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Jamaican labs get FDA accreditation

InternationalJamaican labs get FDA accreditation

by Khaila Gentle

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tues. July 19, 2022
The Jamaican National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) held an award ceremony on Tuesday celebrating the agency’s recent approval by the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a recognized accreditation body. The ceremony also recognized four Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) laboratories for attaining JANAAC accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standards: the Aggregates Laboratory, the Concrete and Masonry Units Laboratory, the Cement Testing Laboratory, and the Energy Efficiency Testing Laboratory.


The JANAAC FDA recognition and accreditation awards ceremony was held under the theme “Accreditation: Sustainability in Economic Growth and the Environment.”
Founded in March 2008, JANAAC provides accreditation that allows labs and inspection and certification entities in Jamaica and across the Caribbean to be recognized as facilities that meet international standards. According to Sancia Bennett Templer, Permanent Secretary at Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce, accreditation plays a large role in the country’s import and export process, allowing trade between Jamaica and its partners.


The accreditation body first revealed that it was seeking FDA approval as a third-party accreditation body in September 2021. And on June 24 of this year, the FDA announced that it had recognized the agency as an accreditation body for five years under their Accredited Third-Party Certification Program.


The partnership between JNAAC and the FDA is expected to ensure ease of exportation to the United States and will greatly benefit the manufacturing and export industry.
Kamesha Blake, Executive Director of Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Association, spoke at the ceremony, and remarked that manufacturing is a cornerstone of the Jamaican economy.


“We have the best rum and sauces, and definitely we have some great beverages too. However, as a small open economy, Jamaica has to be strategically placed in international trade, and this requires having good services to make us competitive. This will help to support innovation-driven, high-quality goods and services,” she said.


“The approval of JANAAC by the USFDA as a recognized accreditation body under the Accredited Third-Party Certification Program for a period of five years is quite significant. Local businesses can access international services. And this will make us more competitive,” she added.


Present at the ceremony virtually and representing the USFDA was the Programme Coordinator of the Accredited Third-Party Certification Programme (TPP), Doriliz De Leon.
De Leon explained that the TPP is a voluntary fee-based program through which the FDA recognizes accreditation bodies that in turn accredit third-party certification bodies to perform food safety audits and issue certifications for facilities and their products.


According to JANAAC, the accreditation of the BSJ’s Aggregates Laboratory, Concrete and Masonry Laboratory, Cement Laboratory, and Energy Efficiency Laboratory to the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard, confirms their technical competence to conduct energy efficiency testing, and testing services for raw material and building material.
Over the last eight years, JANAAC has increased the number of entities in Jamaica and the Caribbean that are accredited as facilities meeting international standards, and it is represented in at least 10 Caribbean states.

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