In collaboration with its implementing partner, the Swaziland Standards Authority (SWASA), the Southern Africa Trade Hub supported a three-day workshop on WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Enquiry Point & Notification Authority March 23-25 in Matsapha, Swaziland.
An Enquiry Point offers exporters and importers an effective “one-stop shop” where they can receive crucial information on laws, regulations, and quality standards for doing business with other WTO member countries, while a Notification Authority is a single central government authority responsible for national implementation of TBT Agreement notification procedures.
The Trade Hub is working closely with SWASA to develop a National Enquiry Point for Swaziland, which is one of the requirements for WTO Member States. Swaziland’s National Enquiry Point is scheduled for launch in May 2015.
Facilitated by a US-based WTO TBT Enquiry Point expert, the training covered key areas including:
- An overview of the WTO obligations;
- Roles and Responsibilities;
- Operations and Management of the TBT Enquiry Point;
- Operations and Management of the Notification Authority; and
- Information Flows and Relationships.
Nineteen participants (of which 13 were female) attended the training, drawn from government, standards, private sector, quasi-government entities, and regulators.
A number of recommendations designed to strengthen standards development and utilization were discussed and will be included in the event’s technical report. One such recommendation is the establishment of a National Consultative Committee.
This was the first in a series of Trade Hub-sponsored activities to be held in collaboration with SWASA under the Trade Hub technical assistance on standards for Swaziland. A similar activity will be held in Mozambique from March 30 - April 1 in partnership with Mozambique’s standards body INNOQ.