Close to 380 (335 scales, 43 masses and 2 rules) unapproved and unverified devices were seized and removed from vendors from both the Bourda and Stabroek Markets in a raid conducted on Friday June 02, by Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS)’ inspectors.
The raid follows a series of surveillance operations, Public Relations Officer (PRO) Lloyd David revealed, during a media press briefing at the GNBS head office, Exhibition Complex, Sophia today. David explained that the aim of the exercise was to ensure that the devices used for commercial trade are accurate and reliable in keeping with the GNBS’ mandate.
David explained that the exercises will be on-going and executed countrywide. “What the inspectors discovered is that some of the devices seized were in bad condition particularly the dial scale, which is a domestic dial scale, but it was used in commercial trade and GNBS does not approve such scales”, the PRO noted.
He explained that the inspectors had advised the vendors to desist from the use of those scales but they failed to do so, which led to the removal of the devices. He reiterated that the devices are required to be approved and verified twice yearly.
Meanwhile, GNBS is urging consumers to only purchase from vendors and shopkeepers who use scales officially, “verified and approved for commercial trade.”
Head of Legal Metrology Department, Shailendra Rai, said that some of the devices seized were approved for commercial trade but not verified for the current period that they were being used hence their removal. Rai highlighted that consumers not only need to ensure that the vendors they purchase from, use scales with the signature of the inspector and date when it was verified.
“In addition, to those requirements the scale must be in good condition, it must be on a level surface, the consumer must also be able to witness the weighing of the products being purchased unless it is pre-packaged in advance”, the Head of Legal Metrology Department said.
Rai highlighted that the agency will be putting systems in place to commence the verification of pre-packaged goods to check the net content to ensure that the weights and measures given are correct, whether imported or locally produced.
Additionally, Rai noted that the agency is awaiting legal advice on the Weights and Measures Act to commence strict enforcement and prosecution proceedings against persons found using defective or unapproved devices. He said that vendors can contact his agency’s consumer’s hotline at 219-0069 to verify the purchase of approved scales to ensure that there is no mistake in purchasing the correct device or they can use a digital scale.
Last year, GNBS conducted 7, 632 surveillance visits to business premises which resulted in the seizure of 694 defective scales and 394 masses countrywide.