Under the auspices of Industry and Commerce Minister Dr. Hassan Fakhro, a seminar was held yesterday morning under title of “Safety Means Safe Products” which is organized by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in collaboration with the United Nations Development program (UNDP).
During the seminar the Minister Dr. Fakhro stated “that the seminar aims to create effective channels of communication and interaction between relevant stakeholders to discuss best international practices in product safety legislation and measures. This seminar will provide an opportunity for discussion about products safety through the integration of roles of all relevant parties, each according to their specialization, with the objective of seeking to protect individuals and society, as well as to promote sound and fair business practices.”
Dr. Fakhro added “that the Kingdom of Bahrain, along with the rest of the GCC Countries and through the Gulf Standardization Organization (GSO), has set the basic elements to support the creation of a strong Gulf market by launching the "Gulf Regulatory System For Product Monitoring", which is considered as one of the leading cooperation and coordination structures among the GCC countries. The system is based on a set of binding regulations having essential safety requirements to be met, and followed by unified procedures to verify products conformity in line with accepted international practices and regulations.”
The Gulf Regulatory System consists of technical regulations which are considered as an infrastructural support mechanism; such as the "Gulf Conformity Mark", which obliges manufacturers to affix the mark on the product, as an indication of fulfillment of the safety requirements. This Gulf Conformity Mark was implemented in the Kingdom on Toys on the 1st January 2011.
“Moreover, there is the General Products Safety regulation, which will also be discussed in depth in this seminar, and serves as a safety valve provision to cover all products. This regulation sets general rules that oblige producers or importers to place only safe products on the GCC market; products that do not pose risk to the health and safety of consumers.” Dr. Fakhro added.
The Minister confirmed “that industrial and technological progress, coupled with market openness, has created many sectors and generated numerous diversified products, which requires legislation that can cover them all. At the national level, Bahrain has adopted the Gulf General Product Safety Regulation promulgated by Ministerial Decree No. 88 of 2010 published in the Official Gazette on October 21, 2010.”
“We also look forward through this seminar to shed light on the issue of manufacturer's liability for defective products. The multiplicity and diversity of products has also created diversified risks, which obliges us to unify the legally binding rules that holds the manufacturers liable for any damage or harm their products might cause to consumers.”
This issue is one of the main topics that will be presented in this seminar by Mr. Richard Ferry, Trading Standards Officer and Consumer Products Expert from the UK, working for NI-CO , a not for profit, public body dedicated to the pursuit of building efficient public sector
Dr. Fakhro affirmed that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is seeking through this seminar to help foster a common understanding between the concerned parties: legislators, producers, importers, consumers, testing and inspection bodies, and to implement and develop the Gulf Regulatory System that has been initiated to serve and protect all. I hope that this seminar will help us to take a step forward towards our shared goal, and I trust that all participants will engage in an effective interactive dialogue so as to gain the maximum benefit from the seminar.