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ASTM Participates in East African Community Workshop

ASTM International engaged with representatives of the East African Community recently, through the Regional Workshop on Electronic Notification Systems and Public Consultation. The three-day workshop was conducted at the EAC’s headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, Aug. 6-9. More than 25 participants from the EAC, including representatives from the national standards bodies of Burundi, Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania, and industry associations from Kenya and Uganda, joined the workshop.

Five US-based participants included representatives of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Trade Representative’s office, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, American National Standards Institute and ASTM International.

The East African Community is the regional intergovernmental organization of the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Uganda.

The three-day event enabled information sharing and interaction about the EAC nations’ development of their respective World Trade Organization/Technical Barriers to Trade national enquiry points, best practices for public consultation in the regulatory process, public consultation in the consensus standards development process, and resources available from the U.S.-based private sector participants regarding professional development, testing and certification, electronic tools and training.

ASTM vice president for Global Cooperation Teresa Cendrowska made three presentations which addressed a case study on effective comments to WTO/TBT notifications, the value and benefits of ASTM’s memorandums of understanding with EAC nations, and ASTM’s training programs reserved exclusively for MOU partners.

Participation in the regional meeting was made possible through the USAID-sponsored Standards Alliance, which is managed by ANSI. The mid-August program was one component of a multi-point work plan developed by the EAC in cooperation with the USAID East Africa Trade Hub, Standards Alliance and U.S. stakeholders.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.