National standards Bodies are advised to participate in international, regional and sub-regional standards development activities. Through membership, countries can contribute to and influence the standards that are most important to their economies and receive early warning of forthcoming standards.
Implementation of international standards brings significant advantages to all countries:
- Avoiding the waste of resources by "reinventing the wheel" - Transferring state-of-the-art technological know-how
- Supplying criteria for making reasoned choices when evaluating imports, whether of technology or consumer products
- Safeguarding public health and safety by establishing a base of requirements for application to local or imported products in these regulated areas
- Providing internationally accepted specifications that can be applied to the development, manufacturing and marketing of local goods and services, thus raising the country's ability to compete on export markets worldwide.
In addition to the above benefits, by participating in the development of International Standards, developing countries can realize others, such as the opportunity to:
- Acquire technological know-how directly
- Influence the technical content of standards important to their economy
- Gain "hands-on" experience in standardization work that can be put to use in building up their national infrastructures.
At the International level, the major international standards organizations are ISO, IEC and ITU. In the context of the WTO/SPS/TBT agreement. The specific organizations of OIE, IPPC, and Codex Alimentarius Commission are also important.
Burundi Bureau of Standards and Quality Control (BBN) is a corresponding member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). A correspondent member is usually an organization in a country which does not yet have a fully-developed national standards activity. Correspondent members do not take an active part in the technical and policy development work, but are entitled to be kept fully informed about the work of interest to them.
BBN wishes to be correspondent member of International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML), and is again participating in the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) Affiliate Country programme, which is a free programme for developing countries that aims at encouraging them to take an active part in the preparation of international standards.