Background and Mandate
The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) is a government department under the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce. The BBS is recognized under the Standards Act, Chapter 295 and 295s of the Revised Laws of Belize as the National Standards Body. Its purpose is to facilitate the development of national standards by promoting the use and harmonization of standards for sustainable production in the trade of goods and services.
At its core, the BBS is the national center for promoting efficiency and competitive production in goods and services, with Quality Infrastructure (QI) serving as the foundation in achieving this objective. The pillars of Standardization, Metrology, Conformity Assessment (sampling, testing, calibration, inspection, certification procedures) and Accreditation combined, serve to ensure that goods and services, whether produced domestically or imported, meet established regulatory requirements, such as those relating to the health and safety of consumers and the environment. The Bureau is essentially responsible to protect, secure and safeguard the welfare of the country, a function carried out through the Consumer Protection Unit and the Supplies Control Unit.
BBS mandate consists primarily of fulfilling its responsibility to implement and enforce the Standards Act, National Metrology Act and Supplies Control Act.
1. The Standards Act of 1992 (Chapter 295 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2003), provides for the preparation and promotion of standards in relation to goods, services, processes and practices by the establishment and operation of a Bureau of Standards.
2. The National Metrology Act (Chapter 23 of 2003), provides for the regulation of weights and measures for automatic and non automatic weighing instruments as prescribed by the Imperial and SI Units. It therefore has the authority to ensure that all weighing and measuring devices conform to international standards in this instance the International Systems of Units (SI) mass, volume, density, length, pressure, time and frequency etc.
3. The Supplies Control Act (Chapter 293 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2003), provides for the regulation of imports and exports, and prices of selected imported and domestically produced goods.
4. The Consumer Protection Unit – In the absence of a comprehensive legislation, it is charged with the overall responsibility of serving as an interface between consumers and regulatory authorities that have a combined and shared responsibility for consumer protection. These include the Public Health Department, Department of Environment (DOE), National Fire Service, Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), Belize Police Department, Town and Village Councils etc.