Minister of State in the Ministry of Business Development, Sandra Husbands and BNSI Chairman, Ryan R. Brathwaite cut the ribbon to officially open the BNSI National Metrology Laboratory, at Culloden Road yesterday. Looking on (l-r) are BNSI Director (Ag), Hadyn Rhynd; Chief Executive Officer, CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality, Deryck Omar; EU Ambassador to Barbados, Malgorzata Wasilewska; and Director of the Projects Department, Caribbean Development Bank, Daniel Best. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Government is on the cusp of enacting a comprehensive National Metrology Act.

This disclosure came from Minister of State in the Ministry of Business Development, Sandra Husbands, as she delivered the feature address at the commissioning ceremony for the Barbados National Standards Institution’s (BNSI) National Metrology Laboratory, at Culloden Road, St. Michael, yesterday.

Ms. Husbands said the Act would embrace all aspects of metrology, thereby harmonising Barbados’ legislative and strategic plans with those in the international arena. “It will provide the legal framework for the development of Barbados’ metrology system….

“A main objective of the upcoming Act is the facilitation of fair trade through harmonised written standards, consistent measurement standards and internationally accepted certificates. Such a certificate would allow for an instrument that specifies ‘tested and approved for use in Barbados’, to be sold and used in another country without any further technical inspection,” she told her audience.

The Minister noted that metrology systems were playing an increasingly critical role in Barbados’ decision making and she was heartened to see the advances the BNSI had made in the steps towards building internationally recognised capacity.

She pointed out that upgrades to the metrology services provided by the BNSI would support the anticipated building boom throughout this sector, and give confidence to the start of multiple public and private sector projects, which were expected to commence, with planning approvals. 

Ms. Husbands said the maintenance of acceptable standards and an advanced quality infrastructure was crucial for Barbados and countries across the globe to maintain the highest quality of products and services.  

She added that this required the forging of a strong partnership between Government and the private sector in maintaining a modern and internationally accepted framework of relevant policies, legislation, regulations and practices that support and enhance the quality, safety and environmental trustworthiness of goods and services produced.

“The Ministry of Energy and Business Development, through the BNSI, has made recommendations with respect to the implementation of a National Quality Policy for Barbados, which was developed to improve the competitiveness of Barbados’ goods and services, and to use the application of a National Quality Infrastructure that would support the economic, social, environmental and sustainable development of the country.

“The National Quality Policy will also provide the institutional framework needed for the implementation of quality initiatives in virtually all segments of the Barbadian society,” Ms. Husbands said.

She proffered the view that in today’s competitive environment, the deployment of quality and standards in production was the best competitive strategy, which, if embraced, would allow for increased quality awareness in production and increased national productivity.

“This strategy will position Barbados, not only to be compliant with international requirements, but to become a fully integrated, competitive international trading partner that would exploit numerous opportunities that present themselves,” the Minister explained.

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