EAC issues SQMT regulations to facilitate regional trade
The East African Community has issued regulations to enhance the operationalization of the EAC Standardization, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing Act (SQMT) of 2006. The SQMT regulations are geared towards facilitating regional trade.
The Regulations were approved by the Council of Ministers in November 2013 and are issued in line with Article 6 of the Protocol on Establishment of the EAC Common Market, with reference to Free Movement of Goods.
Article 6 of the Protocol stipulates among others laws that the free movement of goods shall be governed by EAC SQMT Act, 2006 and regulations made there under. The regulations include: The EAC SQMT (Product Certification in Partner States) Regulations, 2013; The EAC SQMT (Designation of Testing Laboratories) Regulations, 2013; and The EAC SQMT (Enforcement of Technical Regulations in Partner States) Regulations, 2013.
The EAC SQMT (Product Certification in Partner States) Regulations, 2013; provides for certification bodies in the Partner States on the basis of Product Standards. The regulations will facilitate the issuance of quality marks on products conforming to regional and international standards and provide consumer confidence of the products traded in the region. The regulations also provide for emphasis on recognition of each Quality Marks issued by other Partner States Quality Marks in conformity assessment of goods moving across borders.
The EAC SQMT (Designation of Testing Laboratories) Regulations, 2013; provides for the Ministers responsible for Trade in the Partner States to designate Testing Laboratories to be recognized in the region. The regulation will facilitate an organized recognition of testing laboratories to test goods for conformity assessment of goods in the region.
The EAC SQMT (Enforcement of Technical Regulations in Partner States) Regulations, 2013; provides for Partner States to declare or notify a technical regulation which may create barriers to trade and obliges Partner States upon request to explain the justification for that technical regulation.
The above mentioned regulations are expected to be approximated and/or aligned to the existing National Laws as required by the Treaty establishing the East African Community.