LIBERIA – The President of the Republic of Liberia, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, has during the National Flag day signed into law a series of iconic bills, among them being an “Act to Establish the Liberia Standards Authority.”
The official Facebook page of the Liberia Presidency and government websites describe the measures as a spur to national inclusiveness and to fight corruption.
Stephen Mambu, Codex Contact Point for Liberia said, “Liberia now has a national standardization body known as the Liberia Standards Authority (LiSA). As part of this legislation, the Codex Contact Point is to be housed within LiSA. This is a milestone for standardization in Liberia that will definitely impact Codex and food safety in Liberia.”
Countries throughout the region congratulated the work of Liberia and the Contact Point in what they described as an important moment for the country and food safety.
Liberia launched its National Codex Committee in August 2017 following an Ebola crises that raised eyebrows on the country’s food control systems including on the role of authorities, and concerns about national capacity to deal with food safety issues.
There was a perceived lack of a centralized system for coordination and a lack of general awareness on food safety right through to consumers.
The country adopted about 50 Codex standards which led to the development of a food law to establish the general principles to ensure safety and quality of food and feed at the national level.
The Liberia Standards Authority (LiSA), formerly the National Standard Laboratory (NSL), is an extension of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) designated as the national conformity body of Liberia.
It coordinates national quality infrastructure activities representing Liberia at various regional and international engagements in the fields of quality infrastructure (QI) and food safety.
In 2008, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) 2008 as an ECOWAS Member State to participate in the West Africa Quality Program (WAQP) funded by the EU.
In 2010 the WAQP funded the construction of the facility of the National Standards Laboratory which was officially opened by the Government of Liberia on September 9th, 2011, to provide trade facilitated services for enhancing the competitiveness of goods and services at the national, regional, and international levels and to strengthen the SPS regime of Liberia.
“The crafting and validation of this act received support from the WAQSP in 2017. Thanks for all the support,” Mambu said.