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National Enquiry Point for WTO / Technical Barrier to Trade (NEP)

NEP handles information on technical regulations and standards adopted or proposed to be adopted and conformity assessment procedures adopted or proposed to be adopted. It uses the resources available in the library to answer enquiries from exporters and importers in Tanzania and abroad.

Services rendered by NEP
a. receive and disseminate WTO/TBT notifications from Geneva Secretariat to stakeholders in Tanzania;
b. send notifications of proposed Tanzania’s technical regulations and conformity procedures to WTO/TBT Secretariat to Geneva through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Marketing Focal Point;
c. responding to requests for information from WTO members regarding Tanzania national standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures;
d. responding to requests for information from the business community in Tanzania on foreign national standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures.

Differences between technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures adopted by various countries can result in the creation of obstacles to international trade. If products produced by Tanzanian enterprises are to gain global appeal, it is crucial that they meet international markets standards.

Tanzanian enterprises can now access information from the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) on the most up-to-date technical regulations and standards notified by member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (The TBT Agreement) is the main international instrument adopted to-date in the area of technical regulations. The agreement aims to ensure that
technical regulations, standards and testing, inspection and certification procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade.

The TBT Agreement provides for a notification procedure which requires all WTO members to inform other members, through the WTO Secretariat, of their proposed technical regulations and conformity
assessment procedures. This procedure allows business enterprises in WTO member states to become acquainted with technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures proposed by members before they are implemented.

The WTO TBT National Enquiry Point
The TBT Agreement requires WTO members to establish a National Enquiry Point (NEP) as a way of mitigating problems business enterprises face in obtaining information on technical regulations,
standards and conformity assessment procedures applicable to their products in international markets.

Tanzania Bureau of Standards is the TBT National Enquiry Point for Tanzania.
The Enquiry Point enables enterprises to find out the requirements for access to markets of WTO members so that they can make preparations to comply with these requirements.
It also carries out the following:
• Responding to enquiries on technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures;
• Obtaining, compiling and disseminating notifications on TBT that are issued by WTO Secretariat to stakeholders in Tanzania;
• Obtaining, compiling and processing notifications on TBT that are issued by TBT regulators to WTO members through WTO Secretariat.

Information resources available at the TBT National Enquiry Point
The NEP is located within the TBS Information Centre which is the collection of national, foreign, regional and international standards, technical regulations and standardization related information and is open for the public from Monday to Friday, 08.00 am – 01.00 pm; 02.00 pm – 04.00 pm.

Services offered by the TBT National Enquiry Point to business enterprises
• Identification of technical requirements (technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures) for market access for business enterprises.
• Obtaining technical requirements for business enterprises from WTO members.
• Provision of notifications on proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures issued by WTO Secretariat.
• Obtaining information from National Enquiry Points of WTO members.
• Obtaining relevant TBT documents from WTO Secretariat for stakeholders.

The Role of Business Enterprises in TBT Notification Procedures
• Scrutinize notifications disseminated by the TBT National Enquiry Point and Identify notifications that affect their exports.
• Inform the TBT National Enquiry Point to request for text of notified regulations.
• Scrutinize and make comments on text of proposed regulations.
• Advise the government on issues which should be referred to WTO TBT Committee.
• Advises the government on issues regarding the implementation of the TBT Agreement.
• Ensure active participation in meetings of the TBT Committee.
• Ensure that their umbrella organizations remain active and that practical and effective lines of communication exist within the umbrella associations to its members.
• Discuss issues regarding notifications during meetings of business associations and communicate their views to the government.

Feedback on the above can be submitted through the National TBT Enquiry Point and/or National TBT Committee at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Marketing.

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