‘Quality and the implementation of a National Quality System is not only a consideration but a necessity as it is a crucial component of all systems of a modern society’ were the words of Dr. Puran Bridgemohan, Chairman, Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standard (TTBS) at the National Consultation on Mandatory Certification of unpainted roofing sheets held at the TTBS Auditorium on Tuesday 23 September, 2014. In his Opening Address, Dr. Bridgemohan gave the assurance that ‘TTBS will continue to play a critical role as it endeavours to create positive national united standards with conformity assessments and promoting quality consciousness to help achieve a stable and viable economy’.
Mr. Norris Herbert, Permanent Secretary (Ag.), MTIIC in the Feature Address noted that ‘the Ministry has been maximizing its bi-lateral and multi-lateral trade agreements and are engaged in a number of activities to create the environment which stimulates market expansion, facilitates trade opportunities and increases the ease of doing business. However, we are of the firm belief that quality plays a key role in increasing our country’s exports and diversifying the economy’. He emphasized that ‘competition is at our doorsteps. In order to gain effective market penetration manufacturers need to ensure that their products meet the declared specifications of the compulsory standard and thereby meet the expectation of the stakeholder’. He added that ‘Trinidad and Tobago for the first time is developing a National Export Strategy which will serve as a blue print for improving competitiveness and performance. It will seek to improve export logistics, build export capacity among local firms and export promotion to new and existing markets’. PS Herbert also highlighted the benefit of engaging in Product Certification by the TTBS citing that ‘manufacturers may be safeguarded against unfair competition from parties seeking to penetrate the market with inferior products, since approved products will be distinguished by the presence of a Standards mark’.
In his brief Remarks Mr. Steve Williams, Executive Director (Ag.), TTBS spoke of the Product Certification Pilot Programme targeted at roofing sheets manufacturers which was championed by the TTBS. The pilot programme which used a product certification methodology for the mandatory enforcement of the roofing sheets standard. This method of enforcement requires the TTBS Standards mark to be placed on each roofing sheet manufactured. The presence of this mark on each sheet allows for greater consumer confidence in the quality of product being purchased. The three (3) companies who successfully participated in the pilot programme for product certification were Island Roofing Hardware and Supplies Limited; Varma Iron & Steel Co. Limited and Roof Depot Limited.