The Bahrain Standards and Metrology Directorate (BSMD) is the national standardization body of Bahrain. It is a member of the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO), the Arab Center for Standardization and Metrology and a founding member of the Gulf Standardization Organization (GSO). BSMD is a correspondent member of the International Organization of Legal Metrology (IOML), an ISO member, and implements the good regulatory practice of the WTO/Technical Barriers to Trade agreement.
The GCC Customs Union in theory requires member states to enforce unified standards across the region. Bahraini standards are required to meet national requirements for safety, quality, and fitness for purpose as determined by respective technical committees in Bahrain. Most often, Bahraini standards are adoptions of international or Gulf standards, and the development of standards in Bahrain is based on the following principles: a) no Bahraini standard is to be developed if there is an identical draft Gulf standard in existence, b) developing new Bahraini standards must not create trade barriers.
The BSMD is a government institution within the MoICT. It is responsible for issuing Bahrain’s standards, either by adopting as national standards the international or Gulf standards issued by the GCC Standards and Metrology Organization, or by preparing standards to meet national requirements.
The BSMD is led by a National Committee that acts as the Board of Directors. This board, made up of representatives from relevant ministries and the Chamber of Commerce as well as individual experts, is the highest authority on standards and metrology in Bahrain. The BSMD consists of two sections: Standards and Information and Quality Assurance and Metrology section.
Testing, Inspection and Certification
Most imported products can enter the market freely. The BSMD has established an office at Khalifa Bin Salman Port in the Customs Department to check and approve all regulated products before they enter Bahrain. Below is a list of products that are checked upon import into Bahrain:
- Car batteries
- Automobiles spare parts
- Plastic bags
- Tissue paper
- Electric appliances
- Nutrition products
- Weighing scales, weights, measuring tapes & meters
- Air conditioners
Publication of Technical Regulations
The National Committee of the BSMD approves and issues procedures for the implementation of national standards. The National Committee has approved several GCC standards as mandatory. The committee issued these in the form of a ministerial order and published them in the Official Gazette. The Official Gazette is available on the website of the Legal Affairs Directorate (Arabic only, www.legalaffairs.gov.bh).
Use ePing to review proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures.
The ePing SPS&TBT platform (https://epingalert.org/), or “ePing”, provides access to notifications made by WTO Members under the Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), distributed by the WTO from January 16, 1995 to present. ePing is available to all stakeholders free of charge and does not require registration unless the user wishes to receive customized e-mail alerts. Use it to browse notifications on past as well as new draft and updated product regulations, food safety and animal and plant health standards and regulations, find information on trade concerns discussed in the WTO SPS and TBT Committees, locate information on SPS/TBT Enquiry Points and notification authorities, and to follow and review current and past notifications concerning regulatory actions on products, packaging, labeling, food safety and animal and plant health measures in markets of interest.
Notify U.S., operated and maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) since 2003 to distribute and provide access to notifications (and associated draft texts) made under the WTO TBT Agreement for US stakeholders, has reached its end of life. Per obligation under the TBT Agreement, each WTO Member operates a national TBT (and an SPS) Enquiry Point. National TBT Enquiry Points are authorized to accept comments and official communications from other national TBT Enquiry Points, which are NOT part of the WTO or the WTO Secretariat. All comment submissions from U.S. stakeholders, including businesses, trade associations, U.S domiciled standards development organizations and conformity assessment bodies, consumers, or U.S. government agencies on notifications to the WTO TBT Committee should be sent directly to the USA WTO TBT Inquiry Point. Refer to the comment guidance at https://tsapps.nist.gov/notifyus/data/guidance/guidance.cfm for further information.
Ministry of Industry, Commerce & Tourism
Bahrain Standards & Metrology Directorate
Bahrain Financial Harbour
P.O. Box 5479
Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
GCC Gulf Standardization Organization
Aladeem Street, Near the Egyptian Embassy
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia