As Sierra Leone celebrates World Standards Day…

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Standards Bureau chief highlights challenges 

October 18, 2018

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

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Ex. Dir. Sierra Leone Standards Bureau Professor Thomas B.R. Yormah

Executive Director Sierra Leone Standards Bureau yesterday highlighted serious challenges to their landing/acceptance inspection operation at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay, which is the gateway to most imports

According to Professor Thomas B.R. Yormah, their inspectors reported that they lack the required space in the chain of events involved in clearing of goods from the ports.

He was speaking in the conference room of the bureau during an event marking celebration of this year’s World Standards Day on the theme ‘International Standards and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.’

14 October of every year is celebrated as World Standards Day to pay tribute to collaborative efforts of thousands of experts worldwide who developed the voluntary technical agreements published as International Standards.

“Our inspectors report that as a result of the challenge of space, at least 80% of goods that leave the premises of the quay are not inspected by staff of the bureau,” he said.

Professor Yormah noted that the bureau is not featured in the mandatory paperwork required to be processed by importers during the clearing of their goods.

With the challenges they are faced with, the Executive Director added that the bureau was unfairly blamed for the presence of substandard goods, including expired products.

Professor Yormah opined that issues pertaining to turnaround times and demurrage charges can be resolved with the proper engagement of relevant stakeholders, bearing in mind post-audit inspections and other best practice platforms.

“The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of the importance of global standardisation to the world economy and to promote its role in helping meet the needs of business, industry, government and consumers worldwide,” he stated.

Also, Country Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Mariatu Swaray stated that the scope of international standardisation and the 4th Industrial Revolution was vast as it covers billions of electrical devices and electronics used at home, offices, medical facilities and manufacturing or energy generation.

“Today, standards will once more play a key role in the transition to a new era. Innovators rely on international standards to ensure compatibility and interoperability so that new technologies can be seamlessly adopted,” she said.

Ms Swaray said they have been involved in building the bureau as the focal point of national quality infrastructure, providing testing equipment to laboratories.

She assured of continued assistance to the government in ensuring that national quality infrastructure is effective and efficient to meet the country’s demand at the international market.