SOMALIA – In a significant move to enhance the quality and safety of imported goods, Somalia’s standards authority, the Somali Bureau of Standards (SOBS), has issued a directive requiring importers to obtain certificates of conformity (CoC) before importing goods into the country.

This proactive step is in alignment with global trade quality requirements and aims to ensure that products entering Somalia meet the necessary standards.

According to an official memo released by SOBS, all entities involved in import business, including companies and individuals, must now provide proof of conformity for their imported goods.

“The Somali Bureau of Standards informs all companies, partners, traders (importers, international organizations, UN, and all humanitarian agencies), and the Somali community that imports various goods, from all ports, borders, as well as airports (country entry and exit points) must acquire the Certificate of Conformity (CoC),” the memo states.

Effective from September 1, 2023, imports that fail to meet the applicable requirements and are not accompanied by the mandatory CoC will face penalties.

SOBS has also introduced a Consignment-Based Conformity Assessment (CBCA) program. This program, implemented in exporting countries, verifies the compliance of products with relevant standards and approved specifications.

By launching this program, Somalia is taking a proactive approach to ensuring that goods imported into the country meet stringent quality and safety standards.

The partnership between SOBS and Bureau Veritas, a UK-based company specializing in safeguarding consumers against dangerous, substandard, or counterfeit goods through conformity verification, underscores the commitment to raising import standards in Somalia.

This collaboration was inaugurated on July 22, 2023, by Somalia’s Minister for Commerce and Industry, Jibril Abdirashid Haji Abdi.

Minister Abdi emphasized the importance of CBCA, stating, “The CBCA is essential for Somalia to ensure that the goods imported into the country meet the required standards and regulations.”

Somalia’s decision to implement these stringent import regulations not only serves to protect the well-being of its citizens but also positions the country for future integration into the East African Community (EAC).

Already having received a favorable assessment from the seven-member bloc, which includes Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia is taking steps to align its import standards with the broader regional and global community.

As Somalia strives to enhance the quality of its imported goods and align with international standards, this move signals the nation’s commitment to fostering safer, more reliable trade practices while preparing for its imminent inclusion in the East African Community.

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