DR. RENAE FERGUSON-BUFFORD Director, BBSQ // 2013 - PRESENT
‘Measurements for Global Trade’
The world is more connected now than it has ever been before, with global economies strengthening, populations increasing, and international trade developing at an unprecedented rate. The sheer volume of products traded on the global market each year is astounding, where the sale of the world’s most traded good, finished automobiles, reaches an estimated 1.35 trillion dollars. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself exactly what goes into making these automobiles and, for example, how precise the measurements for each moving part must be?
You may find yourself putting a certain level of trust into the standard or quality of the goods and services that you receive on a day-to-day basis. What underpins said standards are international systems that have been put in place to ensure that the measurements used to produce many of the goods sold on the global market are both accurate and harmonious.
A sound measurement system is an essential element in achieving globally accepted calibration and testing results. Essential factors for such a system include traceability to the International System of Units, or SI (scientific metrology), regulated measurements and measuring instruments (legal metrology), and confidence in testing and measurement results via certification, standardization, accreditation and calibration (industrial metrology). It is this measurement assurance that translates to fairness and equity in trade.
Indeed, The Bahamas is an archipelago which relies heavily on the import of goods from the global market. As such, it is imperative that the government continues to regulate all weights and measurement activities within the country, particularly as it relates to trade. The Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality (BBSQ) is proud to carry on this mandate, working closely with its national, regional and international partners and affiliates to reduce technical barriers to trade (TBT).
As we all navigate our way through these extraordinary times, BBSQ is pleased to set the stage for World Metrology Day 2020.
World Metrology Day History
On May 20 each year, we celebrate the history and the future of metrology, the scientific study of measurement. World Metrology Day is the global observance that pays tribute to the signature at the Meter Convention that occurred on the 20th of May 1875. The convention featured a coalition of seventeen nations who came together to establish the framework for global collaboration in the field of scientific measurement which established a standard measurement system between all nations.
World Metrology Day is about how our scientific measurement system is capable of stretching beyond the bounds of language. Math & Science both share the commonality of being necessary in the development and maintenance of foreign relations. The goal of this convention was realized when participants successfully established a worldwide measurement that allowed for cohesion among the scientific community. The impact of what was achieved at this event can be experienced in science laboratories to this day.
The world-wide uniformity of measurement remains as important today as it was in 1875.
World Metrology Day 2020
This year’s theme, ” Measurements for global trade”, was chosen to bring about awareness of the importance that measurement plays in facilitating fair global trade, ensuring products meet standards and regulations, and satisfying customer quality expectations. As you are aware, the metrology department is responsible for all weights and measures activities in the commonwealth of the Bahamas. The work of metrology is vital to trade development quality control, consumer protection and national health and safety. This year’s theme could not have come at a better time as we continue to advance national development through the facilitation and promotion of quality service in standardization, metrology and conformity assessment to protect the consumer, enhance international trade and competitiveness of goods and services.
As we approach another milestone it is our core commitment that we promote and support the sustainable growth and diversification of The Bahamas’ economy, leading to greater economic prosperity and improvement of quality of life for all Bahamians.
Sites/Organizations that can provide further information on all things metrology/weights and measures:
- Official World Metrology Day Celebration Webpage: http://www.worldmetrologyday.org/
- International Bureau of Weights and Measures: https://www.bipm.org/en/about-us/
- International Committee on Weights and Measures: https://www.bipm.org/en/committees/cipm/
- Joint BIPM-OIML Web Portal: http://www.metrologyinfo.org/
- International Organization of Legal Metrology: https://www.oiml.org/en
- CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality: https://website.crosq.org/
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): https://www.nist.gov/
- National Conference of Standards Laboratories (NCSL) International: https://www.ncsli.org/
- National Physical Laboratory (UK): https://www.npl.co.uk/
- Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB): https://www.ptb.de/cms/en.html
- InterAmerican Metrology System (SIM): https://sim-metrologia.org/
Other Notable Links
Messages for World Metrology Day 2020 (Video): http://www.worldmetrologyday.org/links.html
Redefinition of the SI: https://www.nist.gov/si-redefinition
The kilogram has changed forever (Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-fFRLWBzm8
History of measurements: https://www.mtiinstruments.com/knowledge-center/history-of-measurements/
International System of Units (SI) Brochure:
BBSQ Metrology Brochure: https://www.bbsq.bs/en/files/downloads/12-metrology-brochure/file
The Importance of Metrology for Standards, Industry, and Trade: