– 499 alone for the first half of 2017
In 18 months, the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) has seized some 1,193 unapproved and unverified scales from shop owners and vendors.
An official from the entity told Kaieteur News on Friday, that 499 of these devices were seized during the first half of this year.
Research has shown that 694 were seized in 2016.
The 499 were seized during 5,047 visits that were carried out by the entity at stalls and shops in all of the administrative regions with the exception of Region Eight (Potaro/Siparuni).
Additionally, 101 masses, five measures and two rules were also seized during the first half of this year.
Three hundred and ninety four masses were confiscated in 2016.
Of this 1,193, some 335 were confiscated between April and May of this year.
Some 120 of the 335 were confiscated from the Bourda and Stabroek Markets, the Head of the Legal Metrology and Standard Compliance Departments, Shailendra Rai, told media operatives some weeks ago.
Most of the scales seized were dial scales, which are only designed for domestic use.
Rai during a previous engagement with the media had explained that these dial scales carry an internal spring which is not designed for frequent use.
He explained that when these scales are used in commercial trade, they are used frequently which results in the spring losing its elasticity thus, causing the needle to point at inaccurate figures.
“So buying from a vendor or shop-owner that uses these scales, is like asking to be robbed; consumers need to be more vigilant,” he had stated.
“In addition, to those requirements, the scale must be in good condition; 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”.
He noted, also, that consumers should look out for scales that have the GNBS’ sticker which highlights the verification of the device.
Quizzed on prosecution for delinquent business-owners, Rai had noted that the current provision that caters for this aspect often results in meagre fines being paid.
He added that the agency is awaiting legal advice on the Weights and Measures Act, which will enable the agency to impose strict enforcement and prosecution against persons found using defective or GNBS- unapproved devices.
Unapproved devices are destroyed whilst the unverified ones will be stamped and returned to their owners.
The GNBS has offices in Regions Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam); Three (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara); Four (Demerara/Mahaica); Six (East Berbice/Corentyne); and Nine (Upper Takatu/Upper Essequibo).
These offices have departments that provide verification and inspection services while addressing consumers complaints for products monitored by the bureau.
In 2016, the bureau received 188 complaints, compared to 155 in 2015.
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