UNBS spearheads One standard, One certification Q-Mark & One conformity assessment procedure for EAC member states
The East African Community has kicked off implementation of the East African Community (EAC) Harmonised Framework that is aimed at facilitating cross border trade of pre-packaged foods and cosmetic products.
The Framework promotes the use of one standard, One Certification Quality Mark, and one conformity assessment procedure in the registration, approval, certification and clearance of pre-packaged food products and cosmetics to promote intra EAC Trade among the Partner States, including South Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
This development is aimed at providing a comprehensive harmonized approach to implement regulatory safety controls for food and cosmetics products based on the principles of risk-based preventive controls, equivalence, harmonization, mutual recognition and adherence to ISO/IEC and Codex standards requirements while still achieving the twin critical goals of improved consumer protection and facilitating trade.
The harmonised framework will further help to;
- Enhance cooperation and coordination among conformity assessment and regulatory bodies in ensuring safety and quality of pre-packaged processed food products and cosmetics;
- Promote mutual recognition of conformity assessment/regulatory control activities and results among conformity assessment bodies and regulatory institutions to minimise technical barriers to intra-EAC trade; and
- Facilitate free flow of safe pre-packaged food products within the EAC Common Market and achieve efficient cross-border trade.
This framework is the basis upon which the food and cosmetics regulatory authorities of the EAC partner states will mutually recognise the results of each other’s’ conformity assessment as providing the same level of consumer protection.
During national awareness meeting held in Uganda this week to align implementation of the Framework, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) was nominated as the National Coordinating Institution in Uganda.
Other institutions to be represented on the National Coordinating Committee (NCC) for implementation of the framework in Uganda, include the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Dairy Development Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority, National Drug Authority, business associations like the Uganda Manufacturers Association, Private Sector Foundation Uganda, Uganda Small Scale Industries Association, Uganda Clearing Industry and Forwarding Association and Uganda Freight and Forwarders Association, among others.
Source: UNBS website