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Fines to be increased for use of unapproved scales

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By Bibi Khatoon

Retailers can find themselves paying as much as $50,000 for utilising scales and other measuring devices not approved for commercial trade when the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) gets approval for its Metrology Bill.

In 2017, the agency inspected 29,390 devices during 2017 with 551 being scales; 1,551 masses; 1,968 electricity meters; 1,779 petrol meters; 84 tanker wagon compartments; 106 storage tanks and 131 weight bridge scales.

However, one of the major concerns for consumers has been the scales used at shops and in the markets to weigh groceries and other items, which robs customers of their full purchase. During an exercise in September last year, the GNBS seized over 50 dial scales at the Stabroek and Bourda markets. At that time, it reported that more than 500 unapproved scales were seized and removed from markets and other retail outlets countrywide.

Public Relations Officer of GNBS, Lloyd David

At a press conference on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, Public Relations Officer of GNBS, Lloyd David said despite removing the defective scales, “persons continue to use them in the marketplace and obviously will affect the accuracy of their measurements…We cannot stop the importation of the item because it can be used for domestic purpose.”

Executive Director of the GNBS, Candell Bostwick noted that the current charge for not conforming to the provisions of the law is only $1,000. This fine, she pointed out is not worth taking someone before the court. But during this year, the agency is looking to change that with the Metrology Bill.

“With that Metrology Bill, we’ve included fines that will deter persons from doing what is illegal. When they see the fines, they will be encouraged to comply…that is the only alternative we have,” the Executive Director explained.

News Room understands that the fines will be charged based on the offence and the number of persons affected.

She is encouraging users of the illegal scales to voluntarily change over to the recommended metric devices which include the metric red equal arm scales and masses, metric platform scales, approved dial scales and electronic scales.

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