Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 12, 2021 (SKNIS): The Bureau of Standards Bill, 2021 is set not only to inspect goods and commodities at the border but also to address quality concerns by ensuring that a detailed label is provided on all goods and commodities.
In addressing the differences in quality of products between the United States and the Caribbean during the August 11 edition of ‘Working for You’, Director of St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards, Stuart Laplace, explained how that occurs.
“In the United States, you cannot restock an item on the shelf that is within 45 days of expiry which means if the item is on the shelf, it can go down to the expiry date before they take it off, but if you are going to restock that item, the date must be outside of the 45 day period,” Mr. Laplace said.
He stated that producers see the Caribbean, where the rules and regulations differ from that of the US, as a market to export those goods which fall within the 45 day period.
“They come here, and they are within expiry time, so of course they can go on the shelf because they are within the expiration date based on the parameters we have set here in the country,” he said.
“If you are exporting something to St. Kitts as a producer and you recognize that St. Kitts has not posted any notification suggesting that we have any regulation on fish etc. it is free game to send anything here and we as the Bureau of Standards do not have the authority as it relates to trade to stop it,” Director Laplace added.
The Bureau of Standards Bill, 2021, which was introduced and had its first reading in the National Assembly on August 5, 2021, is a Bill to provide for the preparation, promotion, and implementation of standards and standard related activities in relation to commodities, goods, services, processes, and practices and to ensure quality through compliance with technical regulations where relevant, by the establishment and operation of a Bureau of Standards to define the powers and functions of the Bureau of Standards; to provide for transitional provisions and for incidental matters.
The Bill will provide a layer of protection against certain goods entering the country as well as ensuring the protection of the consumer or users against danger to health or safety, fraud, misrepresentation, and deception arising from misleading advertising or labelling.