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Caricom implements market surveillance system funded by EDF


Thursday, 11 September 2014

Caricom implements market surveillance system funded by EDF

As member states seek to more aggressively implement the Caricom Rapid Alert System for the Exchange of Information on Dangerous (Non-Foods) Consumer Goods (Carrex) system, Hilda Kelshall, consumer health and safety officer, CSME Secretariat in Barbados, says that countries need to become their brother’s keeper in a concerted effort to protect consumers.

She said the region continues to rely heavily on international institutions for information, either directly or indirectly, on dangerous goods that have made their way on domestic or regional markets. “The problem with this dependency syndrome is that some of these international institutions, particularly the federal or state agencies in countries such as the United States, will only issue alerts when the dangerous goods or products in question are on the US market.

“However, if the dangerous goods are in foreign markets they are not obligated to act,” she said. “It is in light of this situation that the Carrex System must be seen as a critical mechanism for the region. Carrex is therefore not only timely, but an imperative for issuing alerts and notifications on dangerous goods that would not be under the international market surveillance radar but would be present in the community.”

Dexter Morgan, director, Consumer Guidance, Consumer Affairs Division of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications said: “Carrex is integral to the ministry’s drive to protect and enhance consumers’ health and safety interests in Trinidad and Tobago. Through it, we are able to pinpoint a product which represents a grave and immediate risk to consumers’ health and safety and to alert the relevant authorities to act so as to curtail circulation of that product in the region.”

Both were speaking at a Carrex in-country consultation in T&T on September 4 and 5 at the Carlton Savannah Hotel. T&T is one of 15 countries visited by the Caricom/CSME Team as part of its promotion and public sensitisation programme to operationalise and activate the Carrex system. Kelshall thanked the European Union (EU) for its continued support and contribution to the initiative and others under the Tenth European Development Fund (10th EDF).