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Thursday 22 August 2019
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[UPDATED] Concern over reliability of traded products

From left to right in middle of photo: Alister Dalrymple, Director, Business Development and Partnerships, AFNOR Corporate International Affairs, Carol Stewart, Group Quality Director, Element Materials Technology, Derek Luk Pat,Executive Director of TTBS and Michael James Director of Investment at the Ministry of Trade and Industry seated among participants in teh regional training on ISO/IEC 17011:2017, at Courtyard Marriott, Port of Spain.
From left to right in middle of photo: Alister Dalrymple, Director, Business Development and Partnerships, AFNOR Corporate International Affairs, Carol Stewart, Group Quality Director, Element Materials Technology, Derek Luk Pat,Executive Director of TTBS and Michael James Director of Investment at the Ministry of Trade and Industry seated among participants in teh regional training on ISO/IEC 17011:2017, at Courtyard Marriott, Port of Spain.

IN today’s global economy, millions of products and services are traded across borders and there are valid concerns surrounding their functionality, reliability and safety, Michael James, director of investment at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said on Tuesday.

James said the concerns also affect consumers’ health and the environment. “In order to demonstrate compliance with a country’s regulations, products and services must be tested, inspected and certified to show conformance to international quality, safety and environmental requirements.”

As a result, he said internationally accredited conformity assessment processes are essential to international trade. “This highlights the integral role of the conformity assessment bodies. These bodies are the foundation that supports an efficient and effective trade environment.”

The Bureau of Standards (TTBS) hosted a three-day regional training programme on International Organisation for Standardisation/International Electro-technical Commission conformity assessment requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies. It is being held at the Courtyard by Marriott, Port of Spain.

The training targets 22 participants nominated by ISO members from the Caribbean region. The training will be facilitated by Carol Stewart, group quality director, Element Materials Technology and Alister Dalrymple, director, business development and partnerships, AFNOR Corporate International Affairs.

James said the accredited conformity assessment processes reduce technical barriers to trade that exporters may face. He said they also help governments to protect their population from substandard goods and engender greater consumer confidence in the marketplace.

“This milestone training programme is therefore an important measure in the regions strategy for improving productivity through quality infrastructure and building globally competitive businesses.

“The government recognises the importance of a quality infrastructure as a component of competitiveness and sustainable development.”

In this regard, James said a number of projects have been developed to improve the national quality infrastructure, in keeping with TT’s National Development Strategy 2016-2030, which emphasises building globally competitive businesses as one of its main themes.

He said in 2018, Cabinet approved the national quality policy in an effort to strengthen and reform the national quality infrastructure to provide the necessary support to the country’s trade agenda.

“The implementation of this key policy will assist local businesses in achieving compliance with international quality standards and regulations, thereby allowing them to exploit opportunities for market expansion.

“Currently, accreditation services are completed by TT Laboratory Accreditation Services, a department under the TTBS. However, this accreditation does not allow full international recognition status which is the aim for the establishment of TTASCA.”

This story was originally published with the title "Trade Ministry: Concern over reliability of traded products" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.


In today’s global economy, millions of products and services are traded across borders and there are valid concerns surrounding their functionality, reliability and safety said Michael James Director of Investment at the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Tuesday.

James said the concerns also impacted on consumer’s health and the environment.

“In order to demonstrate compliance with a country’s regulations, products and services must be tested, inspected and certified to show conformance to international quality, safety and environmental requirements."

As such, he said internationally accredited conformity assessment processes are essential to international trade. "This highlights the integral role of the conformity assessment bodies. These bodies are the foundation that supports an efficient and effective trade environment."

A three-day regional training programme on International Standard ISO/IEC (International Organisation for Standardisation/International Electro-technical Commission) 17011:2017 – Conformity Assessment – Requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies was hosted by TT Bureau of Standards (TTBS) at the Courtyard Marriott, Port of Spain.

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