The Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) has received an accreditation certificate from the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Services (SADCAS).
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Chipoka Mulenga, said the certificate is internationally recognised.
Mr Mulenga said the accreditation certificate will therefore help to eliminate all the technical barriers of health, safety and competency of local products that are certified by ZABS on the international market.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by his Permanent Secretary, Jonas Mulongoti, during the handover of the accreditation certificate in Lusaka last night.
The minster further said government has placed great importance on improving the quality of products manufactured by local companies to attain international recognition.
Mr Mulenga noted that the accreditation certificate issued by SADCAS will play a pivotal role in promoting Zambia trade and investment to the international market.
“The ZABS accreditation certification will reduce the uncertainties in the decisions that affect both public health and safety and enhance the integrity of the local products produced by local manufactures,” he said.
He explained that the accreditation is the independent evaluation of testing laboratories, calibration laboratories and certification bodies against the recognised standard to carry out specific activities in order to ensure integrity and competency of products.
And Zambia Bureau of Standards Acting Executive Director, Nathan Sing’ambwa, said the accreditation by SADCAS will help to strengthen the credibility and integrity of the certification services of ZABS.
Mr Sing’ambwa noted that the status achieved by ZABS demonstrates its commitment of delivering quality, reliable and impartial certification services that are internationally recognised.
“The accreditation plays an important role in facilitating trade in that it provides a mechanism for mutual recognition of conformity assessment results, which can help reduce trade barriers and facilitate the free flow of goods and service across borders,” he said.
He said product certification schemes that have been accredited include food, beverages and tobacco, chemicals, chemical products and fibres among others.
Meanwhile, Southern African Development Community Accreditation Services Chief Executive Officer, Eve Gadzikwa, said SADCAS will undertake a periodic surveillance assessment to ensure continued compliance with the requirements during the validity of the accreditation certificate.
Dr Gadzikwa said SADCAS will not hesitate to suspend or withdraw the accreditation should ZABS fail to maintain its certification or to pay accreditation fees.
“ZABS is therefore encouraged not only to maintain the current accreditation but to also extend the scope of accreditation to other certification sub scopes to cover more products that are placed on the international market,” she said.