Agency Devises 546 Standards for Products, Services


About the total 41 of them are compulsory




Close to 546 standards for both locally manufactured, imported products and services were approved by the National Standardisation Council (NSC) on April 3, 2018.

The Ethiopian Standards Agency (ESA), which was established in 2010 to formulate required standards for both goods and services, made the announcements of approval, which will be applicable in seven sectors. Of the 546 standards approved, 267 of them are newly formulated, 76 revised and 203 reaffirmed.

Consequently, 41 standards have become mandatory for products such as soft drinks, juices and baby foods. From that figure, 25 standards directly affect health service providers while the remainder concern food and agricultural products.

From the approved standards, 59 of them are for construction and civil engineering; 68 for environmental protection and health; 103 standards for electromechanical and 109 are for the basic and general sector. The remaining 89, 26 and 92 are for agricultural and food, chemical and chemical products and textile and leather industrial sectors, respectively.

The standards were formulated by a Technical Committee set up by the Council. Under the Technical Committee, are over 80 sub-committees which facilitated the process.

The composition of the council is not permanent, as it is revised periodically by the government when the need arises. However, the director of the ESA has a permanent seat in the council as a member and secretary to facilitate the standard development process.

The approval of the standards will serve to enhance technology transfer and innovation as well as increase competitiveness with the outside markets by harmonising the requirements of beneficiary countries.

“The main barrier to the implementation of standards is the disintegrated functions of the regulatory bodies,” said Yilma Mengistu, director of standards preparation committee at ESA.

The Agency has been successful in creating and endorsing 221 standards in the government procurement body known as, Public Properties Procurement & Disposal Authority (PPPDA) which is part of the implementation process of the standards in controlling procurements, according to Yilma.

Currently, there are 208 mandatory and more than 11,000 voluntary Ethiopian quality standards in effect. The standards were established by consensus and approved by a recognized body that designed the technicalities for the implementation of the standards. The technicalities include; operations, rules, objectives, implementation, punitive actions among others.

Tadele Kume, a consultant on standards and quality for nearly three decades, strongly believes the quality and competitiveness in the production of goods and provision of services required in this country, will only be realized with the implementation of the approved standards, or else they will become shelf decors.

“The standards should be translated into local languages and be accessible to everybody for the dissemination of their core principles through people, starting from lower class students,” said Tadele, “with devising a quality strategy and policy for integrated implementation.”



By BERHANE HAILEMARIAM
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Apr 06,2018 [ Vol 18 ,No 936]


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