Georgetown, June 2014: Monday June 9th 2014 was ‘World Accreditation Day’. This year, World Accreditation Day was observed under the theme “Accreditation: Delivering confidence in the provision of energy”. The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) wholeheartedly embraces and applauds this theme; owing to the fact that it focuses on the role that accreditation plays in providing confidence in the provision of energy.
This joint global event was established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) to raise global awareness regarding accreditation-related activities. Accreditation speaks to evaluation, endorsement, approval, certification, authorization and recognition of organizations, businesses and individuals against standards, whether national or international, to carry out specific activities. The intended aim is to ensure the integrity, impartiality and competence of the said activities.
Energy is integral to our country’s economic growth and development and is essential for our daily routines. It powers diverse economic activities such as transportation, agriculture and manufacturing, all of which undoubtedly are key sectors of development. Energy is a major contributor to health and well-being, providing essential services such as heating, lighting, transportation and cooling.
Products and services must conform to international best practice and standards. Accreditation, through testing, inspection and certification seeks to assess these product and services, in this case energy, for conformity against these standards.
The Guyana Energy Agency Act 1997 was amended in 2004 (with further amendments in 2005 and 2011) to provide specifically for licensing of the different classes of fuel dealers and for the marking and testing of all legitimately imported fuel. Subsidiary legislation in the form of the Petroleum and Petroleum Products Regulations 2004 was also created to regularize fuel operations.
Testing of fuel is not only critical in ensuring revenue collection but it also ensures that consumers receive quality products. The Fuel Marking Programme, implemented in 2003, is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that all gasoline, diesel and kerosene are properly ‘marked’ at a known concentration, at all legitimate import points; as well as collecting and testing samples of fuel from various parts of the country including wholesalers, retailers, distributors, transporters, commercial consumers and any person in possession of fuel. Prior to its implementation, non-taxed fuel was being smuggled into the country, sold illegally and quite often of a poor quality.
Through the Licensing component of the GEA, providers of petroleum and petroleum products are required to comply with standards approved by the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS). As part of the licensing process by the GEA, operators are required to demonstrate compliance with the relevant Standards and Regulations to ensure that they have the appropriate processes and procedures in place to legally deliver fuel to their consumers.
The Licensing Division and the Fuel Marking Programme of the Guyana Energy Agency ensure improved and sustained sales of legitimate diesel and gasoline, improved and sustained collection of excise tax, assurance of fuel quality, and in the ability of the regulatory/enforcement Agencies to stamp out illegal activity. These activities and initiatives provide confidence in the industry and in the provision of energy that is not only reliable but also economically, environmentally and socially sustainable for all in Guyana.