The NCRS is an South African organisation

From the website of the NCRS (2014-07-30, 09:35)

NRCS Hotline Number : 0800 21 47 19

Government is responsible for protecting the health and safety of citizens, the environment, and for ensuring fair trade.
NRCS is a public entity responsible to the Minister of Trade and Industries for administration of technical regulations including COMPULSORY SPECIFICATIONS based on STANDARDS that protect human health and safety, and the environment.

Government is also obliged to ensure that National and International trade is fair and based on reliable measurements. NRCS administers the Trade Metrology Act on behalf of the Minister of Trade and Industries. The Act and regulations set requirements for measurements of quantity for trade purposes. The most common measurements in trade are for Mass, Volume, Length and Area.

There are very closely defined requirements for the most common trade measurements of products offered for sale in South Africa that are fully aligned with International requirements. NRCS applies best practice and is a leader in Regional and International Metrology.

Notification on the NCRS's website:

will be hosting the 1st NRCS REGULATORY CONVENTION CONFERENCE on the
17th and 18th September 2014 at The Forum in Bryanston.
For more information and registration click here

For enquires contact William Tladi on 012 482 8705 or email .

Compulsory Specifications


Compulsory Specifications are technical regulations that require conformity of a product or service to health, safety or environmental protection requirements of a standard, or specific provisions of a standard. The term is only used in South Africa. NRCS is mandated to advise the Minister on matters related to compulsory specifications, and has historically managed the development process.

The standard made compulsory must be a national (i.e. SANS) standard. In the absence of a suitable national standard another type of standard or specification may made mandatory.

The WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO TBT), to which South Africa is a signatory, requires that standards and technical regulations should not be used as barriers to trade. National standards should be aligned with or identical to recognised international equivalents, and technical regulations should comply with international regulatory norms.

Similar requirements apply to the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (WTO SPS, the agreement covering foods), and to Legal Metrology (ie measurements used in trade).

South Africa like most other countries has a legacy of legislation that does not comply with these requirements or recognized international best practice. NRCS has reviewed all compulsory specifications and is engaged in revisions of all that do not meet these requirements.

The development and enactment of legislation including regulations is a core function of Government. NRCS is mandated to advise the Minister of Trade and Industries on matters relating to compulsory specifications, and develops compulsory specifications and other relevant regulations on his behalf.
The process of developing or amending a Compulsory Specification is inclusive, transparent and independent of both commercial interests and those of the NRCS operational units that administer them. It is managed by an independent specialist department, Strategic Support Services, that is also responsible for development of operational policies, business strategy and an operational model designed to achieve regulatory effectiveness.
Any person or organization may submit a request, in writing, to the NRCS CEO for the development or amendment of a technical regulation with the necessary motivation. The due process followed is aligned with accepted international best practice and involves extensive consultation with all identified stakeholders at all stages in the process.

The main steps are:

· Feasibility study;

· Investigation and research;

· Development of a Regulatory Impact Assessment covering all issues relating to and possible outcomes and consequences of its implementation;

· Drafting of proposed regulation;

· Publication in the Government Gazette for public scrutiny, comments and objections during a period of not less than 2 months;

· Notification of WTO members;

· Any person or body including WTO member states may comment on or object in writing to the introduction of the compulsory specification within the 2 month period;

· Consideration of submissions by a review committee. The committee may recommend changes based on the submissions received;

· Approval by the Board of the NRCS;

· Ministerial approval; and

· Promulgation in the Government Gazette.

New or amended compulsory specifications take effect at least 2 months after date of promulgation. The period may be extended where justified by market conditions, costs of new investment by industry and many other factors including impact on SME's and exports.

Compulsory specifications are periodically reviewed for continued relevance and applicability in line with National interests.


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