Barbados - Country Commercial Guide
Standards for Trade
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The BNSI is a non-governmental organization established in 1973 under the Companies Act as a joint venture between the government of Barbados and the private sector.  The BNSI oversees product standards, metrology, product development and testing, and product certification. 

Since its inception, the BNSI has been open to recommendations from the public and independent groups such as the Barbados Manufacturers Association (BMA).  It also supports the incorporation of regional standards, especially considering the recent push by CARICOM members to harmonize regional standards through the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), as an important step toward the implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).  The BNSI is a member of CROSQ.

In 1997, the BNSI accepted the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement’s Code of Good Practice for the Preparation, Adoption and Application of Standards.  BNSI is a full member of the International Organization for Standardization and is a member of the International Organization of Legal Metrology, the Pan-American Standards Commission, and the Inter-American Metrology System.  It is also the national contact point for Codex Alimentarius matters, as well as the Standards Enquiry Point for Barbados under the WTO TBT Agreement.  It is a member of the International Electrotechnical Commission Affiliate Country Program.


Labeling requirements for different classes of goods are covered by the following standards:

Mandatory Standards:

  • Barbados National Standard Specification for Labeling of Commodities [General] (BNS 5: Part 1:1974)
  • Barbados National Standard Specification for Labeling of Prepackaged Food (BNS 5: Part 2:2004 second revision)
  • Barbados National Standard Specification for Labeling of All Products Manufactured from Textiles (BNS 5: Part 3:1974)
  • Barbados National Standard Specification for Labeling of Prepackaged Goods (BNS 5: Part 6:1979)
  • Barbados National Standard Specification for Labeling of Prepackaged Meat and Poultry Parts/Cuts and Fish and Fishery Products (BNS 5: Part 7:2004 revised)
  • Barbados National Standard Specification for Labeling of Toys and Playthings (BNS 23:1976)
  • Barbados National Standard Code of Practice for Care Labeling of Textiles (BNS CP 3:1980)\
  • Barbados National Standard Specification for Processed Foods (BNS 30:1976)
  • Barbados National Standard Specification for Labeling Brewery Products (BNS 186:2000) 

Voluntary Standards:

  • Barbados National Standard Specification for Labeling of Footwear (BNS 5: Part 4: 1980).

Through the BNSI, Barbados accepts the standards as set through its membership in regional and international standards organizations.  To inquire about labeling requirements for a specific class of goods, contact the BNSI at telephone: 246-426-3870; email:

Testing, Inspection and Certification

The testing laboratories, which certify that products meet standards, fall under the BNSI structure. The Standards Act 2006-5 gives the BSNI the authority to certify products and processes and to issue certification marks for which a national standard exists. BNSI also uses a third-party certification system which considers an audit of quality control of products and processes and 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.  For further information, contact the BNSI at telephone: 246-426-3870; email:

The procedures for product certification are as follows: The interested party must submit an application and pay a non-refundable application fee of $25 ($50 Barbados dollars) to the BNSI.  The 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.  In addition, samples are taken to test conformity to a standard’s specifications.  Testing costs are borne by the applicant.  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.  A marking fee, paid by the applicant, is negotiated which covers the costs of the scheme of inspection.  At this point, a license to use the BNSI mark can be issued.  The license is good for one year and must be renewed annually.  There is a $50 ($100 Barbados dollars) annual license fee.  An application along with a $10 ($20 Barbados dollars) application fee must be submitted to renew the mark.

The BNSI does not have Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) with U.S. organizations.  With respect to accreditation, the BNSI acts as the national focal point for accreditation matters in Barbados.  CARICOM, of which Barbados is a member, has established the Caribbean Cooperation for Accreditation (CCA) Scheme.  More information on the CCA scheme is available on the CROSQ website at

Publication of Technical Regulations

The BNSI publishes national standards on labeling, building, food, chemicals, textiles, solar energy, liquefied petroleum gas, furniture, and consumer products.  The complete list of Barbadian standards is published in the Standards Catalogue which is available from the BNSI.  U.S. entities can contact the BNSI during the standards application process if they have any inquiries or comments.  

Contact Information

Barbados National Standards Institution


Culloden Road

St. Michael


Tel: 246-426-3870    

Fax: 246-436-1495



The Pan American Standards Commission or La Comisión Panamericana de Normas Técnicas (COPANT)



Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship

1st Floor Warrens Office Complex


St. Michael

Tel: 246-535-7700

Fax: 246-535-7705



CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ)

2nd Floor Baobab Towers,


St. Michael

Tel: 246-622-7670

Fax: 246-622-7678


Members of the WTO are required under the TBT Agreement to notify the WTO of proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures that could affect trade.  Notify U.S. (  is a free, web-based email registration service that captures and makes available for review and comment key information on draft regulations and conformity assessment procedures. Users receive customized email alerts when new notifications are added by selected country or countries and industry sector(s) of interest and can also request full texts of regulations.  This service and its associated website are managed and operated by the U.S. WTO TBT Inquiry Point housed within the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.