EABC Study Reveals Harmonization of East African Standards Increases EAC Exports.

Entry Date May 11 2017 // News, Events

The East African Business Council, the apex body of the private sector through its Standards Platform validated the study on “Impact Assessment of the East African Harmonized Standards on the business community” 17th March 2017 at Imperial Royale Hotel, in Kampala Uganda.

The validation workshop attracted several stakeholders both private and public from the EAC   region who were informed about the ongoing EAC harmonization process of standards and the rationale of the study that was being validated.

The workshop was opened by the EABC Chief Executive Officer, Lilian Awinja who called upon stakeholders to take keen interest in the harmonization of standards within the region and urged the EAC Secretariat and Partner States Bureaus of Standards to fast truck the process of standards harmonization.
“The Private sector needs to show the cost benefit of harmonization” said Mr. Mosses Ogwal   from EABC National Focal Point Uganda (Private Sector Foundation Uganda)

According to the report intra EAC export of products with East African standards increased by 17%  which is evidence that compliance with standards and market requirements are fundamental for successful market access and for improving the competitiveness of exporters” stated. Lilian Awinja, EABC CEO.

The Deputy Executive Director, Uganda National Bureau of Standards noted that there is faster adoption rate of East African standards due to improved participation of private sector in standards harmonization process. She further urged that private sector should to take note of the gaps highlighted by the study and build synergy to resolve them.

“More trade means more employment opportunities for EAC citizens” said Dennis Kabbale EAC Trade Advisor.
The study focused on six products out of the 20 most traded products identified by the EABC study of 2013 in terms of cost, time and trade values. The results indicate that the use of harmonized standards in the region to produce the selected sampled products improved competitiveness and market access that contributed to increment in the intra-EAC trade values of the sampled products from US$291.2 million in 2010 to US$ 340.4 million in 2014 which is an increment of 17% while extra EAC exports increased by 12%. Furthermore “Standards related cost due to the delays at the borders have also reduced to almost zero compared to an average of US$ 500 per consignment before standards were harmonized,” the report states.

The private sector noted that there is lack of full recognition of quality marks from other National Bureau of Standards is a challenge to full implementation of harmonized standards. The study also highlights other challenges facing the standards harmonization process as: inadequate resources and scientific data; high cost of compliance; long processes developing harmonization and review of EA standards which result into use of national standards.

During the closing of the workshop stakeholders commended the EABC for the spearheading the private sector on issues of standards development and harmonization the in the EAC and thus urged EABC to continue advocating for faster harmonization of standards in the EAC.

Scroll To Top