What is the Antigua and Barbuda Bureau of Standards?

  • The Antigua and Barbuda Bureau of Standards (ABBS) is the agency authorized by law (The Standards Act) to  establish and maintain the national quality infrastructure (NQI – standards, testing, metrology – measurement services, certification and accreditation) in Antigua and Barbuda.
  • The services provided under the ambit of the NQI are aimed at ensuring and protecting the health and safety of the consumer and the environment, and promoting fair trading practices, in the production, import and export of goods and services.

What does the Bureau do ?

  • Prepares standards which are relevant to the economy of Antigua and Barbuda
  • Complies with the requirements of international trade relations
  • Provides a broad base of technical advisory and monitoring services for service providers, producers and manufacturers (This will in turn benefit the consumer.)
  • Facilitates presentations, training seminars and workshops to provide information about the development and use of standards in general or specific areas


What are the technical committees comprised of?

  •  The technical committees comprise of experts in the field that is relevant to the standard in subject.
  • These member experts inlcudes representatives of various organizations such as service providers, producers/manufacturers, government agencies, consumers, educational/research institutions, professionals and special interest groups, who have the experience and expertise to guide the development of standards.


Why do we need Standards ?


  • form the basis of trade, enhance and encourage trade;
  • provide opportunity for developing countries to compete on the world trade stage by removing technical barriers to trade;
  • form a platform for ensuring the quality of a product;
  • allow manufacturers to provide consistent and reliable quality, avoiding wastage (of materials and other resources) as a result of poor quality and rejected products;
  • (international standards) serve as the technical foundation for the global marketplace in order to prevent unnecessary obstacles to free flow of goods and protect consumers from the dumping of sub-standard products on their markets.


What is quality infrastructure?

A quality infrastructure is a highly integrated network of people, systems and organisations involved in the research, definition, development and promotion of quality goods, services and processes.

Quality infrastructure refers here to all aspects of metrology, standardisation, testing, quality management, certification and accreditation that have a bearing on conformity assessment.

(Ref: http://www.arso-oran.org/understanding-quality-infrastructure-activities-their-interrelatedness-and-the-role-of-ptb-in-capacity-development-in-africa/)


What is a national quality infrastructure?

A National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) is the national institutional framework that establishes and implements the practice of standardization, including conformity assessment services, metrology, and accreditation.


(Ref: http://www.arso-oran.org/understanding-quality-infrastructure-activities-their-interrelatedness-and-the-role-of-ptb-in-capacity-development-in-africa/)

What is Calibration?

Calibration is “… the comparison of measurement values delivered by a device under test with those of a calibration standard of known accuracy.” 

  • A calibration may be expressed by a statement, calibration function, calibration diagram, calibration curve, or calibration table. In some cases, it may consist of an additive or multiplicative correction of the indication with associated measurement uncertainty.
  • Calibration should not be confused with adjustment of a measuring system, often mistakenly called “self-calibration”, nor with verification of calibration.
(Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calibration; http://viml.oiml.info/en/0.14.html )


What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is the procedure by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition that a body or person is competent to carry out specific tasks.

  • Accreditation is a means of building confidence in the work and the findings of testing and calibration laboratories and of inspection and certification bodies (conformity testing bodies).
  • It applies for a fixed period of time and includes monitoring measures.
  • It facilitates the mutual recognition of certificates of conformity and promotes international trade.


What is conformity assessment?

Conformity assessment involves a set of processes that show your product, service or system meets the requirements of a standard.

Undergoing the conformity assessment process has a number of benefits:

  • It provides consumers and other stakeholders with added confidence.
  • It gives your company a competitive edge.
  • It helps regulators ensure that health, safety or environmental conditions are met.
(Ref: https://www.iso.org/conformity-assessment.html)


What is a technical regulation?

Document which lays down product characteristics or their related processes and production methods, including the applicable administrative provisions, with which compliance is mandatory. It may also include or deal exclusively with terminology, symbols, packaging, marking or labeling requirements as they apply to a product, process or production method.



The definition in iso/iec guide 2 is not self-contained, but based on the so-called “building block” system.

(Ref: World Trade Organisation. The Legal Texts: The Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations by World Trade Organization. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999. p. 137)


What is a measurement standard?

Realization of the definition of a given quantity, with stated quantity value and associated measurement uncertainty, used as a reference.


  • 1 kg mass measurement standard with an associated standard measurement uncertainty of 3 μg.
  • 100 Ω measurement standard resistor with an associated standard measurement uncertainty of 1 μΩ


  • A “realization of the definition of a given quantity” can be provided by a measuring system, a material measure, or a reference material.
  • Several quantities of the same kind or of different kinds may be realized in one device which is commonly also called a measurement standard.
(Ref: International Vocabulary Of Metrology – Basic And General Concepts And Associated Terms (Vim))