Nat'l Accreditation Agency supports JA export
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda says the work of the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) is crucial in the national thrust to build an export-driven economy.
"This organisation is designed to create a level of branding of the Jamaican products that will make us competitive, not only to satisfy the domestic scrutiny of our consumers, but to be able to penetrate foreign markets," he said.
Samuda was speaking at JANAAC's World Accreditation Day dinner and awards ceremony at the Knutsford Court Hotel recently.
He urged local companies aiming for the export markets to seek accreditation through JANAAC in order to meet international standards.
He noted that a JANAAC certification "can stand anywhere in the world and be recognised and respected". CEO of JANAAC Sharonmae Shirley informed that through the use of locally accredited labs and inspection bodies, Jamaican exporters will be able to test their products and be assured that the test certificates will be internationally accepted.
She said this will prevent manufacturers and exporters from incurring additional costs for retesting in their target markets.
JANAAC is a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA), which enhances the acceptance of products tested by JANAAC-accredited laboratories across international borders. The ILAC MRA supports international trade by promoting international confidence and acceptance of results from accredited labs and inspection bodies.
"We are very pleased that in June 2015, we formally had the ILAC MRA mark registered in Jamaica, and this will allow for the immediate recognition of this international competence," Shirley said. The agency is the only such recognised accreditation body in the English-speaking Caribbean.
JANNAC is the agency responsible for providing accreditation services to conformity assessment bodies (CABs), which include public and private-sector laboratories, and inspection and certification entities.
It plays an important role in facilitating trade between Jamaica and its trading partners, helping to eliminate some technical barriers that have affected manufacturers and exporters for many years.