In February 2017, the Hub conducted national stakeholders’ training workshops on the ePing electronic alert system in Kenya, Burundi and Tanzania. The objectives of the workshops were to enhance understanding of how public and private sector stakeholders can use the ePing electronic alert system to address technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues and to provide participants with the context for why notifications are an important obligation for WTO Member States. The workshops were a follow-up to the regional training of trainers workshop on the ePing system held December 2016 in Kampala, Uganda, in collaboration with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and East African Community (EAC) Secretariat.
Workshop facilitators helped participants register as users of the system and identified representatives from national notification authorities and enquiry points who could serve as administrators with WTO Secretariat approval. They also outlined the institutional arrangements require to support ePing.
With ePing, stakeholders receive timely alerts and track and comment on measures being introduced by different members of WTO as a means to complying with changing regulatory requirements. The stakeholders will also now be able to notify and communicate among themselves on changes in TBT and SPS measures introduced by other WTO members, which helps address potential trade problems at an early stage.
Kenya is already using TBT Notify Kenya electronic alert system. This workshop gave participants a good opportunity to discuss pros and cons between Notify Kenya and ePing and agree on the way forward. The initial discussions indicated that ePing system was more sustainable (as it is being hosted or maintained by ITC), requires a low investment level and is used by most of the WTO member countries.
The Hub funded the workshop as part of its support to the implementation of the EAC-US Cooperation Agreement on Trade Facilitation, SPS measures and TBT.
Watch the video below to learn about the ePing electronic alert system in a minute: