Standards and other technical requirements

Standards, technical regulations, testing, certification and accreditation

Standardization, certification and accreditation activities are coordinated and monitored by the Minister responsible for industry under Article 2 of Law No. 2010-003 of 14 January 2010.

The National Quality Policy was adopted in May 2016. In order to strengthen the powers of the Standardization and Quality Promotion Directorate (DNPQ) a decree amending the Ministry's organization chart was adopted (Decree No. 198/2014 of 14 October 2014)

The national standardization, metrology and quality promotion system consists of the following bodies:

  • The National Standardization and Quality Promotion Council, responsible, in particular, for helping the Government to define national policy in the field and to give its opinion on any strategic question relating to these areas;
  • The Mauritanian Accreditation Committee, responsible for giving its opinion on accreditation requests from certification bodies;
  • The National Standardization and Metrology Office;
  • The national technical committees: the Agri-Food Standards Committee, (the Committee on Rice and Wheat established by prime-ministerial order in 2016), the Electrotechnical Committee, the Anti-Corruption Committee, the Construction Committee (with a technical regulation on cement), and the Chemistry Committee, which also deals with mineral water.

Since 2010 there have been a dozen technical regulations covering food products (in particular, edible oils and wheat flour) and mineral water. Provisions adopted by other national institutions have also introduced other technical regulations. In practice, it would seem that for reasons such as safety and health, international standards (including those of the Codex Alimentarius) are likely to be required for certain imports.

The DNPQ has a national metrology laboratory, which takes a quality approach, and a legal metrology laboratory.

The inspections are mainly focused on the hygienic condition and safety of food (including fishery) products, medicinal products and other mass consumables, including hydrocarbons. These inspections are intended to guarantee the quality of the products, protect the public, and ensure healthy competition on the domestic market by suppressing bad commercial practices, while conforming to the commitments made under the WTO Agreements on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS).

All fishing activities are subject to controls, through inspections and analyses. The laboratory of the National Office for the Sanitary Inspection of Fishery and Aquaculture Products (ONISPA) has been accredited to international requirements since March 2013 for purposes of analysis and testing. Cattle also undergo veterinary inspection at border posts and in the ports.

Mauritania is a member of the Arab Accreditation Council with Iraq, for calibration purposes. Mauritania has signed cooperation agreements with Tunisia and Algeria, Senegal and Sudan for the purpose of making joint assessments.

Mandatory labelling requirements apply to a number of goods, such as food products, cigarettes, and matches. The labelling must always be in French and/or Arabic. In the case of food products, labelling must indicate the nature of the product, the ingredients and the quantity, as well as the place of production and the use-by date. In addition, according to Decree No. 2009-102 of 6 April 2009 regulating veterinary pharmacy in Mauritania, the packaging of medicated feedstuffs for animals must necessarily bear a label indicating their full composition, as well as their date of manufacture and use-by date.

Mauritania acceded to the FAO's International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) on 29 April 2002. It is also a member of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and of the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Sanitary and phytosanitary control is characterized by the presence of different services which are:

  • The Ministry responsible for health, for hygiene and food safety;
  • The Ministry responsible for fisheries, for fishery product quality control carried out through the Fishery Product Promotion Directorate (DPPP);
  • The Ministry responsible for rural development and the environment, for phytosanitary and animal health controls carried out, respectively, by the Agriculture Directorate and by the Directorate responsible for livestock.

The importation into Mauritania of plant species, their products, soil, compost, and packaging used for transporting them is subject to the production of a phytosanitary certificate issued by the country of origin under the Law No. 042 of 26 July 2000.

In 2002, the Ministry responsible for agriculture published three different lists indicating the plant species, their products and the other products whose importation is, respectively, prohibited, subject to prior authorization or subject only to the production of a phytosanitary certificate. The importation of certain animals is also subject to prior authorization from the Ministry responsible for livestock.

Product Requirements relating to diseases
Bovine animals (Europe, America, Asia) Free of tuberculosis, brucellosis, vaccinated against foot-and-mouth disease less than two months previously
Bovine animals (Africa, Asia) Vaccinated against rinderpest (cattle plague) more than 15 days and less than 1 year previously
Sheep and goats Free of brucellosis
Equine animals Free of glanders
Poultry Raised under official veterinary surveillance, free of contagious diseases affecting the species. Aviary birds of the Psittacidae family may not be imported into Mauritania without special authorization from the veterinary services
Swine Free of swine fever (classical and African) and foot-and-mouth disease
Carnivores, dogs and cats Valid international rabies vaccination certificate and certificate of good health The certificate of good health must have been made out less than three days before departure from the place of shipment Dogs less than three months old are exempt from the rabies vaccination certificate, but not from the certificate of good health; the same provisions apply to cats less than three months old
Poultry, eggs, dead game Certificate attesting to their origin and provenance from a region free from contagious diseases of the species
Sperm for artificial insemination Certificate from the official veterinary authorities providing information relating to the collection conditions and the identity and state of health of the donors, which must be free of venereal diseases
Prepared meat products, canned goods Certificate establishing their origin and attesting to their preparation in establishments under veterinary control