FAQs

1. What is Supplies Control?

Supplies Control is a unit within to the Bureau of Standards that deals with the processing of import and export license and the monitoring of price control and price regulated goods.


 
2. What is Standards?

A standard is a document approved by a recognized body, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for products or related processes and production methods, with which complicance is not mandatory.

 

3. What is standardization?

Standardization is the process of formulating, issuing and implementing standards.

 

4. What is a Technical Regulation?

Document which lays down product characteristics or their related processes and production methods, including the applicable administrative provisions, with which compliance is mandatory.

 

5. What are the functions of the Standards Unit?

The main functions are as follows:
•  To foster, promote and encourage standardization in relation to commodities, processes and practices in industry and commerce
• To develop, adapt and adopt standards covering technical criteria in relation to domestically produced, imported and exported goods
• Assuming the role of national information point for regional and international trade sensitive matters

 

6. How can I be involved in the standards development process?

You can get involved in the standards development process in two ways, namely:

  • Commenting on draft standards when they are circulated; and
  • Rendering your expertise to a National/Regional Technical Committee

 

7. How does BBS decide to develop a standard?

On receipt of a proposal to develop/review a standard which is submitted by an interested party on a prescribed form, BBS submits this proposal to the Standards Advisory Council (SAC) for their evaluation and approval. If the proposal is approved, the project is awarded to an existing Technical Committee for development, and if a technical Committee does not exist then one is established.

 

8. How do I propose a new standard be developed?

You can propse the development of a new standard by speaking with a responsible staff member at the Belize Bureau of Standards about your concerns, and he/she would direct you as to the procedure for the submission of a proposal for standards development.

 

9. What is the difference between a voluntary and mandatory standard?

A voluntary standard is a document approved by a recognized body that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for products and their related processes or production methods, with which compliance is not mandatory (Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) of the World Trade Organization (WTO)).

 

A mandatory standard is a standard with which it is obligatory to comply and is established by an authority endowed with the necessary legal power.

 

10.What is the difference between a standard and a technical regulation?

A standard and a technical regulation both set technical requirements to be met in the supply of commodities, products and services. However, compliance to standards are voluntary and compliance to Technical Regulations are mandatory. Standards covering certain areas may be made mandatory and referenced in a Technical Regulation, for legitimate objectives (such as health, safety, environmental protection, etc.) Examples: fire prevention and fighting, food and health, transport of hazardous goods, electric appliances, gas appliances. Technical Regulations require monitoring by regulatory authorities.

 

 

11. What is the difference between a standard and a code of practice?

A standard is a document approved by a recognized body that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for products and their related processes or production methods, with which compliance is not mandatory.

 

A code of practice is a set of guidelines comprising recommendations for accepted good practice as followed by competent and conscientious practitioners, and which brings together the results of practical experience and acquired knowledge for ease of access and use of the information.

 

12. As a manufactuer, am I obligated to use standards?

As a manufacturer you are not obliged to use standards, however the use of standards can do the following for your business:

  • Attract and assure customers
  • Demonstrate market leadership
  • Create a competitive advantage
  • Develop and maintain best practice

 

13. Why are there regional standards if national standards exist?

Regional Standards when adopted create a level playing field for trade purposes.

 

14. What is Metrology?

Metrology is the scientific study of measurements (not weather) and its application.

 

 

15. What are the activities of the Metrology Unit?

The Metrology Unit is responsible for:
• Inspection and Verification of commercial and industrial scales
• Inspection and Verification of fuel pumps
• Checking of prepackaged goods in terms of net contents


 
16. What is Consumer Protection?

Consumer Protection is safeguarding the interests of consumers in relation to the supply of goods and the provision of services in order to ensure protection of life, health, safety and the economic interests of consumers.

 

 

17. What measures are available for consumers when trying to obtain redress?

Consumers can complain directly to the business in question or contact the Consumer Protection Unit where Consumer Protection Officers will receive and investigate the complaint on behalf of the consumer.

 

 

18. What are your rights as a consumer?

• The right to satisfaction of basic needs
• The right to safety
• The right to be informed
• The right to choose
• The right to be heard
• The right to redress
• The right to consumer education
• The right to a healthy environment


 

19. How will consumer complaints be resolved?

The Bill makes it possible for consumer complaints to be heard and resolved with the establishment of a CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSION.  This body will investigate consumer complaints, try to resolve consumer protection cases, and provide redress against unfair or deceptive trade practices through mediation.

 

 

20. What are some of the scenarios encountered by consumers that the Bill covers?

• Return of faulty goods
• Refund or exchange of faulty goods
• Accurate information given to consumer with regards to prices of goods and services
• Product recall of goods that are dangerous to human health and safety and the environment
• Formation of Non-Governmental Consumer Organizations
• Deceptive and Fraudulent marketing practices