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The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), during the 2007/08 fiscal year, will continue to formulate, promote and implement standards for goods and services through a review of the Standards Act, the Processed Food Act and the Weights and Measures Act.
As contained in a Ministry Paper, which was tabled in the House of Representatives last week by Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce Minister, Phillip Paulwell during his contribution to the 2007/2008 Sectoral Debate, the Bureau also intends to develop and participate in international programmes and activities based on a number of new and existing technical co-operation agreements.
Additionally, the Paper notes that the Bureau will also seek to continue its target monitoring programme to ensure that importers and retailers are aware of the regulations to which they should adhere, thus helping them to be more compliant. The sectors to be targeted are appliances, electronics, food, clothing and footwear, as well as paper products.
The Ministry Paper also cites the achievements and performance of the Bureau for the fiscal year 2006/07, including the launch of the 3rd National Quality Awards (NQA) programme.
The awards programme, which was developed by the BSJ as part of its standards monitoring and promotion programmes, was part of a national initiative to promote the international competitiveness of Jamaican products and services as well as create a national medium for business excellence.
Sherwin Williams Limited was the recipient of last year’s National Quality Award for Excellence in manufacturing, while Sandals Royal Caribbean received the award for excellence in service. The NQA for Excellence in the small business sector was awarded to Indies Pharma Jamaica Limited.
During the last fiscal year a Gas Pump Certification Programme was launched. The programme was designed to monitor the volumetric delivery of products from gas pumps, thus ensuring that the amount dispensed from pumps is in agreement with the indicated meter reading. Inspections were conducted every six months.
To date approximately 96 per cent of all gas pumps islandwide have been tested and certified by the BSJ.
The BSJ also embarked on the certification of agricultural produce (CAP) programme. According to the Paper, this programme was developed to facilitate Jamaica’s ability to compete globally in the trading of agricultural produce and to increase the level of acceptance and consumption in the local markets.
It was also designed to ensure that farmers apply the necessary quality and environmental standards and safety regulations in the cultivation of crops using the required principles of science, technology and standards.
During the period under review, farmers received seedlings, water tanks and fertilizers and participated in training seminars. Some 17 farmers were presented with certificates of participation, while another 13 were presented with provisional licences to use the CAP mark for one year.
The mission of the BSJ is to promote the international competitiveness of Jamaican products, facilitate trade and protect consumers by providing standardization, metrology and regulatory services.