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St. Kitts & Nevis Focussed on Maintaining Momentum after Conformity Assessment events

Conformity assessment was the recent focus of three intensive days of activities in St. Kitts and Nevis, when the St. Kitts & Nevis Bureau of Standards, together with the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality (CROSQ), hosted a national meeting and a three-day workshop.

The half-day national meeting held in the Conference Room of the Department of Agriculture, La Guerite, was attended by approximately 30 stakeholders, and was addressed by Acting Executive Director of the SKNBS, Mr. Hiram Williams; Technical Officer – Accreditation & Conformity Assessment, CROSQ, Mr. Trumel Redmond; and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Mr. Charleton Edwards.

In welcoming participants to the meeting and workshop, Mr. Williams indicated, “It is timely for us to have this National Meeting and Workshop that will provide participants with an awareness and understanding of the benefits of conformity assessment systems for facilitating trade.”

He further encouraged persons to “take advantage and make the best use of the training activities that are designed to make them more efficient and competitive in the delivery of their products and services”. He also acknowledged the support of Mr. Edwards, and the Hon. Richard Skerritt, Minister of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Conformity assessment is the process used to demonstrate that a product, process, person, service or body fulfils identified requirements. Mr. Redmond indicated that, “Conformity assessment is necessary to ensure products perform the way we expect them to perform. It ensures services are carried out by qualified, competent, reliable persons or organisations and that products are safe and fit for purpose.”

 “As one of the implementing partners of the Technical Barriers to Trade project of the 10th European Development Fund programme, CROSQ is seeking the involvement of stakeholders in the development of a regional certification and wider conformity assessment framework,” he added.

The meeting gave participants an opportunity to provide input for the development of the framework, and heartened by the keen interest shown by participants, Mr. Edwards encouraged those participating in the workshop to ensure that what was learnt at the workshop would be used for positive development of the economy.

He said, “We ought to ensure that we continue to maintain the momentum that we have achieved to date with respect to manufacturing but there are other areas we want to see some further development. We need to ensure that there is continued growth, continued increase in competitiveness because the global economy is no longer a small economy but therefore the global economy is our economy and we must be able to participate and make sure that we can benefit from globalization and don’t be afraid of globalization.”

The three-day workshop from October 8 to 10, focussed on the ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 15189 standards which provide requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, and medical laboratories respectively.

Participants included representatives from the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs, Nevis; Department of Agriculture, Nevis; veterinary services; Fahies Agricultural Women’s Cooperative Society; Environmental Health Department; St. Kitts Dairies Ltd.; CFB College; Ross University; University of Medicine and Health Sciences; Department of Coops; Sun Island Clothes; Kajola-Kristada Ltd.; and the St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards.