On May 3, 2018, CLASP compliance experts led the Caribbean Community Energy Efficiency Compliance Training in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, the first compliance-focused training in the region. Representatives from ministries, standards organizations, and customs agencies from Belize, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago attended.
The training represented one component of the Strengthening of the Regional Quality Infrastructure in the Caribbean in the Areas of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies project implemented by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and funded by Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany’s national metrology institute. CLASP previously collaborated with CROSQ and PTB on the CARICOM Regional Standards and Labeling Roadmap for air conditioners (ACs), refrigerators, and lighting products, wherein CLASP recommended that CARICOM countries consider strategies to strengthen regional compliance frameworks.
The training builds on CLASP’s previous CARICOM work by training compliance officers and policymakers on the importance of including compliance activities early in standards and labeling (S&L) program development, and highlighting the benefits of collaborative regional compliance activities. Opportunities for regional collaboration include establishing a regional compliance network, creating a regional project database, and increasing access to accredited testing facilities through Mutual Recognition Agreements. A robust compliance framework is critical for safeguarding energy savings and other expected benefits of S&L programs.
The day opened with welcoming remarks from representatives of CROSQ and PTB, and Theodore Reddock, Executive Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards. CLASP’s Nicole Kearney and Lina Kelpsaite led training presentations centered on the process for establishing a robust compliance program; conformity assessment approaches; best practices for conducting market surveillance and verification testing once products are on the market; and how countries can conduct enforcement to effectively address non-compliance. During the discussion, participants reviewed roles of national agencies within the compliance framework; identified available and needed resources; and considered challenges and potential collaboration opportunities within the region.
This training convened both compliance stakeholders and policymakers from the four CARICOM countries for the first time. It provided participants with a new platform to share their experiences and concerns, and to engage in discussions on collaboration opportunities for regional compliance activities. It also allowed the participants to understand the mechanisms for a holistic approach to compliance and the need to start a compliance-focused conversation among agencies at the national level. Compliance programming is not regarded as being of primary importance by many policymakers, but it plays a key role in safeguarding the energy savings that S&L programs are set to achieve. Going forward, in addition to collaborative compliance efforts, CARICOM member states would benefit from country specific strategic discussions on the most suitable approaches to compliance within their national frameworks.
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