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Standards are Important!


It does not matter whether you are a small/medium-sized business or a large company, standards are important! 

To paraphrase ISO, standards are basically rules that ensure quality in the development of a product or deliverance of a service.  As a company seeks to internationalize or gain international markets, adapting and complying with quality standards become a MUST!

Standards are divided into Technical Standards and Mandatory Standards. In Belize, some of our Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) may not even be aware that there are minimum accepted practices for the production of goods or services.  These are known as Technical Standards, but they are NOT mandatory. These cover aspects such as terminology, symbols, and packaging marking of a product.

On the other hand, Technical Regulations or “mandatory standards” are specifically designed to protect consumers. Therefore, they carry legal implications for non-compliance. Examples of Technical Regulations for Belize includes Packaging and & Labeling, Liquid & Petroleum Gas, and Labeling for tobacco products and for beverages.  Technical regulations cover two tasks:

  1. Product characteristics which are generally found in the relevant standard and,
  2. Administrative procedures, which are processes that are necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements outlined in the technical regulations, which cover areas relating to testing, certification, inspection, approval, and sanctions. One well known example is ISO:9001, which is quality management system. This standard allows for a system of procedures from the time inputs are procured to the final products leaving the facility, so as to ensure consistency and quality.

For example, if a small business is interested in exporting fish to the United States, the standard requirements will be specific to the importing country, such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standard requirements. Given the health implications associated with this product, measures will have to be put in place for the production area, storage, and shipping.  Additionally, the exporter will have to meet.

 

So what are some of the benefits of adopting Standards?

  • Protecting of consumers from danger and health risks.
  • Providing accurate information to consumers.
  • Ensuring and improving quality and safety.
  • Facilitating international trade, and improving your market competitiveness.

 

For more information on standards, please contact BELTRAIDE or the Belize Bureau of Standards.

Belize’s National Export Strategy (NES)- Embracing Standards!!


In the undercurrent of a genuine attempt to revitalize Belize’s National Export Strategy (NES) there is need to examine the integral elements for its success.  One such element hinges on the need to embrace standards in all facets of production of goods and delivery of services.  With the exception of traditional industries and sectors, the degree of use is questionable casting doubt on standards as an inherent and driving force of production.  In all fairness, there is a growing recognition of its importance but for a developing country like Belize this is hardly enough to tip the scale in the backdrop of a fast changing global environment driven by science and technology.  The reality simply put, is one which demands a change in culture, in approach, in planning to support the use of standards and other key elements in any attempt to compete under the banner of a successful national export strategy. Continue reading “Belize’s National Export Strategy (NES)- Embracing Standards!!”

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