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Barbados National Standards

Q. What is a standard?

A.  A standard is a document that provides requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose.

Q. Why are standards important?

A.  Standards generate efficiencies and competitiveness, as well as protect in the sectors that adopt them.

Q. Who is involved in the production of a standard?

A.  Any standard is a collective work and must be agreed upon.  Manufacturers, users, research organizations, government departments and consumers work together to draw up standards that evolve to meet the demands of society and technology.

Q. How does BNSI decide what standards to develop?

A.  When there is a need for a standard in an industry or business sector, BNSI is contacted.  When this new work item is proposed and accepted, technical committees comprising of experts from the industrial, technical and business sectors are formed to develop the standard.

Q. Do I have to conform to the standards produced in my country?

A. Standards are produced as voluntary documents.

In order to address issues of national security, public health, safety and the environment, compliance with a standard can be made mandatory. Compliance with mandatory standards is compulsory as they are legislated by government. Although a standard may not be mandatory, organizations have chosen to use them since they ensure improved efficiency and competitiveness.

Q. Could I use other standards if BNSI have not produced a standard relating to my product?

A. Certainly, you can consult other standards developed regionally and internationally.

Q. What happens if your product does not conform to the mandatory standards of Barbados?

A. You can be prosecuted.  The Standards Act, 2006-5 states the penalties for non-compliance with mandatory standards. Persons guilty of this offence are liable to fines or imprisonment or both. Products can be seized, denied entry into Barbados or ordered to cease manufacturing.

Q. How can I obtain a Barbados National Standard?

A. Barbados National Standards can be purchased in hard copy from our office.  Consult our catalogue available online for our list of standards. ISO standards can also be purchased.

Visit our library at our office for assistance with our national standards and the other international standards available.