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World Trade Organization (WTO) Notifications

Differences between technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment (testing, certification and inspection) procedures adopted by various countries can result in the creation of obstacles to international trade.

The WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (The TBT Agreement) and the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures (The SPS Agreement) are the main international instrument adopted to-date in the area of technical regulations. The Agreements aim to ensure that technical regulations, standards, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and testing, inspection and certification procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade.

The TBT and SPS Agreements provide for a notification procedure which requires all WTO members to inform other members, through the WTO Secretariat, of their proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures. This procedure allows business enterprises in WTO member states to become acquainted with technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures proposed by members before they are adopted.

The TBT and SPS Agreements require WTO members to establish National Enquiry Points as a way of mitigating problems business enterprises face in obtaining information on technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures applicable to their products in international markets. The National Enquiry Points are responsible for:
  • Responding to enquiries on standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures; and
  • Obtaining, compiling and dissemination of TBT and SPS notifications to business enterprises in the EAC.
Member states of the EAC have set up TBT and SPS National Enquiry Points to help business enterprises obtain technical requirements for market access of WTO countries.

Business enterprises can contact the National Enquiry Points within the EAC using the addresses below and request the Enquiry Points to obtain text of regulations notified by WTO members. Comments made on notified regulations should be submitted to the National Enquiry Points and or National Notification Authorities.

Burundi

Ministère du Commerce, de l'Industrie
Bureau Burundais de Normalisation et Contrôle de la Qualité
21, Boulevard de l'Indépendance
B.P. 3535 Bujumbura-Burundi
Tel: +(257) 221 577
Fax: +(257) 221 815/225 595
E-mail: bbn@usan-bu.net

Kenya

The Managing Director
Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS)
Kapiti Road-Off Mombasa Road
Behind Belle vue Cinema
P.O. Box 54974, Nairobi-00200 - Kenya
Tel: +(254 020) 605490/605550/605610
Fax: +(254 020) 604031/609660
Cell phone: +(254 020) 0722202137/8 +(254 020) 0734600471/2
E-Mail: info@kebs.org
Website: www.kebs.org

Contact Person: Mrs. Eva Odour

Rwanda

Rwanda Bureau of Standards
P.O. Box: 7099 Kigali-Rwanda
Tel: + (250) 58 6103/582945
Fax: + (250) 58 3305
E-mail: orn@rwanda1.com

Tanzania

Director
Tanzania Bureau of Standards
P.O. Box 9524 Dar Es Salaam-Tanzania
Tel: + (255) 22 2450 298/22 2450 206
Fax: + (255) 22 2450 983/059
E-mail: tbsinfo@uccmail.co.tz, standards@avu.org

Uganda

Uganda National Bureau of Standards
Plot M217, Nakawa Industrial Area
P.O. Box 6329 Kampala, Uganda
Telephone: +(256) 0414 50 59 95; +(256) 0414 22 23 69
Fax: +(256) 0414 28 61 23
E-mail: unbs@infocom.co.ug (general)
Website: www.unbs.go.ug

Contact person: George Opiyo
E-mail: george.opiyo@unbs.go.ug
Mobile: +(256) 0712 93 27 31
see also
Check also from the consumers protection chapter;
Economic Development

East African Business Council