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Shaw encourages J'can entities to become accredited

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, is encouraging Jamaican businesses to become accredited through the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) in order to lift their standards and elevate their position in the global marketplace.

“As a country, we cannot get to where we are going unless we lift up our standards. And, lifting our standards means that we have to operate not at Jamaica's standards but at international standards,” Shaw said in his address to stakeholders at JANAAC's CEO Breakfast at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St Andrew last Friday.

He lauded the agency for its role in providing internationally recognised accreditation and training services to several organisations that facilitate international market access.

These include public and private sector laboratories offering testing, medical and calibration services; inspection bodies such as the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division, as well as, certification entities such as the National Certification Body of Jamaica.

The minister noted that JANAAC holds the distinction of being the only internationally recognised accreditation body in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer, JANAAC, Sharonmae Shirley, said that the number of bodies accredited by JANAAC has grown from eight to well over 32 over the last five years and continues to climb.

She stated that JANAAC provides technical training for personnel working within Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) and facilitates the sharing of technical information with stakeholders.

She also noted that the agency is a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation's (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) for the International Organization for Standardization-International/Electro-technical Commission (ISO/IEC) 17025 testing laboratories scope.

The ILAC-MRA facilitates the global acceptance of the results from JANAAC accredited CABS and, this recognition helps to reduce costs for manufacturers and exporters, also eliminates the need to retest products in another country.

Accreditation certificates for ISO/IEC 17025 were presented to the Veterinary Services Division's (VSD) Diagnostic Laboratory, and the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division, the first Inspection Body to be accredited to ISO/IEC 17020:20. Both entities fall under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.

The breakfast function was held to commemorate World Accreditation Day on June 9 under the theme 'Accreditation: Adding Value to Supply Chains'.

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