TANZANIA STEPS UP PACE OF HARMONISATION OF STANDARDS FOR EAC FREE TRADE AREA

ARUSHA, TANZANIA, Tanzania has joined its fellow members of the East African Community (EAC) -- Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi -- in increasing the pace in harmonisation of local product standards in order to be ready to take advantage of the soon-to-be-introduced EAC Free Trading Area in December.

The Director of Trade at the EAC Secretariat in Arusha, Alhaj Rashid Kiboa, revealed here Monday that the establishment of the tripartite FTA involving the EAC bloc, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), would become a reality this December.

That is why this year's 20th Meeting of the East African Standards Committee is sitting in Arusha for two days to speed up harmonization of product standards within the EAC region, so that it is ready to export goods and services across to the central and southern parts of the continent as from 2018, he said.

However, Kiboa pointed out that there was still a need for Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan to speed up the adaptation and for the Standardization Quality Assurance Metrology and Testing (SQMT) for product certification in the six EAC partner States before venturing further outwards into the continent.

The Acting Director-General of the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Prof Egid Beatus Mubofu, said so far, more than 100 standards had been harmonized across the region with more to be approved this year, and that it only remains for the six EAC Member States to adopt such benchmarks to ensure that all products met the required quality and quantity for exports.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK