NCE provides opportunity for member exporters to have an edge in international markets

Wednesday, 19 February 2020 02:31 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Statesman Hats

Macksons Paints Industries


Strict adherence to standards that have been set for products and services in international markets, especially by Western countries, has become increasingly important. The attendant certifications related to these standards gives an edge to exporters from developing countries like Sri Lanka.

In addition to the traditional quality standards for products and services, and conformity to environmental standards among others, new standards and certifications related to aspects that have a bearing on international trade are being introduced.

In the above background the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) being a progressive chamber which exclusively serves Sri Lankan exporters, has initiated the award of an Innovative Certificate, covering an aspect that has an important bearing on exports. The introduction of this certificate adds more value to the services provided by the chamber to its members.

The new certificate has been named the ‘Certificate of Conformity’ (COC), and is based on adherence to a set of ethical business practices related to good governance, for sustainability of enterprises. This certificate is conferred by the chamber exclusively to its member exporters, who successfully implement eight ethical business practices that have been formulated by the chamber, along with the criteria for their evaluation.

The chamber is set to assiduously promote this standard among its member exporters to fulfill the objective of overcoming the competition especially in European markets, where European buyers expect high standards from production entities in their supplier countries. As such member enterprises of the chamber who possess the COC will enjoy an advantage when negotiating export orders from overseas buyers.

The chamber expects all its member enterprises to achieve the standard required to obtain the COC, because it could be used as a benchmark to showcase the level of their operations, and also as an effective marketing tool. Moreover it will be a source of attainment, and relief, for the CEOs of its member enterprises, who could rest assured that their enterprises maintain high standards related to their business practices.   

The award of the COC will is based on an initial self-assessment by an applicant, of the business practices of the enterprise, and a subsequent audit conducted by the chamber to ensure conformity related to the criteria of the following eight listed principles.

Principle 1: Trading practices – Operate with concern for the social, economical, and environmental wellbeing of Sri Lanka, and prevent being exploited for profit of others.

Principle 2: Payment of statutory wages – Pay wages and statutory commitments to all its employees according to national requirements.

Principle 3: Child labour and forced labour – Not employ anyone under the age of 18, and ensure that no voluntary, forced, or bonded labour is used.

Principle 4: Non-discrimination, gender equity, and freedom of association – Not support discrimination related to all aspects, and provide equal pay and opportunities for women and men. To provide special training and encouragement to women to take leadership, and provide a harassment free work environment to all women and men.

Principle 5: Working conditions – Provide a healthy, and safe workplace to all employees. 

Principle 6: Capacity building – Develop the management and technical skills of employees to create better productivity, and opportunities, at the workplace.

Principle 7: Promotion of ‘good values’ – Promote the values of co-existence, and harmony among all stakeholders.

Principle 8: Environment – Use environmentally friendly raw materials, and production methods to safeguard nature.    

The above values are expected to be upheld by the relevant enterprises with continuous improvements.

Member exporters who wish to register to obtain the COC under this program are required to submit an application to the chamber, along with a declaration of their willingness to accept the eight principles outlined above.

Thereafter a technical team of the chamber reviews the self-evaluation declaration of the member applicant and the information provided. The technical team also conducts audits to determine the accuracy of the information provided and for greater clarification. The success of the evaluation process determines the initial decision of the chamber to award the COC, subject to final decision of the Management Committee of the chamber for formal certification. 

The initial certification is followed by a surveillance evaluation by the chamber based on a two-year certification cycle. Evaluation for re-certification is carried out in the second year prior to the expiration of the certificate.   

The chamber is also in the process of registering a ‘logo’ in respect of the certificate of conformity with the Intellectual Property Office.  The ‘certification logo’, an image of which is depicted, may be used by member enterprises in their advertising, and promotional material.

The benefits for member exporters who are successful in acquiring the COC are as follows:

  • Confirms the adherence of the enterprise to good trading practices.
  • Confirms ethical behaviour, and adherence to labour legislation and regulations, as well as environmental regulations.
  • Enables an enterprise to be competitive in international markets.
  • Serves to attract the attention of stakeholders in the international market place, and particularly buyers.
  • Enables to be the proud owner of a credible ‘Certificate of Value’ issued by the National Chamber of Exporters. 



Janet Lanka

Samson Rubber Products