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Mandate of EASC

The East African Standards Committee is a Sectoral Committee established by Article 4 of the EAC SQMT Act, 2006 to conceptualise and monitor the implementation of harmonized standardization activities in the Community. Its establishment is in conformity with the procedures for establishment of Sectoral Committees set forth in the EAC Treaty. The functions of the Committee are to:
(a)     undertake and coordinate activities related to standardization, metrology and conformity assessment;

(b)     develop and establish frameworks that advance compliance by the Partner States with their obligations under the EAC SQMT Act;

(c)     set out priorities and prepare implementation programmes with regard to standardization, metrology and conformity assessment activities at national and Community levels consistent with the provisions of the EAC SQMT Act;

(d)    monitor and keep under constant review the implementation of the standardization, metrology and conformity assessment programmes at national and Community levels;

(e)     submit standards, reports and recommendations to the Council on its own initiative or upon request of the Council concerning the implementation of the Treaty that affect standardization, metrology and conformity assessment;

(f)      establish procedures for the development, approval, gazetting and withdrawal of harmonised East African Standards including the adoption of these standards at the national levels;

(g)     establish liaison mechanisms with other regional and international organizations consistent with the objects of the EAC SQMT Act;

(h)    monitor and keep under constant review the effectiveness of the national WTO TBT Agreement enquiry points;

(i)      hear appeals with regard to administrative measures for Compulsory Standards implemented in the Partner States;

(j)      perform other functions consistent with the objects of this Act.
The Committee shall have due regard for the requirements and obligations of the WTO TBT Agreement in the course of executing its mandate. The Committee shall comprise: (a)     two chief executives from the national quality system institutions designated as:
(i)     a national standards body;
(ii)    a national metrology institute;
(iii)   a national legal metrology department; and
(iv)   a national accreditation body from each Partner State;
(b)     one representative of private sector testing laboratories and certification organizations from each Partner State; and (c)     two representatives of national manufacturing associations, trading associations and consumer organizations from each Partner State. The Committee may establish subcommittees to assist it in its operations. The Committee, in executing its responsibilities, shall liaise with regulatory authorities in the Partner States. The Committee shall:
(a)     meet at least once every year, and may hold extraordinary meetings at the request of any Partner State;

(b)     be chaired in rotation among the Partner States, corresponding to the tenure of the Summit;

(c)     take decisions by consensus; and

(d)    determine its own procedures.
Philosophy of technical regulations/mandatory standards

The EASC shall promulgate only such technical regulations as are required by law, are necessary to interpret the law, or are made necessary by compelling public need, such as material failures of private markets to protect or improve the health and safety of the public, the environment, or the well-being of the East African people. In deciding whether and how to regulate, the EASC should assess all costs and benefits of available technical regulatory alternatives, including the alternative of not regulating. Costs and benefits shall be understood to include both quantifiable measures (to the fullest extent that these can be usefully estimated) and qualitative measures of costs and benefits that are difficult to quantify, but nevertheless essential to consider. Further, in choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, the EASC should select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity), unless a statute requires another regulatory approach.