The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards consists of 7 functional departments of which each is responsible for specific duties.
The Standards Development Department (SDD) is responsible for the development and maintenance of national standards and the formulation of national positions on regional and international standardization issues.. The Department manages and coordinates the work of various technical committees, comprised of representatives of relevant stakeholder groups and technical experts, that contribute to the overall development of national standards.
Standards are developed in a wide variety of fields by Technical Committees comprised of experts in each field. The Standards Development Department of SLBS is responsible for planning and coordinating the development of national standards in addition to participating in international standards activities.The specific activities of the department includes:
- Research activities and foresight planning for identification of greatest priorities for standardization
- Formulation of draft standards and identification of suitable regional and international standards for adoption as national standards
- Review and maintenance of national standard
- Periodic consultations with producers, service providers, Government Agencies, the private sector, consumer representatives, special interest groups and the general public to promote the concept and importance of standardization in national development
- Participation in regional and international standardization
The standards development work programme of SLBS focuses on the development, adoption and promotion of standards that will enhance product or service competitiveness and ultimately the economic development of St. Lucia. These standards may be developed from scratch but such an approach is often costly and time consuming. Also there is always the very real possibility that the lengthy developmental process will culminate in no more than a re-invention of the wheel.
The SDD programme is designed to achieve this objective. The execution of duties are guided by the principles outlined in the ISO Code of Ethics, WTO good standardization practices, relevant ISO/IEC directives and the procedures and work instructions of the SLBS. These principles include:
b) all inclusive participation by all stakeholders, including the public
c) timely and adequate notification of activities related to regional or international standardization
d) balance of interests in technical committees [producers; distributors; consumers; government; academia;special interest groups, etc.
e) respect for differing views and objections
f) achieving consensus
g) preparation and maintenance of records
h) appeals and dispute resolution mechanism
In view of this, the Standards Development Department encourages technical committees to adopt regional or international standards that will bring greater benefits to St. Lucia on a wider scale. Technical Committees operate on a consensus principle and the public is also given the opportunity to examine and comment on all draft standards before they are adopted as National Standards.
Current technical committees operating at the St. Lucia Bureau of Standards include:
- SLBS TC 1 National CODEX and Food Safety
- SLBS TC 2 Agricultural Products and Practices
- SLBS TC 3 Chemicals and Chemical Products
- SLBS TC 4 Construction and Engineering
- SLBS TC 5 Environmental Management
- SLBS TC 6 Tourism
- SLBS TC 7 Advertising
- SLBS TC 8 Metrology
- SLBS TC 9 Telecommunications
- SLBS TC 10 Mechanical Engineering Products and Practices
- SLBS TC 11 Blood Bank and Transfusion Services
- SLBS TC 12 Furniture
- SLBS TC 13 Electrical Products and Electronics
- SLBS TC 14 General Consumer Products
- SLBS TC 15 Beauty and Wellness
- SLBS TC 16 Early Childhood Development
- SLBS TC 17 Social Responsibility
The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards [SLBS] is a member of standards setting organizations such as ISO, IEC, COPANT, CODEX & CROSQ. THe Standards Development aspects that are accrued due to membership of these organisations are coordinated by the SDD. This enables the SLBS [and by extension St. Lucia] to participate in and contribute to the development and application of regional and international standards and other related deliverables. SLBS contributes to this process through:
a) active participation in the work programmes of selected technical committees, sub-committees, or working groups established by these organizations
b) commenting and voting on committee draft standards, draft regional/international standards, final draft regional/international standards and other standards related documents, issues, etc
c) establishing national mirror technical committees, ad hoc advisory groups, etc. to monitor the technical work of these regional/international organizations
d) participating in surveys on the application and impacts of regional/international standards and other related deliverables
This component involves the monitoring of all products imported into St. Lucia for which compulsory standards have been adopted. It helps prevent the entry of goods, which are likely to be a danger to consumers and the environment. These currently include:
- Packaged Water
- Household electrical appliances
- Tyres (new/used)
- Labels of prepackaged foods/goods
The importer/broker is required to provide the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards with the following documentation
- Customs SAD
- Product specification (where required)
- Conformity statement (where required)
This component ensures the inspections of all (new and used) tyres imported into St. Lucia for retail sale. A hundred percent of used tyres are inspected and ten percent of new tyres are inspected.
Things to do before inspection:
Schedule inspection- The SLBS requires that all requests for tyes inspections be made at least twenty four hours in advance.
Prepare tyres- Tyres must be free of foreign material including water, dirt and mud that may interfere with the inspection
Prepare premises- the importer is required to provide a warehouse that is adequate for inspection. The warehouse should have proper lighting and ventilation and provide adequate protection from sun and rain.
Inspectors will be checking for the following:
- Brand Name
- Country of Origin
- DOT No or similar marking
- Tread Depth
- Bead Cracking
- Tread wear Indicator
- Maximum Pressure and Maximum Load Ratings
- Dimensional and Constructional characteristics
- Tread wear(6mm new tyres, 4mm used tyres), Traction and temperature ratings
This involves the inspection of goods where the Standard declared is compulsory, at the retailer/distributor/manufacturer warehouse by SLBS inspectors. This includes inspections of Packaged Water and Electrical Appliances
Packaged Water Inspections
Inspection of all prepackaged water before it is distributed to ensure it is in compliance with SLNS 29:2006 Specification for Packaged Water.
Schedule inspection– The distributor and SLBS inspector arrange an inspection time/date
Required information– In addition to the Customs SAD and invoices, third party microbiological reports for the specific batches imported must be presented to the SLBS prior to consignment clearance.
The SLBS then issues a statement of conformity if the water meets all relevant microbiological requirements
Electrical Appliance Testing
The intention is to ensure that all electrical products for which compulsory standards have been adopted meet basic electrical safety requirements in order to be sold on the local market.
Examples of appliances tested include: Microwaves, refrigerator, washers, blenders, coffee makers
Schedule inspection– The distributor and SLBS inspector arrange an inspection time/date
Required information– Customs SAD, invoices and if available third party certificates for the specific models of appliances on customs invoices from an accredited lab.
In the absence of certificates, the testing of appliances is mandatory and a certificate issued before the appliances are sold. Appliances cannot be legally sold unless tested and approved.
Sample Size for new appliances
- For consignments with more than 100 units – four (4) samples
- For consignments with 50 to 100 units – 2 samples
- For consignments with 2 to 50 units – 2 samples
- For consignments with 1 unit – 1 sample
A hundred percent of used appliances for resale must be tested
- New appliances: $40/unit
- Used appliances: $45/unit
- Retesting: $35/unit
- Label assessment: $25/label (one label per consignment per model)
- Type approval: $150-300 review per standard (functional/operational)
- Preliminary Visual Inspection
- Earth Bond Testing
- Insulation Tetsing
- Flash Testing
- Load Testing
- Earth Leakage Measurement
- Functional Check
After testing against the relevant electrical standards, electrical reports as well as test certificates are issued. If the appliances have failed the testing requirements, the distributor is allotted time for corrective action. Failure to bring the item into conformance will result in seizure.
Voluntary Label Assessment
The voluntary label assessment programme enables retailers, distributors and manufacturers to ensure their product label conforms to relevant mandatory standards prior to market entry.
- Application form must be completed
- Label submitted
- Fee $20 or $25 dollars per product (dependant on standard used for assessment)
- Statement of conformity is issued if the label conforms
- Assessment letter if the label does not conform
This process takes five working days.
- General Retail Surveillance
This component ensures the inspections of all the labels of prepackaged foods, goods and cigarettes on the St. Lucian market to ensure that it conforms to the mandatory labeling requirements
SLBS inspectors visit store/shops/supermarkets around the island. This is performed every quarter.
Examples of label requirements: net content, product information is in the English language, country of origin, manufacturers address
- Packaged Water Surveillance
Samples of all brands of water on the supermarket shelves are purchased and tested for microbiological parameters to ensure product safety.
Packaged Water Pant Inspection
Bottled Water Plants are inspected by the SLBS on a risk basis to ensure compliance with the Code of Hygiene Practice for Collecting, Processing and Marketing of Packaged Water SLCP 4:2003, Operational Requirements and the Bottled Water Protocol and SLNS 29:2006 Specification for Packaged Water.
Procedure for Appeal or Review
The appellant first submits a written appeal with supporting documents to the Director of the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards.
If after meeting with the Director the appellant is not satisfied and wishes to escalate the appeal, the appellant may appeal to the Appeals Committee by submitting a written appeal with supporting documents to the Chairman of the Appeals Committee, and a copy to SLBS.
A meeting of the Appeals Committee is held, the Appeals Committee’s rules on the appeal, the appellant’s signed a statement of acceptance or non-acceptance of the ruling.
If the decision made by the Appeals Committee’s results in the need for any corrective action, the corrective action is implemented in accordance to SLBS documented procedure.
Upon receipt of appellant’s non-acceptance of the ruling of the Appeals Committee, SLBS prepares a report/update and attaches any additional documents which arise from the matter under dispute and submits to the Disputes Committee.
The Disputes Committee’s rules on the matter and the appellant’s signed statement of acceptance or non-acceptance of the ruling.
Where the appellant does not agree with the ruling given by the Disputes Committee, the SLBS refers the appellant to the Parliamentary Commissioner/Ombudsman for a final review of the matter. The decision of this office is considered final and binding.
The Certification Department is responsible for the SLBS Certification Programme which forms part of the conformity assessment system of SLBS. It is a national certification programme which provides assurance that products, services and processes meet national standards/specifications.The programme was developed to improve the quality, competitiveness of the products and services produced in Saint Lucia.
The Department also issues a
Certificate of Free Sale which provides testimony that the sale of a particular product is not in contravention of the Standards Act and Regulations, and other National Legislation.
The Barcode Generation Service is another service for which the department is responsible.
The Department is responsible for maintaining and coordinating the SLBS quality management system.
Certification is a third-party attestation related to products, processes, systems or persons. Attestation is the issue of a statement, based on decision following review that fulfilment of specified requirement has been demonstrated.
Generally a certification programme offers assurance to the consumer and third party verification to the producer that a particular product or process meets the requirements of a standard or specification.It must be noted that the programme does not absolve participants from meeting the statutory and regulatory requirements pertaining to the product or process.
Our Certification Programmes are all voluntary, however, a sector grouping can make the programme mandatory through sector regulations, and a government can choose to do so through legislation.
The scope of the SLBS Certification programme is product and process certification.
Benefits associated with the programme include:
o Customer satisfaction and repeat business
o Increased profitability
o Greater competitiveness
o Less wastage
o Reduced costs
o High productivity
The programme is administered under the guiding principles of:
o Transparency and openness
o Resolution of complaints
The Certification Department of SLBS administers the following programmes:
- Product Certification Programmes
- Food – Agroprocessors Certification Programme
- HACCP Recognition Programme
- Baker’s Certification Programme
- Beauty & Wellness Certification Programme
SLBS Quality Logo is issued under our certification programmes for processes and services.
This Logo signifies that the service/ process is being delivered/conducted with a level of Quality based on the requirements of the applicable standards.
Establishments meeting the requirements for the Certification of their Process/Service will be required to sign an agreement with the SLBS for use of the SLBS Quality Logo, before issuance of the Certificate of Quality which will carry the Quality Logo.
The Introduction of the Quality Logo associated with our Certification programmes work to:
- Help manufacturers and service providers demonstrate their commitment to quality and
- Provides third party validated proof to consumers that requirements of standards are being met.
Metrology is the science of measurement. The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards administers the Metrology Act No. 17 of 2000 and the Metrology Regulations No. 113 of 2001. Our metrology legislation is derived from recommendations of the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) and is therefore WTO compliant. This legislation gives the Bureau responsibility to regulate all weights and measures activity on the island. The Metrology Department of the Bureau is equipped and capable of providing much needed verification and calibration services for the public/private sectors and consumers. Such services will also assist businesses in operating within the legal framework of the Metrology Act. The SLBS, as the national metrology institute, is a member of the Inter-American Metrology System (SIM) -the regional metrology organization for the Americas.
Functions of the SLBS Metrology Department
To maintain a uniform system of units of measurement;
To ensure accuracy of measuring instruments used in trade,health,safety and the environment;
To maintain confidence in the quantities of goods offered for sale;
To provide representation at the National and International level concerning Metrology.
• Pattern/Type Approval of Measuring Instruments
• Verification of Measuring Instruments
• Calibration of Measuring Instruments
• Measurement Assurance
• Measurement Disputes Investigations
The Information Services Department is responsible for disseminating information on standards and standards-related activities. The Department is also responsible for the provision of other communication and marketing services related to the promotion of SLBS’s work. The Information Services Department provides a number of services to its clients in order for them to have easier access to information on standards and related activities.
Procurement of Publications:
Assistance to clients (individuals/corporations) in the procurement of local, regional, national and international standards and other technical publications.
WTO/TBT Enquiry Point:
Supplies WTO and foreign countries with information on compulsory local standards, conformity assessments and technical regulations. Informs local industry and trade of similar developments in other countries. Futher information on the development of this service will be available online in the near future.
Assistance to individuals and organizations with their research needs in standardization.
Processing of external customer feedback
Further, SLBS has full membership with the following:
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- The CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ)
- Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT)
- Inter-American Metrology System (SIM)
SLBS has also forged partnerships and alliances with other regional and international standards bodies such as the:
Finance & Administration
Finance Department is responsible for planning, directing and organizing the financial operations of the Bureau. The department provides management with information that assists in making various decisions. The role can encompass many duties including:
- Accounts Management
- Budget preparation
- Procurement & supplier relation
- Audit preparation
- Business analysis
Human Resource & Training
The Human Resource Management & Training Department is charged with the responsibility for managing the personal and career development of the Bureau’s employees. This is achieved through the strategic recruitment and selection of personnel, performance management and the provision and management of training and development opportunities. The Department is also responsible for coordinating special events, internal customer feedback and complaints handling.