GSO Organizes the Fourth Gulf Open Day for Economic Operators
The Standardization Organization for the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GSO) organized the fourth Gulf Open Day for Economic Operators; in which more than 250 participants from economic operators and representatives of the member states of GSO took part physically and virtually. It was held in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on June 13, 2022.
In his opening speech, His Excellency Mr. Saud bin Nasser Al-Khusaibi, President of GSO, welcomed the representatives of member states and economic operators participating in the meeting. His Excellency stressed that this event has become a systematic coordination tool in line with GSO strategic vision, and commitment towards economic operators and key stakeholders whose contribution to the regulatory process is of prime importance.
He pointed out that the meeting will be an opportunity to exchange views and experiences on aspects of participation and cooperation, to discuss the most prominent implementation challenges and key issues to enhance cooperation and coordination between regulators, economic operators and notified bodies, to address these challenges, and to come up with relevant recommendations on ways to enhance this coordination and pave the way for full participation of economic operators, namely manufacturers, importers and owners of commercial agencies in the process of preparing Gulf technical regulations that ensure safety of industrial products in the Gulf common market.
Al-Khusaibi also pointed out that participation at an early stage by the economic operators will benefit the good regulatory practices, provide a dialogue platform for discussing improvement and implementation proposals, and provide tools to enhance the notification system by improving the conformity assessment process as well as tracking the certificates of the relevant Gulf technical regulations, in a manner that ensures the subsequent smooth implementation of these regulations, which contribute to the welfare of citizens and economic growth.
He praised the high level of cooperation and firm support shown by the economic operators for the good implementation of Gulf technical regulations, and the central role of member states in the regulatory process. He also praised the active participation of the representatives of member states of GSO by presenting their experiences in this meeting.
His Excellency reiterated GSO’s commitment to searching for the best ways to ensure the safety of products in the markets of member states, with a view to facilitate trade exchange, and enhance the active participation of key stakeholders (economic operators and notified bodies) from the outset of the regulatory process.
On his part, His Excellency Mr. Abdul-Malik Al-Tuwaijri, Director General of the General Directorate of Product Safety in the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO), stressed in his speech that this meeting represents an important opportunity for SASO and the member states of GSO to listen to the economic actors and know the challenges they encounter and strengthen cooperation programs to enhance the safety of products in the Gulf markets as a whole.
Mr. Al-Tuwaijri stressed the importance of learning about the successful stories of member states, and how to harmonize their national plans with the regional ones.
He also noted in his speech that the big integration between digital platforms such as the success of SABER and RASED systems in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or the Gulf Code of GSO Conformity Tracking (GCTS), helped largely in facilitating the product release and implementation process; with the need to move forward together and work towards better coordination to achieve the best results.
The fourth Gulf Open Day consisted of many sessions that reviewed and discussed many related issues; on top of which are the recent trends of the Gulf regulatory system, and the prospects for cooperation between the economic operators, national standardization bodies and GSO.
The third session also discussed the recent trends of the regulatory systems at the national level in the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Sultanate of Oman. The meeting concluded with a discussion session on the participation of stakeholders in the work of Gulf standardization, and the harmonization of GSO regulatory system with the regulatory systems of GSO member states.
The meeting reviewed the contributions of the economic operators in building the technical regulations, and the experiences of member states in preparing and implementing the technical regulations to ensure the safety of industrial products in the Gulf common market, and consumer safety in order to achieve the goals of economic integration and facilitate trade in the Gulf common market.
The meeting also included a discussion session on ways to enhance and develop cooperation and coordination between stakeholders in the regulatory process.
The meeting aims to come up with many recommendations that support GSO direction in building, enhancing and activating the participation of economic operators and stakeholders, and the need to find appropriate ways to enable economic operators to participate in the process of building technical regulations through studying drafts regulations and submitting their views and comments at an early stage in order to facilitate the optimal implementation of Gulf technical regulations or national regulations of GSO member states.
As well as activating the sectoral working groups between GSO and the economic operators within the framework of cooperation and coordination between regulators and economic operators, to study sectoral issues, especially the drafts of sectoral technical regulations, and to propose recommendations to raising them to GSO.
The participants stressed the important role of GSO and the need to keep in touch with member states through initiatives that will ensure harmonization between Gulf technical regulations and national technical regulations to be harmonized with the regional general framework, including conformity assessment procedures to avoid duplication of clearance procedures, given their direct impact on trade.
The participants also commended GSO on organizing this meeting, noting the need to continue activating this dialogue platform as the most appropriate way to support cooperation and coordination between regulators and economic operators in order to achieve the objectives of the good regulatory practices, interdependence and integration among member states.
It is worth noting that the fourth Gulf Open Day for Economic Operators, coincided, as usual, with the fifth meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Group for the notified bodies accepting the Gulf technical regulation for low-voltage electrical devices and equipment, the fifth meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Group for the notified bodies accepting the Gulf technical regulation for toys, and the first meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Group for the notified bodies of the Energy Efficiency Regulations, due to be held during the period 14-16 June 2022 , which comes as a continuation of the partnership between GSO and the NSBs in the member states and economic operators, where GSO attaches strategic importance to this subject,
It is worthwhile noting that The Ministerial Committee for Standardization Affairs has approved the guide on the participation of stakeholders in the work of GSO. Further, GSO strategic plan 2025 included several strategic projects and initiatives to enhance the involvement of stakeholders to support standardization activities, and to build and implement consultation mechanisms with economic operators for conformity activities related to the Gulf technical regulations; with a view to contribute to raising industrial and commercial capabilities.
As well as to identify the challenges and difficulties facing economic operators in the implementation of Gulf technical regulations, and to open new horizons for future cooperation between GSO, conformity assessment bodies and economic operators, and to involve all economic operators for the optimal implementation of these regulations, in order to achieve the safety of products offered in the market and support methods of communication with all bodies concerned with implementing the Gulf technical regulation for low-voltage electrical devices and equipment and the Gulf technical regulation for toys.