Change quality control consumer products delayed

The Daily Herald writes that the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament deferred on Tuesday the voting on a change to the Caribbean Netherlands Commodities Law (“Warenwet BES”) which transfers the supervision on the quality of consumer products to the Executive Councils of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

The law proposal met no resistance in the Second Chamber, but the voting was delayed by one week because Parliament wanted a postponement because of another law proposal to change the Dutch Commodities Law, which is being handled simultaneously. The latter law proposal has to do with the increase of fines for the marketing/advertising of piercings and tattoos.

The public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba were already in charge of the supervision of food and beverage products. With this law change, once it has been approved by the First and Second Chambers of the Dutch Parliament, the islands also will become responsible for the other consumer products that until now have been an authority of the Dutch Inspection for Public Health IGZ.

The transfer of the supervisory tasks to the Executive Councils and the control by local inspectors will result in a more effective system, as is currently already the case for food goods, Minister of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sports Edith Schippers stated during the plenary handling of the law proposal last Thursday. “With this law change a clear and effective supervision is secured on the compliance with the Commodities Law, with the possibility of taking the specific circumstances on the islands into account,” Schippers said. The public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba requested this law change.

Schippers stated in the Explanatory Note of the law proposal that there had been practically no supervision on non-edible consumer products. This situation was mostly due to the fact that the sole IGZ inspector working in the Caribbean Netherlands had to cover various health laws and was not very knowledgeable on products legislation. Under the amended law, the role of the Health Inspection IGZ will be restricted to second-line supervisor.

Schippers emphasised that there was no cause for concern that the lack of supervision on non-edible consumer products had a detrimental effect on the safety of these products. “However, it will be more effective to have the Executive Councils intervene if this is necessary,” she said.

One party expressed its support during the handling of the law proposal last week. “This puts the responsibilities where they belong,” said Member of Parliament (MP) Leendert de Lange of the liberal democratic VVD party.

The law proposal is expected to be approved when it comes to voting, as no party has voiced any objections.

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