TANZANIA – Tanzania has submitted three standard claims before the 25th East African Standards Committee Meeting for harmonization to facilitate trade within the region.

If approved, the claims will feature in the East African Standards (EAS) catalogue.

According to the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), harmonised standards are “standards on the same subject approved by different standardising bodies or authorities, that establish interchangeability of products, processes and services, or mutual understanding of test results or information provided according to these standards.”

The standards include Claims on Foods General Requirements (second edition), Nutrition Labelling Requirements (second edition) and claim on the use of Nutrition and Health (second edition).

Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing committee meeting, Mr Lazaro Msasalaga, Director of Quality Management, Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), noted that the standards will be considered for harmonisation and later domestication by other EAC member states.

The meeting brought together Chief Executives of regional bureau of standards from the seven partner states.

“The sole purpose of such standards is not only to facilitate trade within the EAC, but also to protect consumers of these products,” Mr Msasalaga explained.

According to the TBS representative, Tanzania has implemented three standards to ensure that the packaging of goods sold inside the regional economic bloc and their nutritional value are standardized and followed by partner states.

Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Bernard Njiraini, the Managing Director of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), revealed that the meeting would also adopt 69 standards with a view to enabling trade within the region.

“Our objective is to enable mutual recognition of standards marks,” the KEBS boss said.

The meeting will also focus on a number of conformity assessments, with a particular focus on Codex Alimentarius, or the “Food Code,” which is a collection of standards, guidelines, and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, according to Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).

Duplicate inspections, tests, and other trade documents, as well as unharmonised standards, impede trade, add to overall delays and raise the cost of doing business within the EAC.

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