We live in an increasingly fast-paced world where new technology changes our lives on an almost daily basis, international organization splinter or amalgamate and societies flexible and change. Amid these variables we are moving towards globalization in all its forms, which makes it crucial for goods and services to conform to international standards in a world that had become an open market for those who can compete. For countries which aspire to live and cope with the contemporary global evolution, it is only right that they should all deal with the same specifications. Thanks to its strategic location and its solid infrastructure, the UAE’s exports and re-exports continue to increase year on year. Statistics show that 2010 saw UAE’s re-exports rebounded to Dh144bn, surpassing the record high-level reached in 2008. In Dubai, the trading hub of the region, the value of the emirate’s exports and re-exports reached Dh246bn in 2011, higher than the previous peak of Dh213bn in 2008. All this points out to more than just a recovery. The UAE has achieved major milestones of successes and it is but important to sustain these stories of success. We in ESMA are working intensively behind the scenes to make sure that importing countries have strong confidence in the products and commodities produced in the UAE, exported from the UAE and imported to the UAE. For products and commodities to be traded and accepted by any importing country, there must be confidence that they comply with the importing country’s regulatory requirements. This is to ensure that the products and commodities do not endanger the consumer’s and society’s health and safety. As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), ESMA is working hard in order to overcome technical barriers to trade through the implementation of technical requirements that are transparent, non-discriminatory and based wherever possible on international standards.
Conformity Assessment is the process of determining whether products or processes meet specific technical regulations or standards. Conformity assessment bodies, such as laboratories, certification bodies and inspection bodies, ensure compliance to the technical regulations and standards, by ensuring that all technical requirements are met through testing, inspection and auditing activities. Conformity Assessment is increasingly becoming more important and vital to the UAE being a commercial and trading hub. It has promoted and facilitated trade activities knowing that the products traded in the market are safe and healthy for the end users. The quality of a country’s technical infrastructure on conformity assessment gives confidence to the products exported from that country. Hence, a lack of confidence, for instance with respect to the functioning of a certification body, or a testing laboratory, or the absence of accredited bodies, may lead to a lack of recognition that a given product complies with the standard. ESMA is mandated to give Certificates of Conformity to give confidence that the products are complying with the technical regulations of the UAE and the relevant GSO and/or international standards. Through this conformity assessment activity, regulated products entering the UAE, manufactured in the UAE and exported from the UAE will ensure the safety and health of the end-users. ESMA will work passionately to ensure that this level of protection and confidence will not be threatened and will continue to provide creative ways for the traders and manufacturers to comply with the regulation.