A team from Caribbean Community (CARICOM) secretariat has made Dominica their fourth stop in a series of consultations as efforts are being made to protect and alert the Caribbean region against dangerous non-food consumer goods.
The initiative, which is called the CARICOM Rapid Alert System for Exchange of Information on Dangerous (non-food) Consumer Goods (CARREX), is being discussed at the the Fort Young hotel.
“Consumers want to be assured that goods and products that they consume are safe and will not pose an immediate threat to life,” said the deputy programme manager at the CARICOM CSME Unit in Barbados, Philip McClauren while giving his brief speech at the ceremony.
The undertaking is that of the CARICOM Secretariat and will include the sharing of quick and timely information on dangerous non goods products in the market, through sensitization of each member state on the operations and benefits of being protected.
CARREX is planned as a web based portal for information sharing between national consumer protection agencies and others where they both receive and send alerts.
“In the recent past and even now, we had to rely on international organizations to tell us when there is a dangerous good, particularly on the US market, in Europe or perhaps it may be in our own market in CARICOM,” he continued.
According to Mc Clauren, it has been noted that the international community “are more concerned about US markets.”
“The problem is when the infected products are in the market outside of the US who will guard the guards, and then CARREX is important in that context for the Caribbean region,” he said.
Mc Clauren stated that this initiative is as a result of concerns over the years by consumers for the need to be protected.
These non- food goods includes: vehicles, toys and children’s equipment, cosmetics, clothing, textiles, fashion articles, jewellery, appliances, machinery and tools, construction materials, kitchen and cooking fixtures.
As part of the implementation process, the CARICOM Secretariat team is conducting training on how to use the system and enter information that is vital to consumers and other stakeholders.