Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise faces challenges with standards, certification

Teshala Behuhu

The Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise stated that lack of set standards and capacity to test and certify companies remains a challenge that needs to be solved together with all stakeholders.
During a discussion session organized by the Enterprise on Thursday, August 25, 2017, the Director General Teshala Behuhu stated that the Enterprise together with other stakeholders needs to work on updated international standards so it can help local companies maintain those standards for locally produced items as well as exported commodities.
“The Lack of set standards is a challenge, especially in the packed food sector. Looking at exported honey for example, it has failed many times. Especially those that were being exported to Germany and Norway, they have been rejected because they did not fulfill the requirements. That is why we need to build our capacity to test these products and make sure they do fulfill the criteria,” said Teshala.
He further stated that the Enterprise has worked hard to update its certification capacity for honey but as new criteria continues to be added so the systems of testing need to be updated.
“In the beginning honey was being tested for sugar; to determine if the honey had been mixed with sugar or if it was pure. But now it has to go through another test for enzymes; this is a new criteria,” he also said.
It was stated that there are similar challenges in the construction sector as well as with bottled water. “There are some that came to us for certification but we couldn’t help them because we simply didn’t have the ability to test their product for quality and standards,” Teshala said.
The Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise has six specialized testing laboratories operating at the head quarters, and five of them; Chemical, Electrical, Mechanical, Microbiology & textile, are accredited. A Radiation laboratory is in process of being accredited.