The Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship is on the cusp of enacting comprehensive metrology regulations to repeal the existing Weights and Measures Act, replacing it with a new Barbados National Metrology Bill.
Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Kerrie Symmonds, speaking on Monday during a stakeholders’ sensitisation forum on the Bill via Zoom, said the new legislation is an important step to modernising the economy and enhancing the island’s export potential.
He told the forum that the new Bill would pave the way for accurate measurements “throughout and across all sectors, all industries and across all forms of endeavour in Barbados, in order to increase capacity with regards to international trade”.
Minister Symmonds said: “It is only by having an international harmonised system of measurements that products can be standardised and countries can trade in a way to ensure fairness to both the seller and the buyer, and that issue of fairness is absolutely critical…with regard to this piece of legislation.”
The Minister underscored the importance of precise measurements and products that meet international standards and regulations that satisfied the expectations of clients, adding that an understanding of these linkages made it easier to meet the expectations of customers and penetrate markets.
He said the soon to be enacted metrology legislation formed part of this country’s national quality infrastructure and pointed out that the solution to this island’s economic problems was hinged on enhancing the industrial and export activity of this country.
“This is only possible if the quality of Barbados’ goods and services is so improved as to meet international standards and remain cost competitive in the national and export markets,” Symmonds underlined.
“Government is also endeavouring to implement a national quality policy which is expected to facilitate Barbados’ access to the global market and enhance the competitiveness of its goods and services. The policy is expected to be based on a number of things, but most importantly, the development of the current international trends, the local situation and the benefits from the re-engineering of the national quality infrastructure and the technical regulations regime that must come along with it,” he added.
The Energy Minister noted that recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic was key and any national strategy must be crafted with a view to building vibrant trade facilitation within the economy, and then having the capacity to enhance Barbados’ international competitiveness across global markets.
“This refers to a strategy that is strongly supported by a framework of international metrology systems that provide the necessary assurances and confidence that measurements we undertake in Barbados are accurate,” he said.
Symmonds congratulated officials from the Barbados National Standards Institution, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality for being instrumental in the development of the draft Barbados Metrology Bill.