-A key project to reduce technical barriers for trade
Liberia is on the verge of establishing its first national standards authority after stakeholders re-validated the draft Act that supposed to create such entity.
The re-validated Act, among other things, addressed the issue of making the standards authority autonomous instead of being semi-autonomous, which will make the agency operate independently, void of any political interference. A moved validator says this will enable the standard authority to promote the issue of standards across the country without fear or favor, whether in government or the private sector.
The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh, said the Act was re-validated shortly after stakeholders raised concerns about errors in the first validated draft last year. He described the re-validated Act as one that meets all stakeholders’ concerns, and international standards.
“This Act is an instrument that will reduce the technical barriers to trade for Liberian companies when exporting their products. This proposed standards authority is crucial to the country’s trade strategy, and the long-term sustainability of the manufacturing industries,” Tarpeh said.
He said that the technical trade barriers usually imposed on products originating from Liberia by trading partners will soon come to an end. “Once the agency is created, things will eventually change, because it will ensure that factories products meet standard specifications, regulations, and guidelines for production,” he added.
Min. Tarpeh further said once the Act is passed creating the standards authority, Liberia will start to experience growth through export; thereby making the country a major exporter of goods and services on the African continent, and furthermore promote industrial efficiency, and development across the country.
The introduction of the standards authority will also help the country to effectively inspect goods imported or produced locally to meet the required standards and be safe for public use, he added.
It can be recalled that drafting of the bills came after the Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity hired two consultants last year to assess the country’s standards law and further identify gaps, and determine a way forward.