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Technical Regulations

Products and services fail. Often the consequences of such failures are the loss of human lives and the decimation of the environment. This is obviously not acceptable, and authorities throughout the world endeavour to minimize such risks by demanding that products and services meet minimum safety and other requirements. These government interventions are internationally known as technical regulations.

Technical regulations have developed over many decades in the developed economies, and more recently in developing economies or economies in transition. The problem is that the technical regulations do not follow common patterns, there are no definitive international practices, and hence they can be very difficult to understand by consumers, suppliers and even authorities.

In order to understand technical regulations, a building block approach has proven to be very useful. By utilizing the building block approach, one can analyse the technical regulations from any country and from any authority and make sense of it.

Before implementing a new technical regulation, the authorities should develop a proper policy and conduct an impact assessment to determine whether government intervention is required, and whether it is the most effective way to deal with the problem. Once a technical regulation is in place however, these seldom have an impact on further events.

A technical regulation is legislation; hence the understanding of what needs to be done starts with identifying and understanding the legislation. This can take many forms, and depends on the legal system and practices of the country. In the European Union as an example, the New Directives are the basic legislation of technical regulations. In the EAC, the EAC Quality Assurance and Metrology and Testing Act, 2006 provides the point of departure for legislation in this regard, as does the EAC Metrology Act, 2006. The legislation provides the details regarding the other four building blocks that define the product or process characteristics and the administrative provisions.
see also
Check also from the consumers protection chapter;
Economic Development

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