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Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality now fully WTO compliant

The Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality (BBSQ) is now fully World Trade Organization (WTO) compliant and has just completed its first three-year strategic plan, ending with an 80 percent achievement rate with all targeted input indicators, BBSQ Director Dr. Renee Ferguson-Bufford revealed yesterday.

Ferguson-Bufford explained that the BBSQ has now embarked on its legal metrology program, which has allowed it to begin to earn money by providing legal metrology services to the private sector.

She said BBSQ has done mass metrology calibrations, including temperature metrology calibrations, and has on order a new 40-foot laboratory container.

“We have done tremendously well given that we are in our most embryonic phase of development, as the very last member state of CARICOM to be coming out of the gate,” said Ferguson-Bufford.

According to her, four BBSQ staff members will be training in St. Lucia this year with the British Standards Institution.

BBSQ is expected to have its requisite legislation updated this year, Ferguson-Bufford said, adding that she hopes to have it tabled in Parliament soon. The updates will ensure WTO compliance and technical barriers to trade, both a necessary part of this country’s accession to WTO.

Ferguson-Bufford said as BBSQ continues to grow and take on responsibilities on the Family Islands it will have to modify its strategic agenda and look at the funding and resources in place.

“Legal metrology is one of the biggest bread and butters for us,” she said. “We are mandated by the government to regulate all weights and measurement activities in The Bahamas, so that is a herculean task within itself, so we do need to expand the inspectorate area of the bureau and that will definitely generate a lot of funding.

“We have already serviced the entire New Providence in legal metrology…verification of the fuel pumps, ensuring equity for trade at all of the gas stations. We have also serviced all of the local grocery stores, all of the hospitals and ports, and will expand to all the Family Islands.”

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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