The Importance Of Conformity Assessment To Trade

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A government official has underscored the need for local businesses to implement procedures that verified the quality of goods in keeping with overseas international standards.

Chief Technical Officer (Laboratory Services) at the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI), Hadyn Rhynd, intimated this recently while making a presentation on Conformity Assessment and Trade, at a BNSI/CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality seminar at the Warrens Office Complex.

In highlighting the importance of Conformity Assessment (CA), he explained that there were procedures used for gauging whether products, services, materials, processes, systems and personnel were in line with the requirements of standards, regulations or other specifications.

???? Mr. Rhynd also said that the CA also benefitted manufacturers, service providers, consumers and regulators, and supported sustainable development.

Given its significance to trade, he pointed out that: "the objective of Conformity Assessment is to provide the parties with sufficient trust and confidence in the product or service to enable profitable trade and to protect consumers."

He further stated: "CA offers the opportunity for consumers and regulators to gain confidence in their products and services offered by suppliers and to differentiate between these.?? Thus, CA is a way for legitimate suppliers to build confidence in their products or services and differentiate themselves from competitors…"

Mr. Rhynd also outlined the key elements of CA.?? These include: standards and regulations which provided the baseline for assessment; inspection of products, materials, plant processes and work procedures to ensure safety in business or plant operations; testing and certification by a third party in accordance with the ISO Guide 65 standard.?? He also suggested that testing laboratories be accredited to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard.

He conceded that the CA was a key element in building and maintaining a country’s national quality infrastructure and advancing its social and economic progress through access to markets worldwide.

jwilson@barbados.gov.bb

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