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African Organisation for Standardisation

ARSO Technical Harmonization Committees and Technical working Groups


Participate in ARSO Standardisation Work…
Download thenew-8_e0 New  Form here Click here *pdf

Based on the African Standards Harmonisation Model (ASHAM), ARSO harmonises the regional standards into African Standards. Towards this, ARSO has developed the ASHAM Harmonisation Procedure Manual (ASHAM – SHPM).
The Harmonisation process is coordinated by the ARSO Technical Management Committee Chaired by the ARSO President.

There are currently 13 broad-based technical harmonisation committees and 58 technical working groups as below: Click here *pdf

   (I)   ARSO/THC 01, Basic and General Standards

  (II)  ARSO/THC 02, Agriculture and Food Products

(1)   ARSO/THC 02-1, WG on Apiculture and Pollination Services

(2)   ARSO/THC 02-2, WG on Fisheries and Aquaculture

(3)   ARSO/THC 02-3, WG on Milk Products and Dairy Value Chains

(4)   ARSO/THC 02-4, WG on Horticulture

(5)   ARSO/THC 02-5, WG on Coffee, Cocoa, Tea and Similar Products

(6)    ARSO/THC 02-6, WG on Meat, Poultry, Game, Eggs and Related Products

(7)    ARSO/THC 02-7, WG on Food Additives, Spices, Culinary Herbs and Condiments

(8)   ARSO/THC 02-8, WG on Food Safety (Physical, Chemical, Microbioly, Toxins, Virology, Biotechnology, etc.)

(9)   ARSO/THC 02-9, WG on Cereals, Pulses, Oilseeds and Derived and Similar Products

(10)    ARSO/THC 02-10, WG on Food Trade (Certification, Packaging, Labelling)

(11)    ARSO/THC 02-11, WG on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses

(12)   ARSO/THC 02-12, WG on Sugar, Derived and Similar Products

(13)   ARSO/THC 02-13, WG on Animal Feeding, Feeds and Feeding Stuffs

(14)    ARSO/THC 02-14, WG on Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages

(15)   ARSO/THC 02-15, WG on Seed and Propagation Materials

(16)   ARSO/THC 02-16, WG on Tobacco and Similar Products

(III)        ARSO/THC 03, Building and Civil Engineering

(17)         ARSO/THC 03-1, WG on Wood and Timber Products

(18)         ARSO/THC 03-2, WG on Flooring, Wall finishing and Roofing

(19)         ARSO/THC 03-3, WG on Metallic Products for Building and Civil Engineering

(20)         ARSO/THC 03-4, WG on Built Environment (Building Codes, Smart, Green, Efficient)

(21)         ARSO/THC 03-5, WG on Plastic Pipes, Fittings, Valves, Piping Systems and Ducting Systems

(22)         ARSO/THC 03-6, WG on Drainage and Wastewater Engineering

(23)         ARSO/THC 03-7, WG on Road, Rail, Air and Water Transport Infrastructure

(24)         ARSO/THC 03-8, WG on Building and Construction Materials

(IV)         ARSO/THC 04, Mechanical Engineering & Metallurgy

(25)         ARSO/THC 04-1, WG on Farm Implements and Machinery for Agriculture and Forestry

(26)         ARSO/THC 04-2, WG on Utensils, Cutlery, Sanitary Wares, Fittings and Domestic Hardware

(27)         ARSO/THC 04-3, WG on Manufacturing and General Engineering Technical Committee

(V)          ARSO/THC 05, Chemistry & Chemical Engineering

(28)         ARSO/THC 05-1, WG on Surface Active Agents

(29)         ARSO/THC 05-2, WG on Agrochemicals

(30)         ARSO/THC 05-3, WG on Paper and Paper Products

(31)         ARSO/THC 05-4, WG on Petroleum and Petrochemical Products

(32)         ARSO/THC 05-5, WG on Organic and Inorganic Chemicals

(33)         ARSO/THC 05-6, WG on Paints, varnishes and related products

(34)         ARSO/THC 05-7, WG on Cosmetics and related products

(35)         ARSO/THC 05-8, WG on Plastics and Related products

(36)         ARSO/THC 05-9, WG on Industrial and Medical Gases

(37)         ARSO/THC 05-10, WG on Scholastic Materials

(38)         ARSO/THC 05-11, WG on Toys, Sports and Leisure Equipment

(VI)         ARSO/THC 06, Electro-technology

(39)         ARSO/THC 06-1, WG on Electronics and Information Technology

(40)         ARSO/THC 06-2, WG on Conformity Assessment for Renewable Energy Systems

(41)         ARSO/THC 06-3, WG on Small Electrical Power Technologies (Hydropower, Solar, Windpower, Bio-Electric)

(VII)       ARSO/THC 07, Textiles and Leather

(42)         ARSO/THC 07-1, WG on Textiles, Clothes, Garments and Accessories

(43)         ARSO/THC 07-2, WG on Leather, Ready-Made Articles, Footwear and Accessories

(VIII)     ARSO/THC 08, Transport and Communication

(44)         ARSO/THC 08-1, WG on Transport Services

(45)         ARSO/THC 08-2, WG on Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Harmonized Classification and Labelling of Chemicals

(46)         ARSO/THC 08-3, WG on Packaging and Freight Containers

(IX)        ARSO/THC 09, Environmental Management

(47)         ARSO/THC 09-1, WG on Eco-Labelling and Sustainability Systems

(48)         ARSO/THC 09-2, WG on Societal Security (Disaster and Emergence Management)

(49)         ARSO/THC 09-3, WG on Drinking Water and Sanitation

(50)         ARSO/THC 09-4, WG on Air Quality

(X)          ARSO/THC 10, Energy and Natural Resources

(51)         ARSO/THC 10-1, WG on Equipment for Petroleum, Petrochemical and Natural Gas Systems

(52)         ARSO/THC 10-2, WG on Bioenergy and Biogas

(53)         ARSO/THC 10-3, WG on Mining and Mineral Beneficiation

(54)         ARSO/THC 10-4, WG on Solar Thermal Systems and Equipment

(XI)        ARSO/THC 11, Quality Management

(XII)       ARSO/THC 12, Services

(55)         ARSO/THC 12-1, WG on Cosmetology and Wellness

(56)         ARSO/THC 12-2, WG on Financial Services

(57)         ARSO/THC 12-3, WG on Healthcare, Medical Devices and Equipment

(58)         ARSO/THC 12-4, WG on Building and Construction Services

(XIII)     ARSO/THC 13, African Traditional Medicine







Participating Members

Observing Members

 1 Basic and General Standards



Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Mauritius , Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Senegal, South Africa (12)

Cameroon, Seychelles

 2 Agriculture and Food Products



Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe (17)


 3 Building and Civil Engineering


South Africa

Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania (14)


 4 Mechanical Engineering and Metallurgy


South Africa

DR Congo, Kenya,  Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania,  Gabon ,  South Africa, Mauritius , Ethiopia (10)

Seychelles, Cameroon

 5 Chemical & Chemical Engineering



DR Congo, Kenya,  Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia,  Gabon,  Senegal,  Sudan,  S. Africa, Zambia (12)

Mauritius Seychelles, Cameroon

 6 Electro-technology





DR Congo, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Gabon, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Zambia, Mauritius, Cote D’Ivoire, (14)

Seychelles, Cameroon

 7 Textiles and Leather

South Africa


Kenya, Sudan, Namibia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania,  Zimbabwe, Senegal,  S. Africa, Mauritius, Cameroon,  Cote D’Ivoire (13)

Seychelles, DR Congo

 8 Transport and Communication


South Africa

Tunisia, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, D R Congo, Ethiopia, Senegal,  S. Africa, Mauritius, Cameroon (12)

Seychelles, Mauritius

 9 Environmental Management



DR Congo, Kenya,  Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Gabon , Ethiopia, Senegal, S. Africa, Mauritius, Cote D’Ivoire (12)

Seychelles, Cameroon

 10 Energy and Natural Resources



Ethiopia, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe (14)


 11 Quality Management Systems



Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia,  Gabon, Senegal, South Africa, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire (13)


 12 Services



Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Ethiopia (8)

Botswana, Seychelles, Democratic Republic Congo, Tanzania, Cameroon

13 African Traditional Medicine

South Africa


Gabon, Kenya, Senegal, S. Africa, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Mauritius, Zimbabwe (12)

Botswana, Seychelles, Tanzania

Kenya THC 1, THC 04, THC 12
Ethiopia THC 09 THC 01, THC 07
Nigeria THC 05, THC 11 THC 05, THC 10
South Africa THC 07, THC 13 THC 04, THC 08, THC 03
Tanzania THC 02 THC 02
Mauritius THC 09, THC 11
Rwanda THC 10 THC 12
Egypt THC 03
Sudan THC 13

The 43rd ARSO Council approved the harmonization of 79 standards within the New Work Items *pdf based on the ARSO ASHAM SHPM Document *pdf.

On the other hand, ARSO is set to harmonise African Standard for Mineral Valuation and African Standard Code of Practice for Uranium Mining.

The first ordinary session of African Union Conference of Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development (CAMRMRD) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in a meeting held on 16th and 17th October 2008, adopted Declaration AU/MIN/CAMRMRD/4(1) on the development and management of Africa’s Mineral Resources which formed the roadmap that will optimize the potential benefits of African mineral resources.

ARSO has taken note of the fact that the mineral resource exploitation in the continent of Africa needs the development of guidelines, standards and code of practice to assist African countries to optimize the potential benefits of their mineral resources.

During the 42nd ARSO Council Meeting held in Abuja, Nigeria on 31st March – 1st April 2011, the ARSO Technical Harmonisation Committees were constituted as shown above, based on the expressed interest of ARSO Members.

ARSO was formed in 1977 with the principal mandate to harmonise African Standards and conformity assessment procedures in order to reduce Technical Barriers to Trade and therefore promote intra African and international Trade as well as enhance the industrialization of Africa. It is envisaged that, within the framework of the African Union and African Union Commission, the Department of Trade and Industry will establish a common policy for harmonization of standards in Africa as laid out in the AUC Strategic plan for 2009 – 2012.

The ARSO Technical Harmonisation Committees will give Africa an impetus towards greater participation in the flow of global trade and boost its own internal trade while taking into consideration preferential systems on bilateral and multilateral basis. With one common standard in all the African countries and every conflicting national standard withdrawn, a product could reach a far wider market with much lower development and testing costs.

Harmonised standards and Common Technical Regulation policies will lead to the much envisaged African Common Market as per the Abuja Treaty of 1991, for goods and services and position Africa in the global economy. The Harmonisation process through the ARSO Standards Harmonisation Model (ASHAM) will foster competitiveness of the African industries, the African Integration and the subsequent African economy in global trading system and thus contribute positively to the welfare of European citizens.

It known that many of African exports, now enjoy, at least in principle, duty-free access to major developed country markets, in particular the European Union (EU), thanks to harmonisation of standards to international standards which has concrete benefits through trade expansion. Therefore efforts to promote African exports of manufactures should be complemented by measures to reduce the cost impacts of product standards, including efforts to harmonise national and RECs standards with international norm.

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