USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in partnership with the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS), organized back-to-back training workshops on Code of Good Practice for standards writing technical committee chairpersons and secretaries, and Referencing Standards in Regulations for standards and technical regulations developers at BOBS in Gaborone, from June 8-10 and June 11-12, 2015.
The three-day Code of Good Practice workshop on the development, adoption and application of standards is based on Annex 3 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement. In addition to examining best practices and techniques for developing standards, the workshop provided guidance in establishing, documenting, and putting into practice standards development procedures in compliance with Annex 3 of the WTO TBT Agreement. Best practice, a process of developing and following a standard way of doing things, ensures consistency, maintains quality as an alternative to mandatory legislated standards and can be based on self-assessment or benchmarking. Participants discussed key principles such as stakeholder engagement, consensus, transparency, impartiality and due process in the standards development process.
The two-day workshop on Referencing Standards in Technical Regulations discussed the current regulatory environment, regulatory best practices, methods of using standards in technical regulations, conformity assessments in technical regulations and effectiveness of regulations in order to promote trade.
The two workshops are part of the Trade Hub’s technical assistance on standards for Botswana through BOBS aimed at supporting and enhancing standards and technical regulations and improving the effectiveness of WTO TBT Enquiry Point and Notification Point for Botswana, which is housed at BOBS.
Photo: Keolebogile Segomelo, BOBS Director Standards, addressing participants at the workshop