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Standards Alliance Enables ANSI Member Cooperation with the East African Community


New York, Sep 17, 2014

The Standards Alliance, a public-private partnership between the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), co-hosted a workshop with the East African Community (EAC), an intergovernmental organization consisting of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, August 6-8 in Arusha, Tanzania. The three-day event addressed notification requirements under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement and public consultation in the regulatory and standards development processes.

The workshop brought together public- and private-sector experts from both the U.S. and the EAC. EAC participants included representatives from each country’s national standards body, foreign affairs and trade ministries, and private-sector trade associations. The U.S. delegation consisted of representatives from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) – Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, ANSI, and ANSI members ASTM International and the IAPMO Group.

Teresa Cendrowska, vice president, global cooperation, at ASTM International, commented on the benefit of the program to her organization, noting “The Standards Alliance workshop highlighted a correlation between the industries EAC countries have prioritized for standards development and those covered by ASTM International’s 143 technical committees. We were pleased to have the opportunity to provide a detailed explanation of the tools and training available to boost their participation in the development of globally relevant ASTM standards in these industries.”

According to Christopher Lindsay, government affairs manager at the IAPMO Group, “IAPMO’s success in the United States and Asia demonstrates how codes and related training can be used to address water and sanitation issues faced by EAC countries. The Standards Alliance provided the IAPMO Group with a vehicle to introduce our organization, learn more about the situation the EAC faces, and start the conversation on how to build a cooperative relationship.”

The workshop also showcased the deployment of NotifyKenyaTBT, an electronic TBT notification system modeled off the U.S. system, Notify U.S. NotifyKenyaTBT streamlines the process by which Kenya notifies domestic technical regulations to the WTO and expands the ability of Kenyan businesses to access and comment on foreign technical regulations that impact their bottom line. The successful launch of the system is considered a key outcome for the first year of the Standards Alliance. During the workshop, EAC countries explored the possibility of scaling up the system to the regional level.

The Standards Alliance provides ANSI members and other private-sector organizations with the opportunity to engage with partner countries and regions through capacity-building activities that support the program’s mission of increased compliance with the WTO TBT Agreement. Interested organizations are invited to submit proposals for future activities now through September 30 [see related news item].

The agenda and meeting report from the EAC workshop are available online.

To learn more about the Standards Alliance, please visit the program’s website or email standardsalliance@ansi.org.

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