The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) is a statutory organization established in 1972 by an Act of Parliament (Cap 51:02) of the Laws of Malawi (Amended as Act No 14 of 2012), with a mandate to promote metrology, standardization and quality assurance of commodities and of the manufacturer, production, processing or treatment thereof; and further to provide for matters incidental to, or connected with standardization.
The MBS joins the rest of the world in celebrating the 2023 World Accreditation Day (WAD), which is celebrated worldwide on the 9th of June every year.
Accreditation is an attestation of the competence and impartiality of conformity assessment bodies (CABs) to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks. These bodies include but not limited to calibration laboratories, testing laboratories, inspection bodies, providers of proficiency testing, producers of reference materials, and bodies that certify management systems, products and persons, or undertake verification and validation. Accreditation benefits both a country’s domestic economy and its international trade. It helps governments and organizations to meet regulatory and legislative responsibilities and reduce uncertainties in decisions affecting the protection of human health, the environment and trade.
The theme for this year WAD celebration is “Accreditation: Supporting the Future for Global Trade.” The theme emphasizes on how national and global quality infrastructures are adapting to advances in technology, changes in consumer behaviours and the regulatory environment, new trust mechanisms, and changing business models.
The theme also highlights how accreditation supports 9 of the 17 (1,2,3,5,8,10,14, and 17) United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are the cornerstone of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations, a comprehensive and ambitious plan of action with the overarching goal of leaving no one behind. The SDGs address global challenges including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, and justice. Accreditation and quality infrastructures (QI) institutions including metrology, standardization, conformity assessment and market surveillance, is therefore a critical cornerstone in supporting the SDGs and the three interrelated thematic priorities: creating shared prosperity, advancing economic competitiveness, and safeguarding the environment.
The three thematic priorities are also echoed in the SADC Vision 2050, which was approved during the 40th SADC Summit held in August 2021. Amongst other objectives it strives for an industrialized regional economy that sustainably exploits its natural resources. Industrialization is one of the main drivers of economic growth and sustainable development. Manufactures need to ensure products are of consistent high quality, comply with regulators and standards, and meet specifications. Accreditation enables consumers, suppliers, purchasers and regulators to have confidence that products placed on the market are safe and meet the manufacturers/providers’ claims hence it is an important component in trade.
It is also interesting to note that accreditation supports Malawi 2063 vision of having “an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation.” Here the need to develop and maintain an environmentally sustainable economy is highlighted as one of the key priority areas.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United States Department of Commerce estimates that standards and related conformity assessment have an impact on 80% of the world’s trade.
Trust is the fundamental building block of all trading relationships, whether they take place within national boundaries or with other economies, and it is what binds accreditation and trade together. An integrated system of standards, rules, metrology, and approved conformity assessment has long been used by economies all over the world to build high-quality infrastructure. This integrated system has generated the necessary trust to support trade by ensuring that consumers, businesses, and regulators procuring goods and services get what they expect.
Accreditation plays a pivotal role in supporting global trade by removing the technical barriers to trade (TBTs). Quality infrastructures provide businesses with access to a wider international marketplace as well as improving the quality and safety of imports from those economies.
Accreditation provides solutions to, among others, the following issues that affect global trade:
- Supply chains are becoming more complex, and there is evidence of growing regulatory divergence
- Growing concerns related to cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data protection, fraud and product authenticity
- Consumer consciousness about sustainability, provenance, health and ethics is on the rise, forcing brands to improve their understanding and oversight of their supply network.
Supporting the future of global trade for World Accreditation Day 2023 demonstrates how national and global quality infrastructures are adapting to advances in technology, changes in consumer behaviours and the regulatory environment, new trust mechanisms, and changing business models. Accreditation is key in equally supporting world trade for consumers, businesses, governments and regulators.
As we celebrate the World Accreditation Day 2023, the Malawi Bureau of Standards joins the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and their members in highlighting how accreditation is delivering sustainability in economic development, trade and the environment through calibration, verification, testing, standardization and certification services. The MBS is therefore seeking to help organizations measure, manage and/or report sustainable economic growth, environmental performance and support trade through the services it provides under its accredited units.
For more information regarding accreditation services in the country, contact the National Accreditation Focal Point for Malawi at the MBS or Ministry of Trade and Industry through the following contact details;
|Mr Masautso Ngamwane||Ms Gladys Chimpokosera|
|National Accreditation Focal Point 1 – Malawi||National Accreditation Focal Point 2 – Malawi|
|Malawi Bureau of Standards||Ministry of Trade and Industry|
|P O Box 946||P O Box 30366|
|Cell : +265 993 194 257||Cell : +265 880 060 629|
|Email : email@example.com||Email : firstname.lastname@example.org|
Malawi Bureau of Standards