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Local businesses to benefit from rebranded BSJ

Thursday, October 12, 2017

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ST ANDREW, Jamaica (JIS) — Local businesses are to benefit from a rebranded Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), which will now focus on trade facilitation and business support, instead of regulations.

The new focus will aid Jamaican businesses in being more competitive in the local and export markets through the use of standards.

The shift is part of recommendations from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)/World Bank, based on a review of the structure and mandate of the BSJ.

This prompted the Government to separate the BSJ's regulatory function, which has been transferred to the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority (NCRA).

Speaking at a ceremony to launch the rebranded BSJ, a new website and refurbished Energy Efficiency and Mass and Dimensional laboratories held at the agency's Winchester Road offices in Kingston yesterday, Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Karl Samuda, said “the time has come for separation of the regulatory function and the setting of the standards”.

“We are one of the few, if not the only country now, that has them (regulations and standards) under the same roof, driven by the same Board. The separation had to take place. It was passed through the Cabinet, and the permanent secretary will take the appropriate steps to effect it,” the minister said.

Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Donovan Stanberry, said all the “legal work is being done to effect the separation”.

“In that regard, we now have drafting instructions to go to the Cabinet. Once Cabinet has signed off on those drafting instructions, we will work assiduously with the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to have the necessary legal instrument in place to be debated and passed in the Parliament,” he said.

Stanberry noted that the “administrative separation” conforms to international best practice, “by not having the standard development and the regulatory aspect within the same facility”.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of the BSJ, Stephen Wedderburn, said with the rebranding of the Bureau, the agency “will be doing things differently and better”.

“No longer are we to be seen as policemen. The BSJ now plays a significant role in the nation's effort to foster economic growth,” he said.

Concerning the laboratories, Wedderburn noted that the Energy Efficiency testing laboratory was renovated by the Science, Energy and Technology Ministry with funding from the World Bank.

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