Creating benchmark for quality and integrity

Hakan Sebükcebe, Managing Director Middle East, SGS
Hakan Sebükcebe, Managing Director Middle East, SGS

Hakan Sebükcebe, Managing Director Middle East at SGS, speaks about the company’s multiple initiatives and contributions to ensure consumer safety and trade facilitation in the region

Published: Sun 18 Jul 2021, 11:41 AM

As the UAE has been very swift and shown its resilience in combatting the pandemic, what has been your involvement as a compliance organisation in this direction?

At SGS, we have been aligned with the vision of the UAE government and its commitment to the community. Residents safety undoubtedly takes centrestage. In line with the various initiatives of the local government, we have been contributing to the UAE community by ensuring business continuity and providing testing support throughout.

We have developed a dedicated state-of-art Covid-19 laboratory — one of the first in the region to be accredited by the Emirates National Accreditation System (ENAS) for SARS-Covid-19 RT-PCR testing for environmental swabs to ensure that business premises and facilities are free from any possible infection.

We have also been supporting and facilitating trade and business in the UAE with disinfection efficacy services and specialised onsite verification services. These reinforce both consumer and business confidence to reopen and get back to normal with all the necessary protocols in place.

What is your opinion about consumer safety and quality in the region?

Trade facilitation and consumer safety arguably remain of paramount importance and at the centre of all our activities. We ensure the protection of businesses by ensuring compliance and following our code of integrity, thereby delivering safer products to consumers at home and work.

SGS has been working closely with the regional government statutory authorities like Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA), Abu Dhabi Quality & Conformity Council (ADQCC), GCC Standardization Organization (GSO), Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) etc. as notified bodies/ approved certification bodies to conduct reviews, audits and certification under several product and shipment schemes. These are regulatory mandates to be complied with as per the regional and international product and consumer safety technical regulations and standards.

On the note of Halal certification, which resonates with the region, SGS Gulf Ltd is accredited by the GCC Accreditation Center (GAC) according to GSO.2055-2 to facilitate Halal certification for the widest range of products and services in the region. We are an approved certification body in the region for Halal certification with ESMA, Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) and Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA).

How is SGS investing in people and infrastructure to develop UAE as a centre of excellence in the region?

SGS has been consistently investing in the latest technologies in the field of product testing like the Next Generation DNA sequencing (NGS), GMO screening and pesticide minimum residue limit (MRL) to mitigate risks and enhance product safety in the region, especially regarding food products. All our laboratories are equipped with advanced capabilities accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 to support the industry in monitoring quality compliance.

At SGS, people remain the true strength behind our initiatives and activities. We are a team with a diverse skillset and from different ethnic backgrounds who are subject matter experts in their corresponding domains and who consistently go the extra mile to ensure their commitment to SGS every day.

How is SGS supporting businesses in the growing digital marketplaces and e-commerce space?

SGS Gulf offers a unique integration of conventional service matrix and value-added services supporting the bustling and booming e-commerce space and digital marketplace. In understanding the complexities and dynamics of the digital trade space — both B2B and B2C — quite honestly, we have been the driving force to ensure the products traded and sold are compliant and verified each day and keep our focus on the consumer.

Another leading-edge innovation is the subscription-based Digi Comply tool, which aims to simplify single window access to regulatory information, technical standards etc. internationally and regionally to enable subscribers to make more informed decisions and planning their trade.

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