Standardisation, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing (SQMT)
Standards lower barriers to trade, allowing businesses to access a global customer base, offering opportunities for economies of scale and reducing production costs. Compatibility standards promote opportunities for firms to outsource and off-shore certain tasks, promoting efficiency and business optimization.
Global trade depends on standards, quality assurance, metrology and testing to establish confidence between customers and suppliers. Global trade is open to all and in order to take part effectively in today’s global economy, standards, quality assurance, metrology and testing activities are essential to improve productivity and ensure social and economic development.
The EAC Partner States are cognisant of the significance of standardisation, quality assurance, metrology and testing in the enhancement of the standard of living, reduction of unnecessary variety of products, the facilitation of interchangeability of products, the promotion of trade and investment, consumer protection, the enhancement of savings in public and private purchasing, improved productivity, the facilitation of information exchange, the promotion of health as well as the protection of life, property, and the environment in realising sustainable socio-economic development in the region.
In his regard, Article 81 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC provides for cooperation in Standardisation, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing (SQMT) for the goods and services produced and traded in the Community.
The EAC SQMT Protocol, 2001 was negotiated to provide the Principles for Cooperation in the application of a common policy for the standardisation, quality assurance, metrology and testing of goods and services produced and traded in the region.
The EAC SQMT Act, 2006 provides a framework for cooperation in Standardisation, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing in the EAC region. The Act makes provision for ensuring standardisation, quality assurance, metrology and testing of products produced or traded in the Community in order to facilitate industrial development and trade; to make provision for ensuring the protection of the health and safety of society and the environment in the Community; to establish the East African Standards Committee and the East African Accreditation Board; and to provide for related matters.