The Standards Alliance is a public-private partnership between the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and USAID, and is focused on implementation of the WTO TBT Agreement in developing countries. The Standards Alliance engagement with the EAC began in 2014, and through a cooperation with the Trade Hub, accomplishments to date include the July 2014 launch of Kenya's electronic TBT notification system, NotifyKenyaTBT, and the August 2014 "Regional EAC WTO TBT Meeting on Notification and Public Consultation" in Arusha, Tanzania. [See related developments in the Standards Alliance annual report here].
More than 60 participants from the EAC and the U.S. public and private sectors attended the March 21-22 event. Four of the five EAC member states - Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda - were represented by their trade ministries, national standards bodies, and private sector organizations. A number of U.S. experts traveled to Nairobi to participate in the event, including representatives from UL, Thompson Consulting, ANSI, P&G, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
The workshop addressed key issues related to both the SPS and TBT Agreements, including:
An introduction to both agreements and their requirements;
Good regulatory practices;
The EAC's TBT and SPS Framework;
TBT and SPS enquiry points (EP) and national notification authorities (NNAs);
Electronic TBT notification systems; and
Stakeholder outreach and organization.
The workshop follows the February 2015 signing of the U.S. - EAC Cooperation Agreement addressing SPS, TBT, and trade facilitation. A key outcome of the workshop was the development by participating EAC countries of capacity-building action plans for their EPs and NNAs in accordance with the agreement. These action plans build on the work Diane Thompson of Thompson Consulting is already carrying out in the EAC.