Caribbean Community (CARICOM) consumers now have access to the CARREX Online Electronic Platform and the live public portal for providing alerts on dangerous non-foods consumer goods on the markets in all fifteen CARICOM Member States. The platform, which went live recently, can be accessed via www.carrex.caricom.org
Registered National Contact Points (NCPs) and their alternates, national authorities and economic operators, will be able to transmit notifications on this IT platform. It was developed with assistance under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Economic Integration Programme.
Through the online platform, consumers and consumer organisations will be able to submit complaints about products that may have caused or have the potential to cause harm to them. The facility can also be used by the public to submit complaints electronically to consumer protection agencies on defective products purchased from suppliers in the Community.
The system functions as a general alert and surveillance structure intended to cope with emergency situations. It aims essentially to permit the rapid exchange of information between the Member States and the CARICOM Secretariat when the presence of a product which represents a grave and immediate risk to consumers’ health and safety has been detected.
It enables the national authorities to act immediately where a serious and immediate danger has been registered to circulate non-food and pharmaceutical products on the national territory. Food and pharmaceutical items have been excluded from this system as procedures which monitor such products tend to have a higher level of stringency and are regulated by different processes.
Member States are expected to establish their CARREX National Networks which shall include the CARREX Contact Point and all of the authorities involved in ensuring consumer product safety.