MBS to start confiscating uncalibrated weighing scales

An MBS official showing the gathering the calibrated scales

By Salome Gangire, MANA

Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) will start confiscating uncalibrated weighing instruments being sold in shops in the country following gazetting of regulations allowing the Bureau to do so.

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MBS Director General, Symon Mandala disclosed the development on Monday at Zigwagwa Market in Mzuzu during a sensitization meeting as part of commemoration of the World Metrology Day.

He said: “At first we were just controlling at the point of use of those scales but now we have our regulations that have been gazetted that allow us to follow through the entire chain of the scales starting from supply, distribution and usage.”

Mandala added that MBS has now been empowered to go into shops where the uncalibrated weighing instruments are being sold to confiscate those that are not to be used for trade as initially they would deal with them at the point of use only.

He said the problem of using uncalibrated weighing instrument is rampant in the country, which is against the MBS Act, adding that it is against this background that the Bureau is conducting sensitisation meetings to both the sellers and the buyers so that they are aware that doing so is against the law and leads to unfair trade.

“You find people selling maize and other produce and instead of using calibrated equipment they use buckets, which is equivalent to kilograms that have been tampered thereby swindling the farmer and the buyer in the process,” he said.

A digital calibrated scale

He said MBS believes that the society must be sensitised, educated and informed, saying they expect this to trigger some positive reactions from both the seller and the buyers.

He added that after sensitisation, the next stage is to look at where there is no compliance and then take action.

This year’s World Metrology Day theme is “Measurement for Health” but in Malawi they are commemorating the day by focusing on the challenges that the country is currently facing in usage of uncalibrated weighing instruments.

Zigwagwa Market chairperson, Gerald Maulana thanked MBS for the sensitisation, saying it will help customers and traders to use recommended scales when trading knowing that it is against the law.


“In our markets we are used to weighing things using buckets and plates but now we will revert to using recommended weighing scales,” he said.

One of the consumers, Christina Tembo said the sensitisation has enlightened them on weighing scales as they have been robbed for quite a long time.

“Now I know recommended scales and I will never be cheated,” Tembo said.

MBS is commemorating the World Metrology Day from Monday to Wednesday (October 18-20) with a focus on the use of uncalibrated weighing instruments.