WORLD STANDARDS DAY - October 14, 2002
Home Up Address by The Hon. Philip J. Pierre on the Occasion of the Return of Air Jamaica to Saint Lucia Message from Hon. Philip J. Pierre On the Occasion of World Standards Day October 14th, 2005 Address by Hon Philip J. Pierre at the Official Launch of the Business Opportunities Organization of Saint Lucia Statement on the death of Dame Eugenia Charles Address By The Hon. Philip J. Pierre at The Official Launch of The CARICOM Single Market & Economy (CSME) National Public Education Programme Address By The Hon. Philip J. Pierre, at The Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association 41st Annual General Meeting Ministerial Address To The Nation On The Occasion Of World Tourism Day Address By Hon. Philip J. Pierre At The Opening Of Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEX) Thursday, June 24, 2004 Address by Honourable Philip J. Pierre in Observance of World Consumer Rights Day - March 15, 2003 WORLD STANDARDS DAY - October 14, 2002 Address by Hon. Philip J. Pierre the Meeting of Caribbean Small Business Entrepreneurs, Organizations and Agencies - 3 April 2002 Address by the Hon. Minister to the Tourism Forum held on March 8, 2002 Statement by Hon. Philip J. Pierre at Press Conference - March 7, 2002 Address by Hon. Philip J. Pierre to Chamber of Commerce at 117th AGM Address by Hon. Philip J. Pierre to the Launching Ceremony of Creole Heritage Month "Baron Foods Bouyon Ek Kalalou" at the Folk Research Centre - October 19, 2001 Address by Hon. Philip J. Pierre to the Regional Workshop on the Music Industry in the OECS, Bay Gardens Hotel, St. Lucia on July 26, 2001 Address by Hon. Philip J. Pierre to Seminar On Potable Water Quality Safety And Management Issues



October 14th is World Standards Day, and is being observed under the international theme of “Conformity Assessment - One Standard, Test, Accepted Everywhere”. This theme, on Conformity Assessment, which simply means the monitoring and verification of goods and services. This could not be more appropriate at this time, in light of our own local activities at introducing Monitoring Procedures for economic development.

In Saint Lucia, like most other developing countries, the subject of Standards and Conformity Assessment has in recent times taken on a new meaning. In a new global trading environment, particularly with the finalisation of the Caricom Single Market and Economy and the Free Trade of the Americas, Saint Lucia will be completely open to all types of products produced in any part of the world. In order to maximize the benefits, Government has the responsibility to put measures in place to safeguard consumers, manufacturers, and importers. It is for this reason, that the Government and the private sector will, next year, institute a Compulsory Standards Compliance Programme, which includes Import Monitoring and Label Assessment. Through this programme, Government will be able to monitor the quality of imported and locally and manufactured goods, as well as ensure that consumers are provided with sufficient non-deceptive information on the labels of products.

We must note that in a small open market economy, consumers and importers are at a much higher risk of being exposed to unscrupulous trade deals resulting from the sale of sub-standard, and often unsafe products on our markets. While we recognise that our local business community makes every effort to provide consumers with safe quality products, over the years there have been reports of a number of unfortunate incidents related to misleading claims and insufficient labelling of foods, pesticides and other toxic chemicals, as well as other imported items such as bottled water, electrical goods, construction material, sauces, and milk products. These are sufficient to fear that such occurrences will increase once the conditions are right in a more open market. Note also that in most cases, these defective products are manufactured in countries where there are stringent standards, preventing the sale of these products in the very country of origin.

Such market dumping has an extremely negative effect on the economy and welfare of the nation. We cannot sit back and fail to prepare our economy for inevitable change. Accepting that competition is permanent, all our industries, be it Tourism, Agriculture or Manufacturing, have to be prepared to face this challenge. These industries and consumers and the environment cannot continue to be jeopardized by the sale of unsafe sub-standard products. Local manufacturers are brutally stifled by unfair competition resulting from the sale of these cheaper products produced at lower costs, while at the same time, striving to meet very high standards demanded by the countries we wish to export to. It is clear that we have no choice but to implement monitoring measures.

Compared to the advances made in other Caricom territories and the rest of the world, the implementation of the island’s Monitoring Programmes is long overdue. The first compulsory standards were declared in November of 2000. Since then, the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards has been working to develop an appropriate programme based on international and regional guidelines. I have absolutely no doubt that the Import Monitoring and Label Approval components of the programme were developed with every effort to result in minimal cost to stakeholders and the least delay in the clearance of goods from Customs. Change is never easy to embrace! But we must consider the reality that the cost of NOT implementing the programme will far exceed the cost of implementation. It is clear that amidst these changing times, we must adopt a pro-active approach to globalisation. I therefore encourage importers, manufacturers and consumers to support the work of the Bureau, for it is only through your support and commitment to the development of the nation, that the implementation of these Monitoring Programmes will be a success. I am therefore very pleased with the co-operation of the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce and the Saint Lucia Manufacturers’ Association in finalising a programme that everyone will be comfortable with.

I also take this opportunity to wish all citizens and the management and staff of the Bureau success in their activities for the celebration of World Standards Day.

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