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May 19, 2022

Bureau of Standards Re-calibrate

The Bureau of Standards is called upon from time to time when people make complaints against businesses that sell food items and other commodities. Many times, however, the complaints do not fall within the ambit of what the Bureau is mandated to carry out. So while, they celebrate their thirtieth anniversary this week, they invited the media to a session to share what they are responsible for. Marion Ali was at the session and filed the following report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

With its own laboratory unit, the Belize Bureau of Standards is now poised to advance its services beyond the public sector. This national standards body which is responsible for promoting efficiency and competitive production in goods and services now wants to tap into the private sector to offer its services.


Jose Trejo

Jose Trejo, Director, Belize Bureau of Standards

“A lot of what we do is going out in the market and ensuring that we can verify measuring instruments, measuring devices, checking on content in the stores for pre-packaged goods, checking pumps,  and verifying instruments in industry for the sugar, flour, shrimp industry. We have now extended that to the airlines. But over the last couple of years, we’re trying to invest more of our energies in trying to serve to the private sector, so that the Bureau can offer, for example, metrological services. That’s why we have the laboratory services right now – to be able to provide calibration services to the private sector.”


Director Jose Trejo says that they will present a National Quality Policy to Cabinet next week, which he says is one that can apply to every sector of Belize’s national development.


Jose Trejo

“If we talk about environmental policy, there’s standards and quality. If we talk about industrial policy, there’s standards and quality. If we talk about tourism, there’s standards and quality; agriculture, so the point is: the common denominator to advance the sector or to ensure that we take care of the national needs from a societal end and from an environmental end or from an economical end, standards and quality is embedded in them. So when I say or when we say embed quality infrastructure, it’s to ensure this quality infrastructure is serving every single sector of our national economy.”


The Bureau is also seeking to get its lab accredited and certified so that it can be a reference lab in the Caribbean, Trejo said. But aside from this, the unit will now move to develop new standards for common commodities. And in terms of metrology, the Bureau is upgrading its unit that deals with how mass is measured and promotes frequent calibration of instruments to ensure proper measurements. But how does Belize ensure that we are receiving the correct quantity of products we pay for at the stores? Trejo says only when the Consumer Protection Laws come into play will the Bureau’s standards be more effective.


Jose Trejo

“There is the absolute need as well for the consumer protection laws to be put in place because it forces the hand to get every single entity involved to help protect the consumer. But the Bureau, within its scope of responsibilities can only go so far in helping to protect the consumer. I think the overarching thing is to insist on that. We’re not seeing that. There’s the Bill there. I think you have to, again, this is for all of us. So this conversation is for you to have with your colleagues in the media and for you to have with friends and family, and when you have an opportunity to interview somebody very important, ask that question. Why is it that we haven’t had? When are we going to have it? Because that’s where we need to go.”


One of the things that the Bureau has prescribed since 2019 is for the importation of fuel with low-quantity sulphur only, to protect the engines of newer vehicles that are imported and this has been the only type of fuel that is imported.


Marion Ali for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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