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Products and Services that are Subject to Technical Regulations

Technical regulations are mainly developed and implemented to safeguard the safety and health of people and the environment, and to curtail exploitation of the consumer. For the supplier or importer it is very important to identify the technical regulations and their details that might be applicable before products and services are marketed or brought into circulation. In most economies a number of Ministries, Departments, Agencies and the like are involved in the development and implementation of technical regulations.

EAC Partner States

In the EAC the products and services that fall within the scope of technical regulations and the authorities typically responsible for the technical regulations are shown in the table below.

Product or service Parent Ministry Typical Regulatory Authority
Building & construction Urban Development Various
Consumer goods Trade and Industry Standards Body
Electricity distribution Energy Energy Regulator
Environmental issues Environment Various
Fresh foods Agriculture Various
Processed foods & beverages Health Various
Road and vehicle safety Transport Various
Safety at work Labour Various

Information can be obtained directly from the parent ministries if it is known for sure which one is responsible, but that could result in a lot of frustration if not. Far more productive is to start by enlisting the help of the National TBT Enquiry Point that should be able to point the supplier in the right direction. Information on Mandatory Standards can be obtained from the regulatory divisions of the National Standards Bodies.

European Union

The European Union initially endeavoured to harmonize the technical regulations on an individual basis. From 1987 onwards, a "New Approach", i.e. Directives containing essential requirements and the Global Approach on the conformity assessment provisions were increasingly implemented. The "Old Approach" was not withdrawn, and predominates in areas such as motor vehicles, food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. In addition, products that do not fall within the scope of European legislation may still be subject to national technical regulations of the various Member states of the European Union.

The European Union has developed and implemented numerous technical regulations in the following areas:

Motor Vehicles




Legal metrology and pre-packaging

Electrical risk and electrical equipment


Safety of mechanical devises

Personal protective equipment

Medical devices

Appliances burning gaseous fuel

Pressure vessels

Rail and guided transport

Construction products

Recreational craft






Processed Agricultural Products

Over and above these product specific measures, the European Union has also published a number of policies relating to specific industry sectors that need to be headed. Details regarding the specific measures, directives, conformity assessment requirements, marking requirements, etc. can be obtained from the official website of the European Union, namely: http://europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise or the National TBT Enquiry Points in the EAC Partner States.

see also
Check also from the consumers protection chapter;
Economic Development

East African Business Council