Describes standards, identifies the national standards, accreditation bodies, and lists the national testing organization(s) and conformity assessment bodies.
Kosovo’s Law on Standardization reflects European and international systems of standards, and outlines procedural rules on drafting, approval, determination, and application of these standards in Kosovo. Product certification also falls under this law. Kosovo implements European and international standards as Kosovo standards. Kosovo standards are mainly voluntary but can be made mandatory by law, contract, or other legislation. Any entity can submit a proposal for standardization. The Kosovo Standardization Agency (KSA) publishes annual work plans and other relevant information on their website.
KSA identified and adopted construction codes that are equivalent to the “eurocodes” that lay out the ten European standards specifying how structural design should be conducted in the EU. Kosovo is not a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or any other international or regional standardization bodies. The government is pursuing membership and/or alternatives methods of cooperation with these organizations.
The KSA and Accreditation Directorate (AD) within the Ministry of Industry, Entrepreneurship, and Trade (MINT) are the only government bodies responsible for standardization and accreditation activities in Kosovo. The government relies on the KSA to:
- Organize procedures on the formulation of standards; approve and apply such standards; certify products, services, quality systems, and personnel.
- Organize procedures on standardization, accreditation, and certification based on international and European standardization systems.
- Approve, adapt, and implement international and European standards, except in the area of telecommunications.
- Revise existing standards in Kosovo.
- Maintain and administer a standardizations archive on foreign and local standards; upon request, communicate technical information to domestic and foreign subjects that conduct business activities in the territory of Kosovo.
- Prepare the laws and by-laws for activities it covers.
Kosovo standards are identified as “SK”, with other letters based on the origin of the product. For example, a product that complies with Kosovo Standards and was produced in Europe in accordance with ISO standards would be marked “SK EN ISO.”
Testing, Inspection and Certification
The KSA and AD are the primary conformity and accreditation assessment bodies in Kosovo. Kosovo does not have a national product certification body, but it has certified experts in ISO 9001 and similar areas cooperating with relevant foreign companies in the certification of Kosovo businesses. U.S. exporters have not reported problems related to product-certification requirements. Kosovo has no product certification agreements with the United States. It is a member of the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA), the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), and has adopted the code of conduct of International Accreditation Forum (IAF). Test certificates are accepted from laboratories in countries that have signed multilateral agreements with ILAC, IAF, and EA and from countries with which AD has agreements. Twenty-two inspection bodies and 38 testing laboratories are currently accredited by the AD.
Publication of Technical Regulations
The Government publishes all laws and regulations in the Official Gazette, where only final regulations are published. U.S. entities can comment on draft laws and regulations by attending the relevant working groups or upon invitation by the government agency sponsoring the regulation. The 2016 regulation on the Minimum Standards for Public Consultation Process clarifies the standards, principles, and procedures for consultations during the drafting of legislation. Kosovo has developed an online platform for public comments. Business associations such as the American Chamber of Commerce also regularly collect comments from members on proposed legislation. Kosovo maintains an annual legislative program available on the website of the Office of the Prime Minister.
U.S. Embassy Pristina
Richard Heater, Commercial Officer
Telephone: +383 (0)38 5959 3337
Kosovo Standardization Agency
Telephone: +383 (0)38 51 27 79
Kosovo Accreditation Directorate
Telephone: +383 (0)38 200 36 572
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.