Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020
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Standards bureau reveals successes from European regional financing

The national standards bureaus within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) yesterday brought highlights of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Technical Barriers to Trade Programme through video conferencing to the office of the Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality (BBSQ).

The video conferencing equipment was given to the BBSQ as part of EDF financing in order to assist the office with reaching regional counterparts, as well as local businesses, in order to carry out its services across the country and the region.

BBSQ Director Renae Bufford told the CARICOM Secretariat and other standards bureaus throughout the Caribbean through the video conferencing equipment, that the EDF has assisted The Bahamas greatly in advancing the implementation of the BBSQ’s services and in acquiring equipment.

“The funding has been used for capacity building in all of the member states,” said Bufford.

“The Bahamas has received tremendous equipment, particularly for our legal metrology team, and the equipment (video conferencing) we’re utilizing today to bring awareness to the country as a whole.”

She added that with the assistance of the EDF and the CARICOM Secretariat, the BBSQ has made strides in preparing for the accreditation of laboratories in the country, has adopted eight national standards, fast-tracked several international standards and mobilized its metrology team to begin offering those services to businesses.

“It’s important for us to be able to harmonize our efforts within the region and with the international market, so we can benefit from programs like these, so that we don’t necessarily have to come out of our resources and out of pocket, so that we can benefit and receive a lot of technical assistance,” said Bufford.

While the BBSQ is responsible for developing a framework and carrying out measurements, it will not act as a regulatory body. Bufford said the BBSQ and sector-specific regulatory bodies will have to come together to properly enforce best practices across the country, in order to prepare for and facilitate international trade under the European Partnership Agreement.

“We really need to streamline our efficiencies with the regulatory bodies, with customs and with health services,” she said.

“We hope in the coming months we can meet at the table and begin to understand what each of our jobs are, and how we can learn to harmonize and cooperate and not compete and not duplicate, but learn to smooth our efficiencies and work properly in this country to the benefit of all Bahamians.”


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