Regional Rapid Exchange System for Dangerous Goods being developed

BRADES, Montserrat – Montserrat is to be a part of a new alert system to notify other Caribbean nations of dangerous goods.
Last Wednesday, representatives from government, private sector and non-profit groups met with Ioannis Sidiropolous, an IT Consultant working with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to develop the Regional Rapid Exchange System.
The system will cover non-food products Sidiropoulos explained that CARICOM wants to improve the level of consumer protection with regard to the safety of products. The project which began in May and ends November 15 is to develop the comprehensive framework for the rapid exchange system for dangerous products, a computerised system to track notifications, and a training programme for all participating nations.
The consultant said the goal is to create a system that all users are able to work with immediately and by which information can be exchanged quickly between authorities. It covers all non-food products excluding industrial products, consumer services, drugs and tobacco.
In November, one person from each member state will participate in a train the trainers programme to be able to pass on knowledge of the system to colleagues.
The Caribbean model, being called CARREX – CARICOM Rapid Exchange system is based on the European Rapid Exchange system (RAPEX) which has been in use for more than 30 years.
The CARREX Secretariat will function as the central node with 15 national contact points, and the OECS Secretariat as an associated contact point. The 15 national networks will be made up of members from public administration bodies and institutions, economic operators and individual consumers and consumer organisations.
According to Sidiropoulos, a product is classified as dangerous when you find out that although it has been manufactured and achieved certification it is proven to cause health or safety problems for consumers.