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T&T Receives International Recognition For Mass And Related Quantities

The Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) has pursued and achieved international recognition for Calibration and Measurement Capabilities (CMCs) in Mass and Related Quantities by participating in the International Committee for Weights and Measures – Mutual Recognition Arrangement (CIPM-MRA).  This arrangement has placed Trinidad and Tobago in an internationally accepted framework to demonstrate its equivalence of its measurement standards and calibration and measurement capabilities.

This CMC is the first of many for Trinidad and Tobago and the CARICOM and TTBS is assiduously working towards attaining CMCs in other measurement areas, for example Temperature and Dimension. This achievement validates the capability of TTBS as the National Metrology Institute (NMI), as it can now declare the national standard for Mass. Furthermore, laboratories supporting trade, health, environment, regulations and industry can now easily demonstrate traceability to the International System of Units (SI).

One of the frequently used measurements for trade is Mass, therefore having a CMC in Mass and Related Quantities places the country in a favourable position, as demonstrating international measurement equivalence provides a level of transparency and trust to our trading partners.  In terms of innovation and diversification, the achievement of the CMC also supports product innovation, process improvement and quality assurance. It also provides the assurance that consumers receive quality products and value for money.

Speaking at the virtual symposium in commemoration and celebration of this country’s first international recognition for CMCs was Mrs. Ayleen Allyene-Ovid, Acting Permanent Secretary Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), who delivered the Feature Address on behalf of Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry (MTI).  The event was held on Tuesday 23rd February, 2021 and was hosted by TTBS. 

P.S. Alleyne-Ovid endorsed this accomplishment indicating that this recognition is in keeping with the Government’s commitment to creating globally competitive businesses and the MTI has placed priority on the implementation of the Metrology Act No. 18 of 2004, which was proclaimed in 2015.   According to P.S. Alleyne-Ovid At the level of business and trade, Metrology is at the heart of global trade and also plays an integral role for business sectors, as it ensures that products meet the required standards and regulations, while supporting product innovation and process improvement.  This provides the assurance that the quality of goods and services produced in Trinidad and Tobago can meet the necessary regulatory requirements. National and international trade increasingly requires demonstrated conformity to standards and specifications.

P.S. Alleyne-Ovid also applauded TTBS’ Board of Directors, Management and Staff for this significant and laudable milestone achievement and underscored MTI’s full commitment to TTBS, in supporting the country’s development agenda through the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI), as it creates a strong foundation for a diversified and a competitive economy.

Noting the significance of this accomplishment, P.S. Alleyne-Ovid cited The acquisition of the CMCs for Mass and Related Quantities marks a significant step in fulfilling one of the mandates of the Metrology Act which is the development of the National Measurement System (NMS) of Trinidad and Tobago. The acquisition of the CMCs links our NMS to the international system, and directly assures acceptance of this measurement within the metrology fraternity.

Mr. Derek Luk Pat, Executive Director, TTBS in his Opening Remarks said that TTBS is one of the agencies charged with a lead role in supporting local socio-economic growth through the active development of the NQI.  According to Mr. Luk Pat, TTBS has a responsibility to balance the economic development of the nation with the welfare of its citizens through its work in the implementation of the National Quality Policy and the promotion and facilitation of a robust NQI. These key components of an effective National Quality System can improve ease of doing business, increase export market access and enhance national business productivity.   Mr. Luk Pat further noted that the achievement of the CMC is undeniably a significant milestone in Trinidad and Tobago’s journey towards higher level developmental status in the context of the global economy.

Despite the current disruption to the global, regional and local economies, the importance of the NQI of which Metrology plays an integral role, does not decrease. Rather, it can be proven that the NQI performs an even more important role during economic downturns and recovery strategies.

Dr. Claire Saundry, President of Inter-American System of Measurement (SIM) in her Address affirmed that Within SIM our mission is to promote, support and integrate measurement infrastructure of the Americas which enables each of our member NMI to stimulate innovation, competitiveness, trade, consumer safety and sustainable development by effectively participating in the international metrology community.  This long process culminates in the product we have come together to celebrate today.  The international recognition of CMCs is no small accomplishment and the staff at TTBS should be applauded for their hard work and dedication in achieving international recognition.

Over the past two years, TTBS has made a number of metrological achievements, namely;

Achievement of the transition to the ISO/IEC 17025 (2017) accreditation standard;

• Provision of local inter-comparisons (temperature, weighing machines and electrical calibration) to support and develop other national calibration labs;

• Under the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), TTBS was appointed as the Caribbean Reference Laboratory (CaRL) for Humidity & Pressure in addition to Temperature; and

• 100% verification of gasoline and diesel fuel dispensers, noting that CNG fuel dispensers are impending.

TTBS in accordance with the Metrology Act is the national custodian and verifier of reference standards and as such it must obtain, conserve, develop and disseminate the basic measurement units and the highest level of calibration standards that the country demands.

Other presenters at the virtual symposium included Mr. Glenn Wilson, Director, TTBS Board of Directors, Mr. Theodore Reddock, Retired Head – Metrology Division and Dr. Susanne Picard, Coordinator of International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM). They all underscored the importance of the continuation of progressive working relationships with TTBS’ key stakeholders in the interest of National Development, Industrial Welfare and Public Safety.