to be the dynamic apex body of the private sector in the East African Community, in fostering sustained economic growth and prosperity in the region.

EABC therefore provides a regional platform through which the business community can present their concerns at the EAC policy level, with the overall aim of creating a more conducive business environment through targeted policy reforms.

It is in this regard that the EABC established an EAC regional private sector standards platform in response to the challenges and unnecessary trade barriers faced by suppliers in intra-regional trade due to differences in technical regulation and standards amongst EAC Partner States.  To deal with these challenges the Standards Platform has adopted the following strategies for the next three to five years:

Persuade and work with the relevant EAC structures, the East African Standards Committee, towards a common East African Technical Regulation Framework in order to harmonize the disparities in technical regulation development and administration currently experienced;

Facilitate the further harmonization of standards across the region by presenting private sector needs to the regional technical committees, and by increased and active participation in their development;

Communicate actively at the Sectoral Council of Trade, Industry Investment and Finance   to initiate and implement necessary changes to the current situation regarding standards and technical regulations; and Actively engage with the East African Standards Committee as well as its national counterparts in order to bring about the necessary changes required to enhance intra-regional trade without negating the safety and health aspects of products and services.

ACHIEVEMENTS
The platform enjoys positive working relationships with the East African Standards Committee and the EAC Secretariat and has so far achieved the following:

1. Influenced the prioritisation of standards for the most traded goods for development/ harmonization/ revision EASP made a presentation to the East African Standards Committee on prioritisation of standards in the region which led to:

• EASC prioritised the standards to be developed, harmonised, revised or withdrawn according to the most traded goods in the region

• Development of a 3 year work program of the Standards Management Committee

• Development of a 1 year work plan of the Standards Management Committee

• Designation of the regional technical committees to implement the work program

• +50 stds to be harmonised by mid Dec 2012

2. Established linkages with the National Standards Bureaus and East African Standards Committee

3. Training of the Technical committee Secretaries, Standards Management committee members and private sector representatives on the revised Principles and Procedures for the development of
East African standards with support from TMEA. The training established a common understanding on how to conduct business/ standardisation work in EAC

4. Establishment of the East African Standards Technical Regulations Subcommittee. This is the forum to advocate for the development of the regional technical regulations framework

5. Conducted a Sensitisation work shop on ISO certification standards with support from TMEA & PTB. Increased uptake of the ISO management standards by members

6. Conducted Regional Public Private Dialogue on the age limits for the importation of used motor vehicles in to the EAC with support from TMEA & ACBF. Stakeholders appreciated the need to set the age limits however there is need for a study on the impact so as to influence the political fraternity

FUTURE PLANS
•  EASP to continue collaborating with EASC, and development Partners to ensure implementation of the SMC work program

•  EASP to work with its members to develop industry standards for adoption by the SMC

•  EASP to influence the working group on TBT/SPS & NTBs in the COMESA-EAC -SADC Tripartite negotiations

•  Promote SME and Standardization

•  Services Standards

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