According to the Standards, Imports Inspections Regulations (SIIR) of Botswana, all prescribed products imported into Botswana must be inspected by BOBS or an inspection or testing body recognised by BOBS, as per regulation 4(2) of the SIIR. The overall objective is to inspect, sample and test SIIR prescribed products in the country of origin so as to minimise the risk of unsafe and substandard products entering the Botswana market.
Following renewed requests from South African exporters of regulated and non regulated products, for the PPECB Laboratory to conduct mycotoxin and related tests to ensure compliance to requirements of Botswana, the PPECB applied for official recognition from BOBS as a testing facility in 2013.
A recognised body, according to the SIIR, is a body recognised by BOBS as competent for checking and verifying that a commodity conforms to the requirements of the prescribed standard set in relation to that commodity. Some of the requirements to become officially recognised by BOBS include;
- The testing body must have accredited facilities in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025 standard. The PPECB Laboratory is an ISO 17025 accredited facility (T0248)
- If the testing body does not have accredited facilities in any of the SIIR prescribed products, then it must participate in a relevant Proficiency Testing (PT) scheme. The PPECB Laboratory participates in FAPAS (Food Analysis Performance Assessment Scheme)
The Laboratory’s ISO 17025 Quality Management system was subsequently audited by BOBS in 2014.
The PPECB Laboratory received official recognition by BOBS, validating the competence of the Laboratory as a food testing facility for its imports.