Standards workshopmedfrod smith

Panama City, Panama: Acting Director of the Grenada Bureau of Standards, Mr. Robert Medford and National Ozone Officer, Mr. Leslie Smith attended the Thematic Workshop on Enabling National Conditions for the adoption of Standards in the Refrigeration and Air-conditioning (RAC) Sector in the Caribbean from October 14-16, 2014. The workshop which was organized by the United Nations Environment Programme, Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNEP, ROLAC) had in attendance representatives from several of the islands of the Ozone Network of the English Speaking Caribbean and Haiti, including Refrigeration and Standards experts.

Several relevant topics related to the establishment of Standards in the RAC sector were presented to the participants. These topics include: The National and Regional Standardization Process, The Link between the RAC Sector and the standardization Process, National, Regional and International Standards related to the RAC sector, Legal requirements for the adoption of Refrigeration Standards at the National Level and Lessons learnt in the adoption of Standards.

Among the presenters were, Standards officials from the Caribbean Regional Organization of Standards and Quality (CROSQ), experts from the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector, National Ozone Officers and representatives from National Standards Bodies throughout the region.

This workshop resulted from discussions on the establishment of Standards for the RAC Sector at a recently held Sub-regional Meeting of Ozone Officers of the English Speaking Caribbean and Haiti held in Suriname earlier in the year. The aim being to enable National Ozone Units to adopt the necessary national standards for the RAC Sector to help mitigate against illegal trade in Ozone Depleting substances and to adequately address the safety issues with the alternative flammable refrigerants.

The establishment of standards is a key activity in the phase out management plans for HCFCs by all countries.  From the discussions and conclusions from the working groups, it was agreed that a regional approach will be taken to to establish in the first instance the following standards: Labeling Standards for Refrigerant Containers, Labeling Standards for RAC Equipment and Standards for Safe Handling, Storage and Transportation of refrigerants.