South Africa launches Early Warning Export System to assist exporters

Category: International Trade Sub-category: Export Import Procedures
Document type: news


An early warning export system - aimed at enabling exporters to receive information about changes in the standards, regulations, and technical specifications - has been jointly launched by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

This could prove to be an important measure to protect the country's exports under the current trading conditions across the globe. Deputy Director General, Nimrod Zalk, explained that the DTI had identified the need for the early warning system in its Industrial Policy Action Plan 2. Mr. Zalk also explained that the system will help the South African exporters to investigate matters regarding trading and export.

The services provided by the system have complied with World Trade Organization (WTO) norms. The exporters can subscribe information regarding their trading partner's system. The subscriber will keep getting information on a weekly basis. The information will be accessed through e-mails. They can also visit the SAB website for further information.

The WTO's technical barriers to trade agreement orders countries to furnish information about any draft technical notification at least 60 days before the regulations are adopted.

The DTI's director of technical infrastructure, Elsabe Steyn, said that 45% of the regulations, which were implemented by the WTO member countries, were based on safety and health. Now there are an increasing number of notifications associated with environmental norms. Countries sometimes impose standards on various goods so as to create a non-tariff barrier that would make it more difficult for exporters.

The warning system would enable exporters in South Africa to investigate any proposed technical regulation or conformity assessment procedure and the possible effects of them. South African exporters that may be negatively affected by them could submit comments on them.

This steps initiated in the system will ensure protection for the country's economy and will also ensure a smooth flow of trade between the countries.