Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Statement on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

Belmopan, February14th, 2011. The recent revelation surrounding the sale of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the domestic market is underscored by the need for the Bureau to take immediate action to protect the interests and rights of consumers.

As the entity responsible for legal metrology we do not refute these revelations, neither should we be mistakenly viewed as upholding acts of deception that deprive the average Belizean consumer. In an effort to address this issue the Bureau is expeditiously pursing the following:
*In the immediate term the Bureau expects very shortly to pursue measures to provide additional assurance to the consumer as it relates to purchases of LPG in the domestic market.
*In the medium term the Bureau will seek financial support from the Government of Belize to purchase metrology equipment that will assist with monitoring the LPG industry in terms of weights and measures or quantity and quality of LPG mixtures imported.
*In addition the Bureau has been able to secure technical assistance from the PTB (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt) of Germany through its Technical Cooperation arm for Latin America and the Caribbean. The consultancy which is expected to commence in March 2011 will pursue the following objectives:
*Conduct a thorough analysis/assessment of the status - use and needs of standards and application of metrology as appropriate - of the LPG industry in Belize
*Assess product quality and safety
*Evaluate current storage and distribution methods in Belize
*Evaluate and assess suppliers’ facilities and infrastructure - plant and equipment
*Seek recommendations for the development of standards applicable to this sector
*Provide guidance on minimum level of investment (capital and technical) necessary of the Bureau for conformity assessment. This includes testing, sampling, inspections, certification and accreditation.

The Bureau acknowledges that this is a serious problem and we are addressing the issue in the quickest and shortest time as resources permit. At the same time, the Bureau reminds the general public that the pursuit to protect consumers cannot be shouldered by one single entity but rather requires active participation by the public and coordination among all relevant regulatory agencies.