(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat is forging ahead with promoting a rapid consumer protection alert system throughout CARICOM Member States. The CARICOM Rapid Alert System on the Exchange of Information on Dangerous (non-food) Consumer Goods, CARREX, is a major initiative aimed at protecting consumers via quick and efficient information sharing on harmful products in the market.
A team from the CARICOM Secretariat, this month, kicked off a regional promotion of the CARREX which includes visits to Saint Lucia and Dominica in early August. With support under the 10th European Development Fund, stakeholder sessions were previously held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada. The CARICOM Secretariat is seeking to implement the CARREX in Member States and sensitize stakeholders on its operations and benefits to consumer protection.
The CARREX is designed as a web-based portal for information sharing among national consumer protection agencies and other related bodies. National contact points from respective Member States are expected to use the system and interface with their counterparts as they send and receive alerts regarding unsafe items that may be in the market. As part of the implementation process, the CARICOM Secretariat team is conducting training on how to use the system and enter information that is vital to consumers and other stakeholders. National consumer protection officials and other representatives of related bodies from both St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada received this training in mid July and it is expected that both islands will be implementing the CARREX shortly.
The CARICOM Secretariat team is made up of Deputy Programme Manager, CSME, Mr. Philip McClauren; Senior Project Officer, Integrated Information Systems, Mr. Derrick Agdomar; and Consumer Health and Safety Officer, Ms. Hilda Kelshall.