Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality Declares 8 New National Standards

Eight new Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality criteria have been added to local products and services to safeguard consumers. The standards include: the labeling of pre-packaged foods, and tobacco products; grading requirements for table eggs; specification for poultry and poultry products; poultry feed and feed ingredients; specification for cement; general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories and requirements for quality and competence in medical laboratories.

The first six standards are adopted from CARICOM Regional Standards (CRS) and the latter two are adopted from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Minister of Financial Services and Local Government, the Hon. Hope Strachan, whose portfolio includes the BBSQ, said, April 24, 2017 in a press conference at the Ministry, that given the importance of imports to the Bahamian economy, these voluntary regional and international standards would ensure that imported goods meet minimum quality requirements to protect Bahamian consumers.

Minister Strachan also stated that the standards could serve to boost the country’s economy as they promote quality standards in the production of goods thereby facilitating greater access of Bahamian products on global markets.

“As we forge ahead to meet world standards in our local product offerings, it is incumbent on all of us in both the private and public sectors to pledge our commitment to promote superior quality to ensure that every effort is being made to reach or exceed world expectations,” said Minister Strachan.

She applauded the work of the bureau and the technical committees who volunteered their time and expertise in the development of the eight national standards.

Accordingly, Minister Strachan said that standardization also reduces trade barriers, enhances innovation and competitiveness and opens up foreign markets.

The standards were approved in April 2017 and will ensure that consumers receive the highest levels of quality in the local products they purchase.

Director of the Bahamas Bureau of Standards, Dr. Renae Bufford said that standardization plays a key role in innovation and economic growth. She said that embracing world standards is significant as it prepares a country’s entrepreneurs for the world market.

“Standardization is key to our success and has long been an important vehicle for innovation and economic development,” said Director Bufford.  “Standards assist us in the process of achieving and promoting a culture of quality and assurance to producers and consumers, for goods imported or manufactured locally.”

The BBSQ, by virtue of the Standards Act of 2006, is mandated to prepare, promote and adopt and implement standards from a national, regional and international basis for all goods, services, practices and processes used or produced locally.

Adopting and implementing standards establishes compliance with regional and international treaties such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and promotes access to procedural frameworks that are part of a stable, predictable trading environment.

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