Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 08, 2020 (SKNIS): The St. Kitts Bureau of Standards (SKNBS) has informed that, as of November 2019, the National Labelling Standards have been adopted.
These standards include Specification for Packaged Water, Requirements and Recommendations for Beach Operations, Environmental Management Systems, Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code, Labelling of Goods – Specific Requirements for Pre-Packaged Goods, Labelling of Pre-Packaged Food and the General Labelling Requirements for Goods.
Persons are asked to note that while the labelling standard for Pre-Packaged Food is voluntary, it is important to adopt and follow it, as it will soon become law, says Head of Standardization Jermine Mike. Locally, this standard will affect retailers, agro-processors, bakers, caterers and more. Internationally, it will affect food that enters the country without the necessary requirements such as the English language.
Another Labelling Standard also to take note of is the General Requirements for Goods. The SKNBS will regulate two pieces of information from this standard: the country of origin and the language, which must be in English.
“We have to look at it this way, when we say that we are adopting standards from the Bureau of Standards perspective, it is something that is voluntary meaning that you don’t have to comply with it,” he said. “However, standards can quickly become regulations and if there is a necessary need such as from a health and environment perspective, we will regulate. “So to follow good regulatory practices, we would first adopt a standard and inform the public of the adoption to invite questions and comments.”
Mr. Mike, noted that some of the new labelling standards will remain voluntary while others will become regulation. They are Packaged Water, labelling of Pre-Packaged Food, and Labelling of Goods.
“When we are going to form a regulation, we do not regulate the entirety of the standard, we take certain parts of it and say that this is mandatory and leave some of it voluntary,” he said.
Mr. Mike mentioned the benefits of adopting the labelling standards.
“Standards help manufacturers or distributors or whomever that is making and selling products and services to be more recognized whether it is locally or internationally,” he said. “It makes it safe for consumers to consume and once you are following a particular standard, customers have more confidence that you are doing something correct.”
Persons wishing to see the scope of the standard can visit www.sknbs.org. It can also be found on www.sknis.kn