RBS launches massive sensitisation campaign on mandatory standards

The Rwanda Bureau of Standards has increased countrywide drives to sensitise the public about mandatory standards, in a move aimed at promoting product quality, safety, as well as ensuring sustainable environment and business profitability.
A standards body official measures milk as he prepares to test it. The body has increased drives to educate the public, especially producers and service providers, about key standa....
A standards body official measures milk as he prepares to test it. The body has increased drives to educate the public, especially producers and service providers, about key standa....

The Rwanda Bureau of Standards has increased countrywide drives to sensitise the public about mandatory standards, in a move aimed at promoting product quality, safety, as well as ensuring sustainable environment and business profitability.

“We are stepping up awareness campaigns to promote total compliancy among stakeholders,” Athanasie Mukeshiyaremye, the head of the agriculture, chemistry, environmental standards unit and standard development at RBS, pointed out.

Mukeshiyaremye said it was important for the government to intervene to stop trade in unsafe products and services, ensure the quality of Rwanda’s exports and prevent consumers from deceptive practices.

She explained that this is done using mainly technical regulations and mandatory standards.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry, in its instruction No.21/2013 of 3/07/2013, set a number of compulsory standards that products entering the country or those made locally must meet.  The mandatory standards cover all the major sectors of the economy, including environment, health, mining, quarrying and construction. Also standards in civil and mechanical structural designs, as well as electrical engineering, will be compulsory for all stakeholders.

Mukeshiyaremye said the awareness campaigns will also look at standards in the foods and agriculture industry, ranging from sugars and sugar products, cereals, pulses and derived products, fortified products, edible oils and fats, tea, coffee, milk, meat and meat products to infant’s foods, beverages and drinking water, fertilisers and animal feeds and cosmetics.

She said the move is aimed at protecting human health and ensuring safety of consumers. It will also safeguard workers in workplace and promote secure infrastructure as the country embarks on its growth journey under the second phase of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), according to Mukeshiyaremye.

Why compulsory standards


Providing scientific basis for development of health, safety and environmental legislations and creating a level playing field for all competitors on Rwandan markets will be one of the great benefits compulsory standards will bring home, Mukeshiyaremye noted.

“They will also serve as a basis for inspection of imports entering Rwanda and, hence, limiting entry of low quality, substandard or counterfeit products.”

Consumers will reap big as compulsory standards protect them against unsafe products and services.

Mukeshiyaremye pointed out that standards form the basis for value addition, competitiveness and fair practices in trade.

“Producers will be assured of efficiency and effectiveness along the production chain, making them more competitive in international markets.”

The standards body said it will be doubling efforts, not only on awareness and sensitisation campaigns, but also building the capacity among stakeholders about the importance of standards.

According Samuel Mporanzi, the RBS standards lead officer, it’s imperative that stakeholders are trained on the importance of standardisation “because standards are not yet fully entrenched in most of our practices”.

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