GNBS to seize devices not approved for commercial trade
The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) has completed its weighing
and measuring surveillance exercise for the first half of this year, and according to the entity, 3023 scales, 6815 masses and 53 weight bridge scales, primarily used in the rice industry and Ministry of Public Works, have been verified.
Head of the Standards Compliance Department, Shailendra Rai, pointed out that his branch is also involved in the verification of petrol pumps used at service stations and bulk meters used at petrol terminals.He explained that there are complaints of consumers and petrol dealers receiving short measurement from petrol terminals.
Adding that 771 petrol pumps were verified, Rai revealed that out of that amount, 197 were adjusted and calibrated for under delivery.
“Once they are inaccurate they are adjusted on spot, and the adjusting mechanism would be sealed by the GNBS to prevent tampering in the future. We also place an approval seal on the outer section of the petrol pump, and the date the pump is verified, in order to provide guidance to consumers purchasing.”
In addition, 66 bulk meters were verified and used at various petrol terminals that deliver products to the gas stations.
Rai further disclosed that 25 storage tanks and 54 tanker wagons were verified to ensure their accuracy, “so when deliveries are made to dealers they can cross check to guarantee that the quantity purchased is received”.
He underscored that vendors and shop keepers are purchasing unapproved devices in the retail sector for commercial trade.
“The Bureau of Standards cannot limit the types of scales imported into Guyana, because there are scales used for domestic use and scales imported for commercial use. But what we find is that vendors and shopkeepers are purchasing the domestic scale for commercial trade, and when that happens consumers are cheated, because of continuous usage over a period of time. The internal mechanism of the scale…when weight is placed on it, the scale would show extra weight,” Rai explained.
“These scales are not designed for commercial use, which is constant usage. One such is the dial scale. which is not approved for commercial trade and the bureau would be seizing and removing such devices.”
Rai further advised store owners and dealers to educate the consumers and shop owners on approved and non-approved devices, since the approved devices would be verified by the GNBS and would carry a bureau sticker.
He also noted that in 2012, the GNBS intends to further expand its services and find new ways of improving the Weights and Measures Programme, to better meet the needs of stakeholders.
Inspections are also conducted by the Bureau at sale outlets to ensure commodities comply with national standards and quality requirements. Products found not to be in compliance during surveillance exercises are either placed on hold, or are seized and removed. This is done to ensure that commodities which are not examined by the Bureau, or smuggled into the country, are in compliance with the relevant standards.
The Metrology and Standards Compliance Department plays an active role in consumer protection and equity in trade. It is responsible for three main programmes namely Standards Compliance, Weights and Measures and Consumers Complaints Investigation. These programmes are intended to protect consumers and facilitate local, regional and international trade.