The purpose of NRCS is to support Government in protecting the health and safety of citizens, protection and preservation of the environment and promoting fair trade and accuracy of trade measurements.
South Africa is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and signatory to:
· The WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO TBT); and
· The WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (WTO SPS).
NRCS assists Government to meet WTO obligations by drafting and administering technical regulations in accordance with world best practice and WTO TBT principles.
WHAT DOES NRCS DO?
NRCS administers technical safety, health and environment related regulations (Compulsory specifications), and Trade Metrology regulations on behalf of the Minister of Trade and Industries. NRCS also provides services to other government departments, including the Ministries of Transport, Labour, Mineral and Energy and Health.
The TBT and SPS agreements oblige members to avoid using standards and technical regulations as trade barriers. In order to meet WTO TBT and SPS requirements technical regulations should make national standards, or specific provisions thereof, mandatory. Wherever possible technical regulations should be aligned with international equivalents, and refer to national standards that are aligned or identical to accepted international equivalents. Other types of standard or specification may be referred to where a suitable national standard is not available. Recently promulgated compulsory specifications, and regulations under development, meet these requirements.
South Africa, like many other nations has a legacy of old legislation, including technical regulations in which the technical requirements (i.e. the standard) are integrated into the body of the legislation. NRCS is therefore assisting Government to implement best practice and rectify this situation by a consultative process of review and amendment.
Products regulated by NRCS include:
· Vehicles and vehicle components;
· Electrical and electronic goods and components;
· Frozen fish, shellfish and molluscs, and canned meat and fish;
· Environmental and personal safety products such as personal protective equipment, disinfectants, stoves, firearms, shooting ranges and plastic bags;
· Buildings, structures and construction materials;
· All products sold by mass, volume, length and number;
· Pre-packed retail products; and
· Instruments used for trade measurements.
Most compulsory specifications are available as free downloads at Compulsory Specifications