Cement, bitumen emulsion and TMT reinforcement bars can now be certified by the Bhutan Standards Bureau

Certification: The Bhutan Standards Bureau (BSB) can now certify local products for the international market.

The National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), India has licensed the bureau with accreditation for product certification, earlier in March this year.

BSB chief engineer Karma Wangdi said that the bureau has been accredited to certify only three products manufactured in the country for now. Grade 43 OPC cement, (Ordinary Portland Cement) along with bitumen emulsion and TMT reinforcement bars will now be certified by BSB to be exported from the country.

“NABCB is the apex body for product certification in India which is a signatory of Pacific Accreditation Corporation which in turn is a signatory of the highest association of conformity assessment in the world, the International Accreditation Forum,” said Karma Wangdi.

Accreditation is the recognition of the competence of a conformity assessment bodies such as laboratories, inspection and certification bodies, by an independent third party, based on assessment against criteria laid down in international standards.

Such assessments include technical competence, compliance of the management systems and its effectiveness as well as the requirements of impartiality.

The accreditation is an international system to reduce technical barriers to trade and facilitates free movement of goods and services across the borders.

Previously, the certificates provided by BSB to local manufacturers were valid only within the country.

Karma Wangdi said that so far the local goods that were exported outside the border were certified by the Bureau of Indian standards (BIS). He added that exported goods from India come with an ISI marking, which the Bhutanese goods were also marked with if the products are certified by the BIS.

“This marking comes with a fee. Since we can certify our products for export now, the marking fee will come to us thereby retaining the revenue inside the country only,” said Karma Wangdi.

He added that the bureau is also exploring measures to increase the scope of the accreditation. “We are considering to get the accreditation for domestic wires and cables manufactured locally and also for the HDPE and PVC pipes,” he said.

Karma Wangdi said that any manufacturers in the country wishing to export their products outside need to contact BSB for certification. “Depending on the viability, we’ll have to apply to NABCB to get accreditation for the product and increase our scope,” he said.

Meanwhile, the bureau along with its relevant stakeholders observed the World Accreditation Day yesterday in Thimphu. The theme for this years celebration is “Accreditation: A global tool to support public policy.”

Started as the standards and quality control division under the then communications ministry in 2000, BSB was formally established as an  autonomous agency in 2011 after the bureau was delinked from the works and human settlement ministry.

Younten Tshedup