EELA Compliance Framework for East and Southern Africa

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020

The compliance framework, which is being developed under the EELA Project, will support the implementation of the regionally harmonised energy efficiency standards for lighting products and appliances.

The implementation and enforcement of the energy efficiency policy - or compliance - protects the markets from non-compliant products, which in turn safeguards the anticipated policy benefits such as energy savings and emission reductions. The governments frequently postpone or do not implement policy enforcement as it requires significant efforts and resources to design robust compliance framework. However, even low-resource and carefully thought-out compliance efforts can go a long way in safeguarding the markets from inefficient products, improving regulatory compliance, and maintaining confidence in the policies by consumers and suppliers.

A regional compliance framework for EAC and SADC regions is instrumental in facilitating regional collaboration, information sharing, and compliance programme alignment that will further support resource-strained national-level efforts to enforce compliance with regionally harmonized policies and protect markets from low quality and inefficient products.  A strategic regional compliance framework provides the following benefits:

  • Lower government compliance costs from sharing market surveillance intelligence, product test results, and a shared Product Registration System (PRS); 
  • More effective compliance programmes through collaboration, sharing lessons learned and best practices and catching more non-compliant products; and
  • More honest and open market for business – a true level playing field where suppliers and retailers know the regulation and trust that it will be enforced.

Furthermore, the regional compliance program can help address some of the challenges the governments are facing including lack of resources and capacity, lack of testing capacity, and improve policy enforcement.  A proposed regional framework encompasses the following elements:

  • Strengthened regional centers – EACREEE and SACREEE – who would coordinate the programmes,
  • Regional product registration systems would be used by the member states to register products and share testing and other intelligence,
  • Regional testing capacity and Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) would help the countries without testing facilities to outsource testing in neighboring countries,
  • Regional collaboration and intelligence sharing would help reduce the resources that government need for their compliance programs.
  • Nationally the countries would build their regulatory frameworks, collaboration among key institutions to implement compliance processes and participate in regional programmes.

Proposed regional framework is based on voluntary participation and would facilitate an informal collaboration among the member states. Various stakeholders should be consulted during framework development and implementation including two regional centres and key national agencies such as energy efficiency policy implementing agencies and standards bodies. Other stakeholders including industry, consumer groups, as well as other regional, continental, and international organizations should be also consulted.

Regional compliance framework is critical in effective regional harmonized policy implementation. It will protect markets in both regions and reduce resources needed for policy enforcement and compliance through regional tools and intelligence sharing.