International Standards

General Standards

The Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) is a joint undertaking between the Government of Barbados and the private sector, incorporated by private law and recognized by Government. It was established de jure in 1973 under the Companies Act, as a non-profit benevolent organization. BNSI was admitted to full membership in ISO in 1999, after having been a correspondent member for 26 years.

The primary functions of BNSI include:

- the preparation, promotion and implementation of standards in all sectors of the economy;

- the promotion of quality systems, quality control and simplification in industry and commerce;

- the certification of products, commodities and processes.

Legislation giving legal force to the work of BNSI includes:

- the Standards Act 2006;

- the Weights and Measures Act (1977) and Regulations (1985).

BNSI holds membership in the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML), the Pan-American Standards Commission (COPANT), and the Interamerican Metrology System (SIM). It is also the National Contact Point for Codex Alimentarius matters, as well as the Standards Enquiry Point for Barbados. It is a member of the Caricom Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and of the IEC Affiliate Country Programme.



The BNSI Certification Marks Act, Cap 325A bestows on the Barbados National Standards Institution the authority to certify products and processes and to issue certification marks for which a Barbados National Standard exists. BNSI practices a third party certification system and also accepts third party marks of conformity from other reputable and well-known agencies. Other marks are accepted on a case-by-case basis. A firm interested in having a mark accepted must submit the mark and relevant details to BNSI for assessment. 


The Certification Procedure

1. The interested party must submit an application and a non-refundable application fee of BDS $50.00 (USD $25.00) to BNSI;

2.  BNSI will then conduct a preliminary inspection of the manufacturing facility to assess the testing facilities and the quality assurance procedures for the manufacturing process;

3.  After a report of the preliminary inspection is completed, a scheme of testing and inspection is prepared for the organization. This scheme includes information such as the points of production from where samples would be drawn for testing and/or inspection, the frequency, size and manner of drawing the samples, the tests to be performed, the types of records to be maintained, corrective actions to be taken if necessary, and the method of applying the mark. 



- Barbados National Standard Specification for Labeling of Prepackaged Food;

- Barbados National Standard Specification for Labeling of All Products Manufactured from Textiles;

- Barbados National Standard Specification for Labeling of Prepackaged Goods;

- Barbados National Standard Specification for Labeling of Prepackaged Meat and Poultry Parts/Cuts and Fish and Fishery Products;

- Barbados National Standard Specification for Labeling of Toys and Playthings;

- Barbados National Standard Code of Practice for Care Labeling of Textiles.



Every importer or exporter has to prepare the following list of documents in order to do the business legally:

1. Airway Bills or Bills of Lading depending on the method of import;

2. The CARICOM document invoice (The Commercial Invoice is acceptable if all of the required information is present);

3. The Supplier's Invoice documenting all items in the shipment;

4. The C-60 Form - a declaration of particulars relating to Customs Value;

5. The C-63 Form - indicating the items shipped, the weight, the shipper, the tariff code, etc., must also be attached.



The labels on the imported products have to contain the following information:

- Description of the commodity and factual information to the potential purchaser;

- The weight or volume, measurement or size as applicable;

- Safety instructions;

- Operating instructions and information on care and maintenance;

- Country of manufacture;

- It shall not contain information that is false, misleading or deceptive, or is likely  to  create  an  erroneous  impression  regarding  its  character in  any respect;

- It shall not contain information by words, pictorial or other devices which refer to or are suggestive, either directly or indirectly, of another commodity with which such a commodity might be confused, or in such a manner as to lead the purchaser or consumer to suppose that the commodity is connected with such other product;

- The information shall be written in English.



1.  The  use  of  a  Standard  Mark  issued  by  the  Barbados  National  Standards Institution shall be governed by the laws of Barbados.

2.  The use of a Standard Mark issued by a Standards Organization outside of Barbados shall be in accordance with the rules or laws governing that Standard Mark applied by the Standards Organization.

3.  No  manufacturer  or  packager  shall  use  a  Standard  Mark  on  a  label,  on  a package, or on goods without written authorization in accordance with the laws or rules referred to in 1 and 2.


Note:  the following bodies in the Caribbean Community issue Standard Marks:

(a) Barbados – BNSI 

(b) Jamaica – JBS 

(c) Trinidad & Tobago – TTBS



Barbados National Standards Institution

“Flodden” Culloden Road

St. Michael


Tel: 246/426-3870

Fax: 246/436-1495



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