Enabling Regional Policy Compliance Capacity in West Africa

In October and November, CLASP and the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) continued virtual discussions to introduce the regional Product Registration System—a database tool that will enable regional compliance collaboration within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and help accelerate the implementation of regionally harmonized policies for cooling products.

In October and November, CLASP and the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) continued virtual discussions to introduce the regional Product Registration System—a database tool that will enable regional compliance collaboration within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and help accelerate the implementation of regionally harmonized policies for cooling products.

In ECOWAS states, rapid economic growth is projected to drive a 205% increase in air conditioner sales by 2030, as compared to 2015 levels. The increased energy demand would cause an associated 7.6 GT CO2 emissions in the same time frame. ECREEEs regional energy efficiency strategy sets goals to remove the least efficient technologies from the market and avoid associated emissions. However, without proper enforcement, non-compliance can put the anticipated benefits of the policies at risk.

The Product Registration System (PRS) is a single, online portal that can streamline multiple steps of the compliance process:

  • Conformity Assessment: Suppliers can register products for sale on the West African market.
  • Customs Checks: Customs officers can verify whether products are authorized for market entry.
  • Market Surveillance: National market monitoring efforts can refer to the PRS for at-risk products and share results.
  • Enforcement: The PRS can reveal data trends on common locations of non-compliant products and the quantities in which they are sold.
  • Evaluation: Registration and surveillance data can demonstrate how compliance levels have evolved over time, market growth, trends in efficiency levels, etc.

As most West African countries import the vast majority of their cooling products, the PRS can serve customs authorities in mitigating the dumping of inefficient and obsolete appliances across borders. The ECOWAS PRS will enable member states to share registered appliance data, including model specifications, energy efficiency levels, and compliance data, across the region—enabling countries with frequent market inspections to create real-time alerts for non-compliant products that should be blocked from entry. Lower-resourced countries can leverage the shared data and respond to cases of noncompliance identified by other member states, reducing the need for investment in market monitoring and verification testing.

Similar tools are increasingly being implemented to this end in several regions and economic unions such as Australia and New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and the European Union.

CLASP and ECREEE

With support from the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program, and in collaboration with the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), CLASP has been supporting
the development of regional compliance capacity since 2018, focusing on institutional training for compliance officers and policymakers, as well as the distribution of best practices and tools suited for local contexts.

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