Updated Standards Act to govern the GNBS
GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, January 26, 2017
The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) which is under the purview of the Ministry of Business has completed the review and inclusion of proposed amendments to the legislation that mandates its functions.
The GNBS gathered comments and inputs from stakeholders from the public and private sectors when it conducted a public consultation at the National Library in Georgetown recently. Importers, manufacturers, regulators and consumers participated in the session to provide their comments and inputs in relation to the mended Act.
Executive Director of the GNBS, Candelle Walcott-Bostwick said that the updating of this Act was necessary to establish a modernised framework for the operation of the GNBS, which would have evolved over the years to meet the needs of industry, consumers and government.
The updated Act provides a framework for standardisation in a global and diverse environment. Walcott–Bostwick pointed out that, “For Guyana to meet international trade agreements, it was imperative that the GNBS as the National Standards Body adopt modern strategies and best practices to move Guyana in the direction of economic prosperity”.
Walcott–Bostwick pointed out that, “The GNBS will develop a scheme to certify local products, provide audit service to companies, provide consultancy services, assesses the competence of quality practitioners, facilitate the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies and be the custodians of standards for weights and measures for Guyana”.
GNBS Head of Marketing and Communications (AG), Lloyd David said that through its legal consultant, work commenced in 2012 to review the Standards Act of 1984 and its Amendment of 1997 to make the legislation more supportive to the services provided by the National Standards body, to facilitate business growth and development and to ensure that the public is protected from sub-standard products and services.
David said that with “crucial changes, the proposed amendments to the legislation will address new developments which have occurred regionally and internationally since the last amendment to the amended GNBS Standards Act of 1997”.
Proposed amendments to the legislation include the approval of minimum standards of local industrial products by inspection and testing of all such products; the use of technical regulations to protect consumers from danger in relation to health and safety, and the use of standards and technical regulations as prima facie evidence in any proceedings.
Additionally, the amendments include the establishment of laboratories, the conduct of the verification of measuring devices that are used in trade, and the promotion of activities conducted by other institutions that are consistent with the Act.
In 2012 – 2013, the GNBS along with a legal consultant extensively publicized and promoted the content of the Amended Act in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Ten.
The GNBS was established in March 1984 under the Act No. 11 of Parliament of the same year. The Bureau has the legal status of a statutory corporation or a semi -autonomous agency. It is governed by a National Standards Council, whose members are appointed by the subject Minister.
Its vision is to improve the quality of goods and services in Guyana, by partnering with Government, consumers and industry through the process of standardisation, while its mission is to promote the National Quality Infrastructure for economic, social development and consumer protection in partnership with key sectors through Standards, Metrology and Conformity Assessment.
By: Gabreila Patram