Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– A team of lead assessors from India will arrive in the capital Dhaka early next month deferring its earlier scheduled visit for conducting re-assessment of the labs of BSTI – the state-run quality watchdog.

The team was scheduled to come on November 20 but now it will arrive in the first week of December due to Eid vacation, officials said.

“We’ve completed all necessary requirements to get the international accreditation and the team will come to re-assess our laboratories,” A K Fazlul Ahad, director general of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute (BSTI) was quoted by the Financial Express (FE), a local newspaper, as saying.

“We’ve already submitted application to National Accreditation Board for Testing Calibration Laboratories (NABL) India for getting four laboratories namely cement, chemical, food and textile accredited, he added.

Indian government has appointed an independent body which will conduct the assessment, he said adding that the lead assessors will report to the authority after their visit.

Two senior scientists from India had already visited the BSTI labs and made pre-assessment of their capacity in August this year, the officials added.

The BSTI has improved testing facility of 83 ingredients including food items, cement and textiles by setting up new machinery and necessary infrastructure, its officials said.

Indian experts have provided technical support to help the testing institute develop its expertise and also helped its refurbishment, they noted.

The authorities carried out reform activities under a project, funded by the European Union (EU) and UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The major impediment of Bangladesh’s export to India is the non-recognition of its test reports and products’ certification licence issued by BSTI and other laboratories of Bangladesh.

Two national standards bodies of India and Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate mutual trade of goods and services and enhance technical cooperation in 2007 for a period of three years and later extended it for further three years with effect from June 26, this year.

BBN/SI/AD-21Nov10-10:17 am (BST)