1. What is standard?
"A standard is a document established by CONSENSUS and approved by recognized body, that provides, for COMMON AND REPEATED USE, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the OPTIMUM DEGREE OF ORDER in a given context".
Standards are created by bringing together the experience and expertise of all interested parties such as the producers, sellers, buyers, users and regulators of a particular material, product, process or service.
One of the key features of a standard is to help create uniformity/order in various areas of social and economic development.The formal and internationally- accepted definition of a standard is as follows:
Standards are based on consensus and assumed for voluntary use and do not impose any regulations by itself. However, when laws and regulations of a country refer to certain standards and make compliance with them compulsory, for reason such as safety,health,environmental, and trade malpractise, the standard will become a mandatory standard. For instance Ethiopian Cement and Reinforcement bar standards are mandatory. For more information on mandatory ethiopian standards
Level and type of standards
The level of standards differs according to their scope of application/usage, ranging from company to international levels. There are three level of standards Company Standard, National Standard and International Standards.
Ethiopian Standard is one of the national standards in the world and Ethiopia Standards Agency (ESA) is member of different international standard inistitution such as ISO, IEC, CODEX, OIML etc. Ethiopian standard like any national standards have a national scope and applicability and some of Ethiopian Standards are refered by Ethiopian reguations to be a mandatory standards.
2. Why standardize?
Ethiopian Standards (ESs) provide industry and users with the framework for economies of design, greater product and service quality, more inter-operability, and better production and delivery efficiency. At the same time, Ethiopian Standards also promote an improved quality of life by contributing to safety, human health and the protection of the environment.
3. International relations
ESA safeguards Ethiopia's interest in international standardization through participation in technical committees, especially in the fields of agriculture and food. ESA is a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML), and Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). It is also a founding member of the African Regional Organization for Standardization (ARSO), and has close relations with the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC).