An ABBS staff member demonstrating one of the steps in the verification process. (Photo supplied by ABBS) Featured
The Antigua and Barbuda Bureau of Standards (ABBS) has officially launched its fuel pump verification programme, thereby joining the ranks of some other CROSQ Member States. In April this year, the Metrology Act came into effect and the Bureau of Standards proposed its first steps for implementation of the Act to be the establishment of a national Fuel Pump Verification Service. At the launch of the programme a few months later, Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Standards Council, Mr. Cottrille George said: “This journey for developing the nation’s quality infrastructure employs metrology or measurement science as one of the main vehicles for promoting fairness and equity in trade, business excellence and consumer confidence. “It is for this reason that we celebrated the proclamation of the Metrology Act in April this year. This Act gives credence to the Bureau’s mandate to ensure the accuracy of weighing and measuring instruments used in trade. The practice of checking, because it is mandated by law, is known as legal Metrology, and will soon become a regular consideration and /or characteristic of any form of business for which earnings or profit are derived from measurements based activities.” The journey to this stage involved Bureau…

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CROSQ Technical Officer, Metrology, Mr. David Tomlinson presenting at the Energy Sensitization Workshop for the R3E Project. Featured
07 December 2017

CROSQ Talking Energy

A major aspect to the recent 31st Meeting of the Council of CROSQ, in St. Kitts and Nevis was a half-day sensitization seminar on the ground-breaking efforts CROSQ has initialised in the area of energy, with joint-venture support from the CARICOM Secretariat’s Energy Unit. The workshop, which took place on the first day of the two day CROSQ Council meeting, focused strictly on the increasing energy portfolio of the CROSQ network – namely the Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code (REEBC) Project, which is partnered with the GIZ-REETA programme (German Development Agency, Renewable Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance programme); and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (R3E) Project, which is funded by the German National Metrology Institute (PTB). Technical Officer, Communication and Information, Ms. Latoya Burnham, who conceptualised the seminar, along with other technical staff of the CROSQ Secretariat explained that the key objective was awareness. “The main things we wanted our directors to walk away with were – an understanding of the progress made thus far with our energy projects; what the next steps would be, and what would be needed in terms of collaborations and cooperation to make our outcomes successful. Primary among all this of course, was to also…

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New CROSQ Chairperson, Dr. Renae Ferguson-Bufford Featured
There is a new chairperson at the helm of the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ). Dr. Renae Ferguson-Bufford, who is also Director of the Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality (BBSQ), was selected to office during the 31st Meeting of the Council of CROSQ, held in St. Kitts and Nevis in October. She takes over the reins from outgoing chairman, Mr. Jose Trejo, Director of the Belize Bureau of Standards. In her incoming remarks, Dr. Ferguson-Bufford underscored her satisfaction with the work the CROSQ network of standards, metrology, accreditation and conformity assessment bodies has been engaged in over the years and her willingness to work through the CROSQ Secretariat to continue the work. “I would really like to thank the CROSQ Council for the faith it has placed in me to take on this mantle of leadership. I know this is a great responsibility to lead the network of bureaux and I promise to strive to do what I can to ensure that the success we have enjoyed under past leaders continues. I would like to also thank our past directors who have led this body of agencies for the work they have done and the path…

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CROSQ Secretariat and National Standards Bureaux from across the Caribbean discussing the 10th EDF-TBT Programme highlights in a regional video conference media event. Featured
The 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Programme has been deemed a success by its partners and stakeholders. Concluded at the end of March 2017, the programme whose aim was to enhance the services of Quality Infrastructure within CARIFORUM countries to facilitate the smoother operations of trade, was centred around the development and equivalence of standards among Member States; development of metrology (science of measurement) services; the accreditation of laboratories and the development and implementation of testing, inspection and certification bodies and services, as well as the boost of awareness and information sharing. The programme was managed by the German National Metrology Institute (PTB) and implemented by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and the Dominican Institute for Quality (INDOCAL) in the Dominican Republic. Project Coordinator with CROSQ, Ms. Karlene Russell noted that it was a very successful implementation at a rate, as of mid-March, approaching 90 per cent completion. “The main elements of the TBT Programme included capacity building in all areas of Quality Infrastructure. We also looked at international recognition of national and regional quality institutions, as well as regional harmonisation and equivalency, specifically related to standards development, and of course…

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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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