Standards Act


Published: 1987

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Standards (CAP. 411 1

CHAPTER 41 1

THE STANDARDS ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Section

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.

Establishment and Fqnctions of Bureau

3. Establishment of Antigua and Barbuda Bureau of
Standards.

4. Functions of the Bureau of Standards.
5. Appointment of Director and staff of the Bureau.

Administration of the Bureau

Standards Council.
Appointment of Council Members.
Chairing of Council Meetings.
Tenure of Office of Council Members.
Resignation of Council Members.
Publication of membership of the Council.
Meetings and quorum of Council.
Conflict of interest.
Bureau's seal and authentication of documents.
Immunity of Council members.
Appointment of committees and co-opting of members.

PART I11

Business of the Bureau

17. Declaration and publication of standards.
18. Voluntary and compulsory standards.

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2 CAP. 411) Standards

19. Standard Mark.
20. Licences to use standard Mark.
21. Restriction on the use of the word "Standard".
22. Testing of goods for compliance with compulsory

standard.
23. Prohibition of sale or export of rejected goods.
24. Examination of Imported goods.
25. Appointment and powers of Inspectors.

Miscellaneous

26. Finance.
2'1. Offences.
28. Forfeiture of articles on conviction of offenders.
29. Evidence of Standard.
30. Secrecy of Information.
31. Protection against claims.
32. Regulations.

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Standards (CAP, 411 3

STANDARDS

An Act to provide for the preparation and promotion of
Standards in relation to goods, services, processes and
practices by the establishment and operation of a
Bureau of Standards, to define the powers and functions
of the Bureau of Standards, and for other connected
matters.

(1 st May, 1987.)

1. This Act may be cited as the Standards Act. Short title.

2. In this Act- Interpretation.

"Bureau" means the Antigua and Barbuda Bureau of
Standards established by section 3 of this Act;

"code of practice" means a description of the method
of production of any goods, or the execution of
any service, process or practice by which, in the
opinion of the Bureau, a person adhering to it is
able to produce goods or offer services, which are
likely to comply with a specification or standard;

"compulsory standard" means a standard declared to
be compulsory by Order of the Minister under
Section 18;

"Council" means the National Standards Council estab-
lished by section 4 of this Act;

"goods" means commodities which are the subject of
trade or commerce;

"practice" includes advertising, labelling or packaging;

"specification" means a description of any goods, ser-
vices, powers or practice by reference to its nature,
quality, strength, purity, safety, composition, quantity,
dimension, weight, grade, durability, origin, age,

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

4 CAP. 411) Standards

or other characteristics, and includes guidelines
for a process or practice, tables of data, and a code
of practice;

' "standard" means a specification declared by the
Bureau to be a standard.

Establishment and Functions of the Bureau

Establishment of
Antigua and

3. There is established a body corporate to be known
BarbudaBweau as the Antigua and Barbuda Bureau of Standards (in this

Act called the Bureau) with perpetual succession and a com-
mon seal, and with power to acquire, hold and dispose of
land and other property to enter into contracts and to do all
things necessary for the purpose of its functions.

Functions of the
Bureau of
Standards.

4. (1) The Bureau shall promote and encourage the
maintenance of standards in relation to goods, processes
and practices, and shall exercise such other functions as
may be prescribed.

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1) the Bureau may-

(a) prepare and promote the general adoption
and implementation of standards relating to structure,
goods, materials, practices, operations and other mat-
ters, on a national and international level;

(6) promote research in relation to specifications,
establish or designate laboratories and testing facilities,
and provide for the examination and testing of goods,
services, processes and practices;

(c) inspect or cause to be inspected-

( i ) any operations carried out;

(ii) any books or records in connection with the
production, manufacture, processing or treat-
ment of any goods; and

(iii) the execution of any services, powers or prac-
tice for which a compulsory standard has
been declared or for which application has
been made to use the Standard Mark.

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Standards (CAF, 411 5

(d) declare standards and keep rhem under
review;

(e ) collect and publish for public information and
guidance, data relating to specifications and standards;

(f) encourage and undertake educational pro-
grammes relating to standards;

(g) provide for the examination, testing and cali-
bration of instruments, appliances and apparatus;

(h) cooperate with and advise manufacturers in
setting up quality control systems and preparing stan-
dards;

(i) do such other things as may be expedient or
necessary to secure the proper execution of the pur-
poses of this Act.

5. (1) The Minister shall appoint a Director of the APP ointment of
Director and staff

Bureau, and the Bureau may appoint such other staff as it ofthe~ureau.
requires for the proper discharge of its functions.

(2) No sum in excess of twenty thousand dollars may
be assigned as the annual salary to a post in the Bureau
without the approval of the Minister.

(3) An officer may, with the approval of the Minister,
be transferred on secondment-

(a) from the Bureau to the public service; or

( b ) from the public service to the Bureau.

(4) When an officer is transferred pursuant to subsec-
tion (3), the Bureau shall make such arrangements as are
necessary to preserve the right of the officer to any pension,
gratuity or other benefit to which he would have been enti-
tled had the transfer not been effected.

Administration of the Bureau

6. The general administration of the affairs of the eUI1y
Bureau shall be carried out by the Standards Council (in
this Act called the Council) of fifteen members.

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6 CAP. 411) Standards

Appointment of
Council Members.

7. The Council shall comprise of the following
( a ) two persons nominated by the Minister in his

discretion, one of whom shall be appointed Chairman,
ahd the other Vice-Chairman of the Council:

( b ) three persons nominated from the private sec-
tor, one each to be nominated by the Chambers of
Commerce, the Manufacturer's Association, and the
Consumer's Association;

(c) four persons nominated by the Minister from
the public sector, each of whom is employed in a senior
capacity in the Government Service, one being an offi-
cer employed in the Ministry of Finance, and one, an
officer employed in the Government Chemistry
Laboratory;

(d) four persons with knowledge of Industrial or
Commercial Standard or other matters pertaining to
the work of the Standards Unit; nominated by the
Minister on the recommendation of the Director of the
Standard Unit;

( e ) two ex-officio members, one being the Director
of the Bureau/Standard Unit, who shall also be
Secretary to the Council and the other being the
Manager of the Industrial Development Board.

Chairing of
Council Meetings.

8. Where the Chairman is absent or unable to act the
Vice Chairman shall preside at Council Meetings in case
both the Chairman or Vice Chairman are absent or unable
to act, the members of the Council present at a meeting
shall elect one of their members to preside.

Tenure of Office
of Council

9. (1) The Minister shall appoint members nominat-
Members. ed to the Council by instrument in writing for a period not

exceeding three years, and a member so appointed is eligi-
ble for re-appointment on the expiration of his period of
office.

(2) The Minister may at any time revoke the appoint-
ment of the Chairman or any other nominated member of
the Council.

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Standards (CAP. 41 1 7

10. A nominated member of the Council may resign ~ ~ ~ ; ~ , " , " I S , n .
his office at any time by letter addressed to the Minister, and
conveyed through the Chairman and such resignation takes
effect from the date the letter is received by the Minister.

11. The names of the members of the Council shall ~ ~ ~ ~ ; ~ f
be published in the Gazette and any subsequent change in thecouncil.
the members of the Council shall be similarly Gazetted.

12. (1) The Council shall meet once every quarter zz=O~:e
and at such other times as are necessary or expedient for COUIIC~I.
transacting the business of the Bureau.

(2) The quorum at meetings is seven, and the decision
of the Council shall be taken by a majority of votes.

13. (1) A member of the Council whose interest conflictof
interest.

may directly or indirectly be affected by a decision of the
Council on any matter shall disclose the nature of his inter-
est at the first meeting of the Council at which he is present
after the relevant facts have come to his knowledge.

(2) A disclosure under subsection (1) shall be record-
ed in the minutes of the meeting of the Council, and after
the disclosure the member concerned may not vote on the
matter, and unless otherwise directed by the Council, shall
not be present at any meeting when the matter is being
decided.

14. (1) The Bureau's seal shall be kept in the cus- Bureau's seal and authentication of
tody of the Secretary of the Council and shall be authenti- documents.
cated by the Chairman or in his absence, by the Vice
Chairman and the Secretary of the Council.

(2) All documents other than those required to be
under seal and all decisions of the Council may be authenti-
cated by the Chairman or the Secretary.

15. (1) No action, suit, prosecution or other pro- Immunity OF Coundl members.
ceedings may be brought or instituted against a member of
the Council in his personal capacity, in respect of any act
done or omitted to be done by him in good faith in execu-
tion or purported execution of this Act.

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

CAP. 411) Standards

Appointment of
committees and
co-opting of
members.

Declaration and
publication of
standards.

( 2 ) Where a member of the Council is exempt from
liability by reason only of this section the Bureau is liable for
the acts of the member on the principles of agency.

16. (1) The Council may appoint committees for
the better regulation and management of any matter with
which the Council is concerned and may determine-

( a ) the number of members of a committee so
appointed;

(6) the terms of appointment of the members;

(c) the quorum of the committee;

(d) the functions of the committee as a whole and
of individual members; and

( e ) the area and scope of the Committee's author-
ity;

(2) The Council may co-opt members to a committee
appointed under subsection (1) and in such case section 13
applies to the co-opted member as it applies to a Council
member.

Business of the Bureau

17. (1) The Bureau may declare a specification to
be a standard, and a standard to be an Antigua and Barbuda
Standard.

( 2 ) No specification may be declared a standard and
no standard may be varied or revoked unless the Bureau is
satisfied that persons who may be affected thereby have had
an opportunity to consider and comment on the standard.

(3) The Bureau shall keep a copy of every standard
and every variation of a standard available for public inspec-
tion and shall cause every declaration, variation or revoca-
tion of a standard to be published in the Gazette, and in such
other publications as the Minister may direct.

(4) The Bureau may adopt an international specifica-
tion formulated outside of Antigua and Barbuda where it is
impractical to formulate its own specification.

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Standards (CAP. 41 1 9

18. (1) A standard may be voluntary or compulsory Volunlaryand
and a standard which is intended primarily- corn ulsory s t m ~ d s *

(a) to protect the consumer or user against dan-
ger to health and safety;

( b ) to prevent fraud or deception arising from
misleading advertising or labelling;

(c) to ensure quality in goods produced for
export;

(d) to require adequate information to be given
to the consumer or user; or

( e ) to ensure quality in a case where the choice of
sources of supply is restricted;

may on the recommendation of the Bureau, be declared by
Order of the Minister to be a compulsory standard.

(2) An Order made under subsection (1) shall state
the purpose for which the standard is intended.

(3) The Minister shall by Notice published in the
Gazette, give thirty days notice of his intention to declare a
standard to be a compulsory standard and shall in the
Notice indicate the date on which the compulsory standard
comes into effect.

19. The Minister may on the recommendation of the standard Mark.
Bureau prescribe a mark which shall be called the Antigua
and Barbuda Standard Mark (in this Act called the Standard
Mark), the property in which vests in the Bureau, and which
shall be used in relation to goods, services, process or prac-
tices to signify conformity to a standard.

20. (1) Any person may apply to the Bureau in such , L ~ ; ~ ~ ~ ~
form and in such manner as may be prescribed for a licence
to use the Standard Mark.

(2) The Bureau may grant a licence to use the
Standard Mark upon such terms and conditions, including
the payment of a fee as may be prescribed, where it is satis-
fied that the subject matter of an application conforms to a
standard.

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

10 CAP. 411) Standards

Restrictiononthe 21. ( 1 ) No person shall carry on a business or per-
use of the word
"standardn. form any function under a name which contains the word

"standaid" without the consent of the Bureau.

(2) Where a written law provides for the registration of
an association of persons, the registering authority may
refuse registration if in its opinion the use of the name to be
registered is prohibited by subsection (1).

(3) This section does not apply to a name that was in
use in Antigua and Barbuda at the commencement of this Act.

Testing of goods
for compliance
with compulsory
standard.

22. (1) The Minister may-
( a ) direct the bureau; or

(b ) by letter conveyed through the Bureau autho-
rise a public officer having such qualifications as may
be prescribed;

to test or examine the quality of any goods for which a com-
pulsory standard has been declared.

(2) The bureau or a public officer as mentioned in
subsection (1) (6) may require any person in Antigua and
Barbuda to submit goods manufactured by him for testing
or examination where-

( a ) that person has a licence to use the Standard
Mark in respect of the goods; or

( b ) a compulsory standard has been declared for
the goods.

(3) The Bureau may-

( a ) certify that the goods comply with; or

(b ) report that the goods do not comply with

a standard or specification where the standard is voluntary
or where a foreign specification exists with respect to certain
goods.

Prohibition 23. Where a standard is compulsory and goods tested or export of
rejected or examined under section 22 fail to conform to the standard

the goods shall not be exported or released for home use

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Standards (CAP. 41 1

unless clearly stamped or marked with the words "export
rejects" or "seconds" or "imperfect" or other similar words
as may be prescribed, except that where the compulsory
standard is declared to protect the consumer or user against
danger to health or safety the goods may neither be export-
ed nor released for home use but shall be disposed of as the
Bureau thinks fit.

24. ( 1 ) The Bureau may authorise a member of its
staff to examine goods manufactured outside Antigua and
Barbuda and any custom entries relating to such goods,
where a standard is declared for the goods.

(2) The Minister may in writing-

( a ) authorise a public officer; or

( 6 ) retain at a fee to be prescribed a suitably quali-
fied consultant,

to assist the staff of the Bureau in an examination carried
out under subsection ( 1 ) .

(3) A person who examines goods under this section
may take and submit samples of the goods for testing and
analysis.

(4) Where goods imported into Antigua and Barbuda
bear a mark so closely resembling the Standard Mark as to
be misleading or which falsely represents a mark of compli-
ance wit11 a specification formulated or adapted outside
Antigua and Barbuda, the goods shall not be entered for
home use unless the mark is substantially changed.

(5) Where a standard is compulsory, goods produced
or manufactured outside Antigua and Barbuda may be
entered for home use if-

( a ) upon an examination of samples the goods
comply with the standard; or

(b) they are accompanied by a certificate of exam-
ination and compliance with the Standard, issued by a
laboratory or other similar institution in the country of
origin, recognised by the Bureau.

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12 CAP. 411) Standards

(6) In this section and in section 23, "home use"
means consumption in Antigua and Barbuda.

*ppointment and 25. (1) For the purpose of monitoring compulsory
powers of
Inspectors. standards, or eliminating any process or practice, the effect

of which adversely affects the environment, the Minister
may on the advice-of the Bureau designate employees of the
Bureau or public officers to be inspectors and shall provide
every inspector with documentary evidence of his designation.

(2) An inspector may at any time with warrant issued
by a magistrate enter a place-

(a ) where he has reasonable grounds to believe
an article to which this section applies is manufactured,
prepared stored or offered for sale, to examine and
take samples of the article;

( b ) where he has reasonable grounds to believe
that an activity to which this section applies is carried
out to inspect or investigate the activity and take sam-
ples of any article, material or substance relating to the
activity;

and while there may-

( 6 ) open and examine any receptacle or package
that he has reasonable grounds to believe contains an
article to which this section applies;

(4 examine and make copies of or transcribe
extracts from any book, documents or other record
which he has reasonable grounds to believe contains
information relevant to the enforcement of this Act;

( e ) seize and detain for such time as may be neces-
sary, any article by means of which or in relation to
which he has reasonable grounds to believe any provi-
sion of this Act has been infringed.

(3) A magistrate shall not issue a warrant under this
section unless he is satisfied by sworn information in writing
that admission to any premises has been refused, or that
refusal is apprehended or that a request for admission
could defeat the purpose of the entry.

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Standards (CAP. 411 13

(4) In this section

(a) "article to which this section applies" means
any goods for which a compulsory standard is declared
and includes

(i) anything used in the manufacture, testing,
preparation, processing, packaging, storage
or sale of the goods; and

(ii) any labelling or advertising material referring
to the goods, whether or not bearing the stan-
dard Mark;

(6 ) "activity to which this section applies" includes
any process or practice for which a compulsory stan-
dard has been declared and anything used in the per-
formance of the process or practice.

( 5 ) Where an inspector enters a place pursuant to this
seclion, the owner or person in charge of the place and any
servant or agent present at the time, shall give to the inspec-
tor all reasonable assistance and shall furnish him with such
information as he may reasonably require.

(6) An inspector may in his discretion, leave any article
seized under subsection (2) (e) in the place where it was
seized or remove it to be stored in another place, and upon
being satisfied that this section has been complied with shall
release all seized articles not destroyed by testing.

(7) Where an article is seized under subsection (2) (e)
and the owner or person from whom the article is seized
consents to its destruction, the article forfeits to Antigua
and Barbuda and may be destroyed or otherwise disposed
of as the Minister may direct.

(8) An inspector may prosecute in courts of summary
jurisdiction in cases arising from violation of this Act.

Miscellaneous

26. The Bureau shall be financed by moneys appro- Finace.
priated by Parliament for the purpose, by fees charged for

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14 CAP. 411) Standards

Offences.

examination, testing, certification, use of the Standard
Mark, and for any service rendered to industry, and by
Government grants and subsidies.

27. A person who-

( a ) sells, offers for sale or supplies to another per-
son any goods, service, process or practice for which a
compulsory standard is declared and which does not
conform to that standard;

( b ) labels, packages or advertises goods or services
or a process or practice otherwise than in compliance
with a compulsory standard;

( c ) makes a statement or representation or uses a
mark with reference to goods, services, a process or
practice which conveys or is likely to convey the impres-
sion that a person who is not entitled to use the stan-
dard mark is so entitled, or falsely represents that any
goods, process or practice complies with a specification
formulated outside Antigua and Barbuda;

(d) obliterates or otherwise removes a stamp or
mark which denotes deficiencies before offering or
exposing for sale goods which do not conform to a
required standard;

( e ) makes a statement or representation or uses a
mark which conveys or is likely to convey that any
goods, services, process or practice complies with a
standard when it does not;

(f) without the authority of the Bureau rd for the purpose of gain or profit makes a statemen or rep-
resentation comparing any goods, service, process or
practice with a standard declared by the Bureau or the
Minister, unless he proves that he acted without inten-
tion to defraud;

(g ) hinders, or obstructs or knowingly makes a
false or misleading statement to a person in the execu-
tion of his duty under this Act;

( h ) with intent to defraud represents that he is an
inspector or a perso11 authorised by the Bureau or the
Minister to perform a function under this Act;

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Standards (CAP. 41 1 15

( 2 ) being entitled to use the Standard Mark uses
it in contravention of the terms and conditions of the
licence or after he is no longer entitled to use it;

(j) uses the word "Standard" in a name contrary
to section 21;

(k) impersonates an inspector;

( I ) obstructs an inspector by not giving him rea-
sonable assistance or access to records, documents or
information relevant to the performance of his func-
tions under this Act;

( m ) tampers with an article seized by an inspector
in such a way as to change any of the characteristics of
the article described in the standard applicable to such
article;

is liable on summary conviction to a fine of ten thousand
dollars and to an additional penalty of one thousand dollars
for every day on which the offence continues or to impris-
onment for two years.

28. Where a person is convicted of an offence under Forfeiture of
this Act, the Court-

articles on
conviction of
offenders.

(a ) may order the forfeiture of any article by
means of or in relation to which the offence was com-
mitted or any similar item in the possession of that per-
son or found with such article whether or not the item
is proved to be in contravention of Section 25, and may
order that such article or item be disposed of as the
Minister may direct; and

(b) may order the person to cease and desist from
performing any activity by means of or in relation to
which the offence was committed until such time as the
Court may direct.

29. A copy of a standard authenticated by the Bureau Evidence of standard.
together with a copy of the Gazette notice declaring or
amending the standard is prima facie evidence of that stan-
dard in legal proceedings.

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16 CAP. 411) Standards

Secrecy of
Information.

30. (1) All information obtained by the Minister, the
Council, the Bureau or any member of its staff or any other
person in the course of the administration of this Act, as to
any,formula, process or practice is confidential except for
any purpose connected with the administration of this Act.

(2) The disclosure of any information relating to any
formula, process or practice to the Minister, the Council the
Bureau or any member of its staff or any other person for
purposes connected with the administration of this Act,
shall not prejudice a subsequent application for patent of
the formula, process or practice.

Protection against
claims.

31. No person has a claim against the Crown or
against the Bureau by reason only of the fact that the
Standard Mark is used in connection with any goods, or that
any goods, service, process or practice conforms or is
alleged to conform to a standard.

Regulations. 32. The Minister may make regulations for the pur-
pose of this Act, and for prescribing all things required to be
prescribed and in particular he may make regulations.

(a) regarding the declaring of standards (includ-
ing compulsory standards) ;

( b ) concerning the use of the Standard Mark and
for prescribing the fees to be paid in respect of such use;

(c) regarding packaging, labelling and advertising;

(d) regarding the examination and testing of
goods, processes and practices and entry upon premis-
es for that purpose;

( e ) requiring any person to keep and produce in
relation to any goods, services, process or practice,
such records as the Bureau may consider necessary for
the purpose of this Act;

(f) prescribing matters in respect of which fees
are to be paid, the amount of the fees and the persons
by whom the fees are to be paid and authorising the
refund or remission of fees in such circumstances as
may be prescribed;

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Standards (CAP. 4 1 1 17

(g) prescribing penalties for the bre'ach of any
regulation not exceeding a fine of five thousand dollars
or imprisonment for twelve months;

(h ) prescribing the qualifications, powers and
duties of persons authorized under section 22 to exam-
ine goods upon landing and of persons designated
inspectors under this Act;

( 2 ) prescribing anything required under this Act
to be prescribed.

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