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Accreditation critical to growing Jamaica’s exports

Published:Friday | June 14, 2013 | 1:10 PM

The Jamaica National Accreditation Agency (JANAAC) has emphasized that although accreditation is not mandated by law, it is important to gain a market edge.

The organization celebrated World Accreditation Day on Tuesday, June 11 as part of the recognition of the global initiative established jointly by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation and the International Accreditation Forum and was observed by 147 member bodies in 112 different economies.

According to a release from JANAAC, for Jamaica the importance of accreditation to the export industry is important in that it allows Jamaican goods arriving in international markets to enter without undue delays caused by product re-testing and verification.

The principal aim of the observance and celebration was to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation and the role it plays worldwide.

According to JANAAC chief executive officer, Marguerite Domville, “accreditation sets a platform for our local exporters to take advantage of consumer opportunities in overseas markets. By accrediting local labs and testing facilities, we obtain the confidence of our trading partners and allow for smooth trade.”

The core function of JANAAC is to provide accreditation services to laboratories, inspection bodies and certification bodies, as well as technical training to support the accreditation function.

In Jamaica, accreditation services are not mandated by law, but are provided on a voluntary basis to those who need it to meet local and overseas regulations, customer requirements or just to gain a marketing edge, the agency said.

Head of the Jamaica Exporters Association, Andrew Collins is in full support of JANAAC and the role it plays in supporting the business of its members.

“JANAAC accreditation and their recognition by our international trading partners create many business opportunities for local companies,” he said.

He said that every opportunity to earn United States dollars should be maximised “as it allows us to reduce our trade deficit and strengthen our Jamaican dollar.”

In addition he said that “local companies are able to earn income and increase employment which in turn goes towards improving the standard of living of Jamaicans on a whole.”