Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 11, 2021 (SKNBS): The Bureau of Standards Bill, 2021, which was read for the first time in the National Assembly on August 05, 2021, is significant as it sets the foundation for a National Quality Infrastructure (NQI).

An NQI is a national framework that guides the production of local goods and services based on agreed standards that follow international benchmarks.

As the bill addresses the NQI, it speaks on matters such as standardization, accreditation, metrology, and conformity assessment (testing, inspection, and certification).

The Bill allows for inspection of goods and commodities at the border. It also permits the inspection of establishments that sell goods and commodities in the country. Such inspection may include checking for labels as well as testing of commodities to ensure they conform to certain regulations.

The Bill was moved by the Honourable Minister Eugene Hamilton, in the absence of the Minister of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Honourable Senator Wendy Phipps.  It was seconded by the Honourable Attorney General Vincent Byron.

It 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 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.