CASTRIES, St Lucia — On September 24, 2019, members of the Saint Lucia Chamber, Industry and Agriculture engaged the Bureau of Standards and its compliance unit in dialogue on how the business community can work with the Bureau to ensure those compulsory labelling standards are met while facilitating legitimate business activity.
The Chamber has long identified Standards as a critical component of members’ business operations as there is a clear understanding that Standards and the work of the Bureau can – and do facilitate even greater trade. The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards led the discussion explaining their role and more particularly the import monitoring and market surveillance program.
The Chamber members were keen to see fairness and equity in the enforcement and implementation of standards – highlighted balance and a level playing field for businesses. Chamber Members were also desirous of conforming yet thought that the cost of conformity should not preclude successful business operations as there were some areas, they had no control over.
The Bureau reminded the private sector that they had a central role to play in the development of the standards which they should take advantage of to ensure standards were practical and applicable.
It was agreed that there was a need for regular dialogue on these issues as well as training of the private sector and the inspectors to ensure a consistent and shared understanding of the standards. Therefore, another meeting will be convened in October to continue the “Dialogue” to ensure that Chamber members are in compliance and, where they may fall short, a plan for swift remedying can be put in place.
Meanwhile, the professional and positive posture of the Bureau was applauded by members and it was further confirmed that the Chamber will serve as the interlocutor between the Bureau and Chamber members on this matter.
Chamber members have since requested – the Chamber seeks to develop a similar dialogue engagement with other regulatory agencies such as the Development Control Authority (DCA) and the department of public health.
Members believe that it is important they are made aware of critical regulations and processes so they can comply as a matter of course. The Chamber will be seeking these dialogues in the near future with other critical regulatory agencies.
Source: St Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture – Update October 11, 2019