The Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) is the UAE’s single standardization organization responsible for the formulation and implementation of standards across the country as well as the conformance of standards to relevant international standards. The authority is the centralized clearing house for all calibration, measurement, standard specifications, accreditation, and certification of all standards in the commercial and industrial sectors with a significant presence in the automotive sector. It also serves as the country’s National Certification Body. ESMA supports the UAE’s push towards achieving higher levels of quality and product, process, and service excellence through an extensive program of conformity assessment and assurance, national measurement systemization, as well as technical and legal metrology.
Eng. Khaled Ali Abdul Majeed is the Secretary for the National Committees for vehicles and is responsible for the preparation of technical specifications and conformity programs for ESMA. He is also the country’s representative among Gulf organizations for cars and tires. He presented an overview of the activities of the organization and a draft of the regulations pertaining to spare parts in the UAE.
ESMA’s primary mandate is to be the primary reference authority pertaining to standards, metrology, and quality, facilitating the provision of:
• Health, economic, and environmental safety through the conformance of products and services to relevant standards in the UAE
• Support to the economy and economic growth plans of the UAE by ensuring that the quality of products, commodities and services meets domestic and international standards
• Services that keep pace with scientific advancements in the area of standardization, metrology, and conformity assessments
• Awareness about standardization activities in the UAE
ESMA’s primary activities are spread across five departments—Standards, Metrology, Testing, Certification, and Accreditation.
Conformity Affairs Department
ESMA’s Conformity Affairs department is tasked with the provision of two major schemes:
• The Emirates Conformity Assessment Scheme (ECAS) for regulated products
• The Emirates Quality Marketing Scheme to demonstrate product compliance to UAE standards
The department also administers the Energy Efficiency Standards and Labeling (EESL) program and conducts market surveillance and inspections.
Memberships and Recognition
ESMA represents the UAE and is recognized by several organizations including the International Electrochemical Commission (IEC), the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components (IECEE), the International Standardization Organization (ISO), the Gulf Standardization Organization (GSO), and the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO).
UAE Automotive Spare Parts Regulation
ESMA is currently in the process of finalizing a draft of regulations governing automotive spare parts in the UAE. Currently, automotive, chemicals, construction, agriculture and food, energy, oil and gas, and consumer goods are regulated sectors in the UAE with ESMA committees to prepare and implement these regulations. The automotive sector is also subject to GSO-compliant standards.
Regulation in the automotive sector is spread across three main areas—supporting enrollment, regulating new schemes, as well as servicing and repair.
As the UAE focuses on regulating vehicular emissions, ESMA is working with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to create incentive programs for environmentally friendly vehicles. This initiative is expected to be ready in the third quarter of 2016.
ESMA is also involved in the implementation of the new requirements of the GSO 42/2015 standard that relates to the types of emissions, and compliance to Euro IV levels in the UAE. The organization is addressing safety issues with cars and is expected to focus on smart driving cars.
New Regulatory Scope
ESMA is currently in the process of approving a regulation that governs modified vehicles—a rapidly growing segment in the UAE. Based on requests and requirements from traders and manufacturers, the organization is also seeking to create regulation for low mass production vehicles and well as electrical vehicles. The regulation is expected to be implemented by the end of 2016.
Servicing and Repair
ESMA has established regulations for repair shops and laying down qualification criteria for these establishments to be able to service or repair certain types of vehicles. These regulations are expected to be published in two months’ time. Spare parts represent a significantly large trade market that requires regulation. ESMA has also drafted regulations governing used cars with a view to permitting the import and use of safe cars on UAE roads.
The scheme governing spare parts elucidates compliance requirements for products manufactured within or outside the UAE. This regulation is covered across 14 categories covering brakes, lubricants, power systems, tire rims, alarm systems, locking systems, batteries, air filters, mirrors, engine components, and other major parts.
One of the key articles of this regulation entitled ‘Verification of Conformity’ states that the supplier is legally responsible for applying for approval to import and sell regulated parts. Manufacturers who import parts to the UAE are required to have GSO approval for the production and import of parts to the country, and consequently, do not require third-party tests. The establishment of a robust quality management system is also mandated.
A detailed overview of the standards governing inpidual spare parts was provided. These standards covered radiators, brake pads, oil filters, air filters, and safety belts.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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