(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The CARICOM Rapid Alert System for Information Exchange on Dangerous Goods (CARREX) will be the focus of the Seventh Meeting of Consumer Affairs, in Jamaica on 24 – 25 April 2014. CARREX is part of a CARICOM Secretariat project, funded by the European Union under the Tenth European Development Fund (EDF); and is intended to boost consumer protection and confidence and to improve the quality of products entering and trading on the regional market.
The CARREX programme will ensure that dangerous goods entering the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) could be tracked and removed from the market. These goods cover a wide range of product categories including toys, motor vehicles, jewellery and furniture. In the coming months, the programme will support CARICOM Member States to develop their national warning systems to improve market surveillance of non-food consumer goods. A series of national consultations with consumer agencies and institutions such as the Bureaux of Standards, Ministries of Health and Agriculture will be held as part of this process. Non-governmental organisations will also benefit from capacity building to accelerate regional consumer participation in this programme.
The meeting in Jamaica will serve both as a platform on which to assess the performance of the CARREX programme to date, as well as to heighten awareness and to strengthen the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.
The meeting convened by the CARICOM Secretariat includes representatives from the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The meeting will also be attended by representatives of the Organisation of American States (OAS), who have been specially invited to discuss cooperation and collaboration of the CARREX into the OAS Rapid Alert System for Exchange of Information (RAPEX) and Consumer Safety and Health Network (CSHN) for countries in the hemisphere.