ESMA aims to boost UAE classification sector


Eng. Mohammed Saleh Al Badri, Acting Director General, Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA), has illustrated the possible role of ESMA to enhance UAE classification sector based on highest standards

Even though, ESMA is considered a new entity in the metrology and standards sector, yet it became a market leader locally and regionally. Can we have an overview about your progress and how did you manage to achieve this leadership?

Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) was established in 2002 under Federal Law No. 28 of 2001. As a full member of ISO, ESMA shares the knowledge of standards development with all stakeholders, whilst ensuring that standards in the UAE are in line with international scientific developments, including ISO standards. Consistently taking into consideration the social, economic, health and safety interests of the public, ESMA makes certain that the services and products are of quality and in conformity with the approved standards. In addition, ESMA spreads awareness of the different standardization activities through various outlets. ESMA’s strategy aims at supporting the national economy by establishing a new era of excellence and quality within the UAE.

Also we consider the Gulf region and its environment, which  has developed systems and programs conforming to these specifications. Moreover, it has taken into account the process of  supervision and followup on the implementation of these programs after viewing the best practices and applications in the developed countries, to ensure the promotion of quality levels, while maintaining the meet of the requirements of international trade agreements.

We proceed from the firm belief that the teamwork spirit, both within the authority or with external partners is the best way to achieve success, be-cause of its effort and time-saving without compromising the roles and privacy of others, but in cooperation and coordination.

UAE has become the leader in Maritime sector and one of the global logistics hubs for trade and business. How does ESMA add val-ue to this position from assuring the quality and standards for the shipping process and the items imported or exported through UAE?

As already mentioned above, we rely on the world’s most advanced standardized specifications and the set of Emirate specifications. We consider the survey procedures while control-ling the supplied products in the markets. This method prevents the accumulation of goods and secures the flow of goods quickly and easily, and without prejudice to the standards of health and safety requirements.

What is the interaction between TASNEEF and ESMA regarding the standards and specifications of Maritime sector?

Let’s hope that there will be an effective cooperation between the Emirates Authority for standardization and classification and TASNEEF in the development of the standardized specifications, requirements and technical standards in the maritime sector and navigation.

The two parties can work on the development of programs and action plans including joint development and adoption of high standards which strengthen TASNEEF position nation-ally and internationally.

TASNEEF has recently released SAHARA Notations as an innovative initiate to guide ships owners about the specifications and features that should be considered in their ships to be convenient to the GCC area and hot areas of the world. What can ESMA add in this field to improve this notation?

First of all, we are very glad that TASNEEF has used an innovative approach to the development of its programs in the march towards global excellence. This initiated notation is expected to find a great demand among ship own-ers as it will meet the requirements of a general regional area that is characterized by its huge trading operations, and its strategic and economic location that is distinct at the global level. What Emirates Authority For Standardization and Metrology can provide in this field, as a national standardization system, and through its membership in  GCC Standardization Organization (GSO) and the International Standardization Organization (ISO), is resetting the standards and requirements for the SAHARA Notation program in a standardized form and issue it in the form of a guide book, a standard measure, or as an Emirate technical regulation  which approved by ESMA, and then ex-port through official channels.

One of the UAE’s key pillars to drive sustainable growth and achieve our vision for 2021 to be among the best nations in the world, how can you evaluate the performance of Emirates Classi-fications “TASNEEF” in classifica-tion services? 

Although TASNEEF was established recently, it still has taken effective steps by adopting advanced management systems and by working to implement programs of excellence in management and performance in order to achieve the Emirates’ vision through its initiatives, which one of them was specifying SAHARA notation as one of the advanced initiatives. Thus, I expect it to have a unique breakthrough and a successful future to lead among the global companies.

ESMA, a full member of the ISO, has also consistently been taking steps to tighten its quality checks in the UAE through the Emirates Conformity Assessment System (ECAS).  What are the benefits of this certification? 

This system was designed and set based on the best global practices that are being recognized and implemented in the conformity assessment of products field. This practice is mandatory to be implemented on products that have technical regulations and mandatory standards, so that they meet the requirements of health, safety and environment, in these products. Therefore, implementing this system on products that are inserted in the mandatory conformity means that all products supplied to the State’s markets meet these criteria.

TASNEEF has been recognized as the official society in UAE. Do you think that it has the potential to compete in the international market? 

There is no doubt that one of the primary business requirements is to have a legal entity which is recognized by authorized official bodies from the country. For TASNEEF, getting this recognition means achieving the first stage of its excellence. This would constitute a solid base, through which it will gain recognition from national and international organizations and compete globally as well.

What are your expectations of the role of “TASNEEF” to improve UAE classification services? 

There is no doubt that TASNEEF plays an important and a unique role in the field of inspection and classification of ships, because it has set its plans and initiatives in accordance with actual audit and evaluations that are based on specific standards. Thus, the certificates that will be issued will be of high credit ability and trust and at the same time will help make continuous improvement in the classification services. In the meantime, the services should be more highlighted through media and awareness programs, work-shops and conferences on all levels and with the participation from relevant international organizations.

In your opinion, what is needed to increase the audience awar-ness about ESMA and TASNEEF’s roles in the classification sector? 

The awareness process is one of the goals set forth in the ESMA law of establishment. We have it as a continuous process, and as for our role at TASNEEF, it is a supporting role through the provision of standards, technical regulations, necessary evidence, and needed  appropriations for the service rating activities, in accordance with international requirements, as a place of certificate issuance.  Also, in the field of products conformity and the equipment used in ships, so that they comply with the set specifications and requirements that can be met through the Emirates Conformity Assessment System (ECAS).

What is the amount of promotion for ESMA’s role and vision among youngsters and students?

It has happened before for ESMA to cooperate with the education sector in the state. It has provided awareness lectures in a large number of state schools. In the meantime, ESMA is on a signed agreement with the United Arab Emirates University, and it also partnered with other universities to organize conferences and workshops. In addition, it has previously trained several university students during summer vacations.

ESMA’s role is to limit the classification certificates that are produced without inspection, mainly the French classification. So what are your procedures to limit the risk of unsuspected certifications? 

We need to collaborate with TASNEEF to determine the actual reality of the practices of private classification systems internationally applied, and what are the measures undertaken by the classification agencies and are on the basis of granting certificates of classification.

One final word for Marasi news magazine? 

I would like to present my gratitude to Marasi news magazine for the interview. I also want to take this opportunity to greet H.E Rashid Al Hebsi, CEO of TASNEEF and I wish them all success . The Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology is ready to allocate all its resources for TASNEEF to attain the development of a roadmap for joint action to identify the domains and pro-grams of cooperation. I also wish for Marasi good luck and success.

by Bahaa Al Dahoudi