Madam Daramy inspecting the Chemical laboratoryThe Sierra Leone Standards Bureau; the official National Standards Body, established by the Standards Act No. 2 of 1996, incorporating the erstwhile Weights and Measures activity has transformed into an entity that demonstrates compliance to standards in line with international best practices by providing conformity assessment services to the private and public sector in Sierra Leone.
Under the leadership of His Excellency, President Ernest Bai Koroma, the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau, which is directly supervised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry has undergone a series of developments such as:
The establishment of the State of the art Metrology infrastructure: Testing and Calibration service laboratory for testing non-food products: – electrical products, prepaid meters, Petrol pumps, authorised scales and balances etc;
The Development, adoption and/or publication of 133 harmonised National Standards for public consumption;
The provision of testing and calibration services for food related products both for internal and external markets: establishment of microbiology and chemical laboratories to test food and water;
The Development of National Quality Policy for Sierra Leone, with the objective to improve the international competitiveness of the country thereby enhancing export performance, whilst at the same time, ensuring that Sierra Leonean consumers and the environment are sufficiently protected against sub- standard and unsafe products.
The introduction, adoption and implementation of the metric system in the petroleum sector;
The establishment of the Petroleum Laboratory to carry out clearance testing and recertification testing of petroleum test to ensure compliance to both regional and international ; best practices;
The acquisition of laboratory instrument; such as Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS) and High Pressure Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC) to test histamine, heavy metals and micro toxin in fish and fishery products; etc.
Against this backdrop, Government with the support of our development partners is putting modalities in place for the accreditation of the food and mass laboratories to meet international recognition.
However, the Acting Minister of Trade and Industry on Monday paid a working visit to the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau to assess both the completion of the state of the art technical infrastructure and the National Food Standards laboratories (Microbiology and Chemical).
Addressing members of the National Standards Council, Management and Staff, the Acting Minister of Trade said she was delighted over her working visit at the SLSB complex.
Madam Daramy recalled that the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau, was vested with the responsibility to regulate the Weights and Measures activities/legal metrology for trade related purposes and the standardization of food products in Sierra Leone to prevent the import of unsafe, substandard, high risk and counterfeit products through testing and certification to protect consumers health, safety and the environment as well as safeguard the producers/industries from unfair competition.
She further stated that under her direct supervision, she initiated the process of establishing the Metrology Testing and Calibration Service Laboratory, identified as one of the Presidential Flagship Project, with the aim of improving the measurement techniques and technology in the productions, processing and services of industries and the market place.
She also mentioned that Government introduced, adopted and implemented the metric system in Sierra Leone, which the Bureau had succeeded in changing the measurement system in the petroleum sector, whilst plans are underway to going metric in the commerce and general trade sectors.
The working visit of the Acting Minister of Trade and Industry was concluded with an inspection tour at the metrology building, Petroleum, Microbiology and Chemical laboratories of the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau.