CARICOM May Need Moral Suasion for Energy Efficiency Building Codes Featured
by Jewel Fraser of Inter Press Service News Agency Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states are in the process of formulating an energy efficiency building code for the region that would help reduce CO2 emissions, but implementation of the code may depend heavily on moral suasion for its success. Fulgence St. Prix, technical officer for standards at CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) who is overseeing the Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code (REEBC), told IPS, “When we at the regional level propose a standard or code it’s meant to be voluntary…We do not have the mechanism to dictate to member states to make any standard the subject of a technical regulation thus making implementation mandatory.” In keeping with WTO guidelines, he said, “A standard is a voluntary document. You cannot force any member state to implement any one standard.” The decision as to whether to implement the REEBC, therefore, rests with member states. The REEBC project was officially launched at a meeting in Jamaica at the end of March. This followed consultations over several months by a Regional Project Team comprising representatives from some of the Caricom member states, as well as regional architects, engineers, builders and electricians, on the…

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Acting Director of GDBS, Mr. Robert Medford (right) poses with Mr. Clifford Bridgeman (left) who accepted for Mr. Walter Charles, and Mr. Benjamin Romain of BIG MAC Enterprises, recipients of interim export licences. Featured
St. George’s, GRENADA -- On February 9, 2017, two (2) exporters of fresh produce received interim licences, allowing them to export fresh produce before obtaining their official Exportation of Fresh Produce Licence. The exporters are Walter Charles and Big Mac Enterprises operating at Soubise, St. Andrew’s and Calliste, St. George’s, respectively. The Exportation of Fresh Produce Act was relaunched on October 6, 2016 with a consultation between the Grenada Bureau of Standards (GDBS) and the exporters of fresh produce (vegetables, fruits, nuts, ground provisions, root crops, flowers and other plant materials). Since then, nine (9) exporters have applied to the Grenada Bureau of Standards for the said licence, which allows exportation to regional and/or international markets. The interim licence allows the exporters six (6) months from date of issuance to meet all requirements as outlined in the relevant standard and the Exportation of Fresh Produce Act. No. 28 of 1998. Full compliance to the Act will result in the issuance of an Exportation of Fresh Produce Licence, which will be valid for one year from the date of issue. An interim licence suggests that the exporter has met the main requirements of good management and agricultural practices and that the…

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An investment in Quality is always a positive step for any country. In addition to saving money in the long run, it is also a step towards sustainability for that country, and in the context of the Caribbean this can extend to the Region as a whole. It is for this reason that the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality (CROSQ) is celebrating this World Quality Month withthe National Certification Body of Jamaica, and the rest of the Region, under the theme Save Money, Invest In Quality. CROSQ believes that a focus on quality by any country supports sustainable development through nurturing and promoting higher levels of productivity and innovation, with a greater commitment to export trade competitiveness as well as consumer health and safety and environmental protection. Thus naturally, the development of an internationally-recognised and demand-oriented quality infrastructure in trade,encourages adrive towards a culture of quality consciousness within a country and its people. Development of Quality Infrastructure, that is the implementation of standards, improvements in systems of measurement, and the utilization of accredited testing, certification and inspection systems and services, can have a progressive effect on any society. It provides the boost to the economy by aiding state…

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The development of metrology in the Caribbean has generally been adversely impacted by many of the specific social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities associated with their characterization as Small Island Developing States (SIDS). More specifically, in many countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), whilst recognized by some of the major industries, metrology is often not high on the list of priorities for policy makers, and, is still more or less unknown to the majority of citizens, due in the main to the lack of awareness and appreciation of the impact of measurement science on their lives. Also, in addition to the limiting cross cutting theme of finance, many National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) are faced with the challenges of limited human and customer capital, weak regional transportation modalities, public misperception and the lack of suitable laboratory infrastructure. In order to address these challenges, the CARICOM NMIs have unified within the framework of CARIMET, the Caribbean sub-region of the Inter-American Metrology System (SIM) to pool assets and develop regional mechanisms to address the measurement demands across the region. Read More (PDF)
•	From left: Programme Coordinator with CROSQ’s 10th EDF-TBT Programme, Ms. Karlene Russell and IICA’s Representative, Mrs. Ena Harvey in conversation with the EU’s Regional Cooperation and Trade Support Team Leader, Mr. Luca Pierantoni at the Opening of the 2nd CANCAB Meeting in Barbados. Featured
The establishment of the first public/private sector network to oversee issues of quality assurance for testing, inspection and certification bodies, has been described by a top European Union official as a positive and necessary step in the Caribbean. Speaking at the opening of the Second Meeting of Caribbean Network of Conformity Assessment Bodies (CANCAB), held from November 17-18, 2016, at Accra Beach Resort in Barbados, the EU’s Team Leader for Regional Cooperation, Mr. Luca Pierantoni noted that with its formation the body could address two challenges – ensuring consumer protection and facilitating trade. “[We] care because we are all consumers . . . So it is a chain in a way and this is why there is a particular importance of conformity assessment, of specification, all along the path of the chain of production. “The second [it addresses] is obviously trade, and this is particularly crucial in the region, and this is also the reason why we are supporting this in the framework of the work that we do in terms of assistance for the implementation of the Economic Partnership-Agreement, which was signed as you know in 2008 and which is under implementation now,” said Mr. Pierantoni. The Meeting was…

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The unveiling of the Guyana National Quality Awards logo at the launch of the inaugural Awards there. Featured
Businesses in Guyana will now have the opportunity to vie to be the dubbed the best in quality products and services in the country. That’s because the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) recently launched a National Quality Awards Programme, with the sole aim of recognising businesses that have “demonstrated commitment towards Quality by implementing recognised standards and best practices”. This will be based on a comprehensive assessment using pre-established criteria under the Quality Awards Scheme. With this launch, the bureau, which is the main agency for the development of quality infrastructure in the country, is hoping to promote a quality of culture in Guyana; enhance business efficiency and effectiveness through usage of recognised quality services; strengthen stakeholder engagement with the bureau; create public awareness on the importance of quality in goods and services and increasing the production of such quality while increasing regional and international competitiveness among businesses. Executive Director of the Bureau, Mrs. Candelle Walcott-Bostwick told the audience, including the business sector, “At the GNBS, and also through CROSQ (CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality), it is an initiative to recognise businesses and also to encourage our local businesses to embrace standards and quality.” She added: “Moreso,…

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From left: Chairman of CROSQ, Mr. Jose Trejo; ISO Acting Secretary General, Mr. Kevin McKinley; Minister of Financial Services and Local Government, Mrs. Hope Strachan; Prime Minister Mr. Perry Christie; Minister of Trade, Montserrat, Mr. Claude Graham; Director of BBSQ, Dr. Renae Ferguson-Bufford and CEO CROSQ, Mr. Deryck Omar share a moment at the opening of the new Bahamas Bureau of Standards & Quality. Featured
With a primary focus on increasing exports out of The Bahamas, the Government there has just launched the newest standards organisation in the region – The Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality (BBSQ). As the country rang in its 43rd anniversary of Independence, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr. Perry Christie, noted they indeed had a lot to celebrate, including the establishment of the bureau. “As a Government, we hold that the formulation and maintenance of standards and quality by BBSQ is essential, not optional; it is a necessary and well-considered strategy. It is a primary plank in my government’s plan to expand national development through trade, primarily through increased exports of Bahamian goods and services and access into new markets. The Bureau is also important in terms of local consumer protection,” the Prime Minister noted in recognition of the achievement. He further extolled: “The ultimate objective is to enhance the quality of life for the Bahamian people for the long term.” His sentiments were echoed by the Minister of Financial Services and Local Government, Mrs. Hope Strachan, whose portfolio has primary responsibility for the bureau. She too noted the need for standards and a focus on quality in…

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CROSQ CEO Mr Deryck Omar speaking to media after the opening of the workshop. Featured
Energy security and the efficiency of use of energy in the buildings of CARICOM is the focus of a three-day workshop in Grenada from July 13-15, 2016. The regional workshop on Energy Efficiency Standards and Regulations brought together over 40 experts from the 15 Member States of CARICOM to examine two key objectives: the establishment of benchmarks for the energy performance of buildings in the form of agreed Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPs), and the provision of a firm basis for the development of a Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code (REEBC). CEO of the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), Mr. Deryck Omar remarked that the organisation’s directive to develop energy efficiency standards for appliances and buildings was one handed down by the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in 2013. Such a directive was embraced by CROSQ which committed to the development of the REEBC. “We also recognise the importance of development of standards for energy efficiency and renewable energy as it enables us as a region to meet our obligations under international agreements, meeting millennium goals and reducing carbon foot print; as well as relieving pressure on our governments as it relates economic transformation, providing…

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ABBS' Director, Mrs. Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues in the ISO Focus Magazine. Featured
Services are the largest component of both developed and developing country economies and constitute major inputs into the production of most “tangible” goods. This wasn’t the case only a few decades ago, when a proposal to bring services into the multilateral trading system was met with opposition, with many countries worried about “rules” undermining their ability to pursue national policy objectives and constraining their regulatory powers. The creation of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), however, proved to be a landmark achievement by allowing “a high degree of flexibility within the framework of the rules and market access commitments”. The industrial sector is no longer leading growth; services are now recognized as a swifter and more lucrative alternative. The economy of Antigua and Barbuda – like that of many small island developing states – is services-driven. Tourism and tourism-related services are responsible for 85% of all foreign exchange earnings and account for over two-thirds of GDP. In its efforts to galvanize economic development, the government is pursuing investment in niche markets, including but not limited to tourism, international financial services, offshore education, and information and communication technologies. These are some of the fastest-growing and most rapidly changing service…

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From left: ISO Acting Secretary General, Mr. Kevin McKinley; BNSI Director, Mrs. Anthea Ishmael and CROSQ CEO Mr. Deryck Omar addressing the media at the CEO Forum in Barbados. Featured
The CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) is on a thrust to make quality a way of life in the region. CEO of CROSQ, Mr. Deryck Omar made this clear as he addressed media yesterday during a break at a forum of directors of standards bureaux in CARICOM. Remarking on the challenges identified by some directors in the development of standards, the CEO remarked that this was one of the reasons behind the current drafting of a Regional Quality Policy for CARICOM. “At the regional level the 15 CEOs of the Bureaux of Standards have gotten together and we are basically writing a regional constitutional document on what quality consciousness is all about and how to foster and promote a quality culture in the Caribbean region. We have that document in draft form and we are currently developing that and once we get that approved we would want to distribute that widely through the region, and that will be a Regional Quality Policy approved by policymakers as to what we believe quality is,” he said at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) CEO Forum being held at Courtyard by Marriott in Barbados from July 4 to 6, 2016.…

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International accreditation consultant, Mr. Pat Paladino said governments and businesses needed to support CROSQ if the work in quality was to progress. Featured
If the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality (CROSQ) is to press ahead to aid the development of quality goods and services across the region that trade and compete internationally, regional governments and businesses need to play their part. That was the view of accreditation expert, Mr. Pat Paladino, as he addressed a symposium to mark World Accreditation Day in Guyana this week. Mr. Paladino, addressing an audience that included Minister of Business, Mr. Dominic Gaskin, regional leaders in quality infrastructure development, as well as regulators and private sector business leaders, acknowledged the role that the two major accreditations in Guyana; one in Jamaica and one in Grenada utilising CROSQ’s Caribbean Cooperation for Accreditation (CCA) Scheme, had played in pushing quality to the forefront of discussion. He also highlighted the Caribbean Network of Conformity Assessment Bodies (CANCAB) another programme created by CROSQ to assist the development of the region’s conformity assessment bodies, namely the inspection, testing and certification entities within both the private and public sector. Additionally, said the international accreditation expert, the National Standards Bodies of Belize, Suriname and Jamaica, had all been certified to the ISO 9001 quality management system, with the assistance of CROSQ, but all…

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Alzheimer’s Association President, Mrs. Pamelia Brereton (centre) accepts the donation from Mrs. Maureen Carrington and Mr. Mohan Nandwani of CROSQ. Featured
The Yes We Care Programme of the Baobab Towers was in a giving mood in May, when it made a monetary donation to the Barbados Alzheimer’s Association. President of the Association, Mrs. Pamelia Brereton, who accepted the cheque on behalf of the cause from the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), a regional organisation on the Second Floor of the Towers, noted she was particularly grateful for the gift. She said times were hard and especially so for charitable organisations which were struggling to find sources of funds for various projects. “We greatly appreciate it because things are not as easy as it seems out there and we appreciate anyone and everyone that comes forward to assist the association. We have big dreams but little money, but the organisation will continue because it means so much to me personally. When you have had or seen the situations, that is the only time you understand why people push so hard,” she said. While noting that this particular donation had not been directed at any particular project, she reminded that there were two ongoing ones of key importance to the association. “We are still struggling to make money for the…

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