The Metrology and Standards Compliance Department plays an active role in consumer protection and equity in trade. This Department is responsible for three (3) 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.
The department consists of a Head of Department, a Chief Inspector, three (3) Senior Inspectors, three Inspectors II, eight (8) Inspectors and three (3) Inspector Assistants who are tasked with ensuring that the activities of the department are executed in an effective, efficient and professional manner to facilitate stakeholders’ needs.
STANDARDS COMPLIANCE PROGRAMME
Inspectors monitor locally manufactured furniture
Under this programme, Inspectors of the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) are tasked with monitoring the quality and labelling of seventeen (17) categories of commodities which are imported or manufactured locally to ensure compliance with the respective National Standards. Importers and manufacturers of commodities monitored by GNBS are required to be registered with the Bureau annually.
Inspectors monitor imported commodities for quality and labelling requirements
The registration procedure involves the completion and submission of the prescribed application form, along with a copy of the importer’s/ manufacturer’s business registration, in addition to the registration fee of Thirty thousand ($30,000.00). After processing, a registration certificate is issued to the importer/manufacturer.
Importers or manufacturers are also required to submit samples of the products to be imported or manufactured to the GNBS for approval prior to importation or manufacturing, this reduces inconvenience and potential risk to the consuming public. Products imported and manufactured locally are examined at the ports of entry, importers’/manufacturers’ bonds or warehouses to ensure compliance. In cases where non-conformities are found, importers/manufacturers are notified of such nonconformities, their products are placed on hold or seized until the necessary corrective actions are conducted and verified by the GNBS, whether is the re-labelling of products or the submission of independent certificates from an authorized certifying body verifying the quality of the products imported. Products found to be defective during inspections are also sometimes destroyed, if a corrective action cannot be applied. Inspections are also conducted by the Bureau at sale outlets to ensure commodities comply with National Standards. This is done to ensure commodities, that may not have been examined by the Bureau or smuggled into the country, are examined to verify compliance with the relevant standards.
Commodities monitored by the Bureau are:-
1. Domestic Electrical/Electronic Appliances
2. Weighing and Measuring Devices
6. Safety Helmets
7. Safety Matches
8. New and Used Tyres
9. Gas Stoves
12. PVC Pipes
14. Toys and Playthings
15. Soap Powder
16. Christmas Tree and Decorative Lighting Outfits
17. Cellular Phones
Note: Additional products could be included to the existing list of commodities monitored by the Bureau based on the availability of National Standards, which are being developed by G.N.B.S. Technical Committees and the need to monitor same. Importers are also urged to give at least 24 hours advance notice regarding imported consignments that requires examination by the GNBS. This is necessary for the facilitating of prompt inspection, thus reducing inconveniences.
USED TYRES AND CELLULAR PHONES
Used tyre and Cellular Phones dealers are required to be registered with the GNBS annually and must obtain a permit to sell used tyres and cellular phones. In addition they are required to complete and submit the prescribe application form, along with the registration fee of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) for permits. Permits are issued on the basis that the tyres are stored in accordance with the Guyana Standard, Code of Practice for the Storage of Tyres, Inner Tubes and Flaps. In addition, to the
conformance of the tyres to the labelling and quality requirements outlined in Guyana Standards, Specification for Pneumatic Passenger Car Tyres and Pneumatic Highway Commercial Vehicles Tyres.
Further, cellular phones offered for sale must satisfy the labelling requirements for cellular phones. Inspections confirming the availability of warranty certificates, manuals, and accessories, such as, charger, ear piece are conducted to verify that consumers are issued with same at the time of purchase, before permits are issued to dealers. Please see guidelines for importers and manufacturers.
GUIDELINES FOR IMPORTERS AND LOCAL MANUFACTURERS
1. The objective of the Standards Compliance Programme is to ensure commodities imported and manufactured locally conform to the relevant Guyana Standard Specifications, Codes of Practice or guidelines to ensure the consuming public is
2. Importers and manufacturers must be annually registered with the Guyana National Bureau of Standards by completing and submitting to the Bureau the prescribed application form, a copy of the business registration, along with a registration fee of $30,000.00.
3. Commodities imported and manufactured locally should be fit for the purpose intended and must be safe for use. Importers should purchase from suppliers that issue warranties that could be extended to consumers, while manufacturers should also issue warranties to consumers.
4. Importers and manufacturers should carefully select their suppliers who could provide them with products that comply with the related National Standards and where necessary the Standard Specification for labelling of Commodities, GYS 10:1994 and
GYS 9:1994. .
Inspectors monitor the quality of tyres imported
5. When importers or manufacturers place orders with foreign suppliers, it is essential
that the goods received conform to the specifications of the order. Importers and
manufacturers must take measures to evaluate and ensure that suppliers provide
products that meet the agreed quality requirements, initially specified. Products
purchased should also be examined to detect any deterioration in quality or other
damages during transportation.
6. Imported commodities should bear a national or international certification mark
from a Regulatory or Authorized Certifying Body in the country of origin, or if required,
a Certificate of Quality Compliance should be submitted to the Bureau to verify the
quality of the commodity imported. Compliance Certificates should be obtained from an independent Certification Body or a National Standards Body or a relevant Regulatory Body.
7. Where a brochure, instruction manual or leaflet, etc, is associated with a commodity, the same should be in English Language and must relate directly to the particular model or type of commodity.
8. Consignment of goods imported or manufactured locally must be examined by the Bureau of Standards at the point of sale or if required, before clearance for sale in the country, (at the port-of-entry). Arrangements should be facilitated accordingly to
enable inspections to be carried out. Records such as, copies of invoices, customs documentation, bills of sale, etc, must be properly kept and should be easily retrievable for easy reference.
9. Copies of relevant invoice of commodities imported should be submitted to the Bureau, if required.
10. A complaint received from a consumer on a commodity purchased should be adequately addressed by the particular importer or manufacturer and records should be kept accordingly.
11. The name of the Bureau should not be misused in any advertisement or promotional material in relation to the sale of any product.
12. The Bureau of Standards does NOT monitor commodities such as Foods, Drugs, Cosmetics, Medical Devices, Plant and Animal Materials, Meats and Seafood.
LEGAL METROLOGY PROGRAMME (Weights and Measures)
Verification of an Equal Arm Scale
The Metrology and Standards Compliance Department is also responsible for the enforcement of the 1981 Weights and Measures Act and the coordinating of the National Weights and Measures Programme in Guyana, to ensure all weighing and measuring devices use in trade are accurate and appropriate for the intended purpose. Under this programme, Inspectors of the GNBS and Weights and Measures Officers from
the various outlining regions conducts initial verification of new weighing and measuring devices imported and locally manufactured, and the subsequent verification of all weighing and measuring devices used in commercial trade twice yearly (during the period January – March and July – September). Surveillance inspections are also carried out at shops and markets during the period April – June and October – December to ensure devices are verified for the corresponding period, imperial devices are not being use in trade and that they are in good condition. Weighing and measuring devices that are not approve for the corresponding period are seized and removed. Coordination of these activities is done through a monthly statutory National Weights and Measures Monitoring Committee meeting held at the GNBS Head Office with the different Weights and Measures Officers from the various Regions.
Inspectors verify fuel pumps countrywide to ensure accuracy
The Bureau also licenses local manufacturers of scales, masses and measures to ensure
compliance to the National Standards. Manufacturers are required to be annually
registered with Bureau by completing the prescribed registration form and paying a
registration fee of seven thousand five hundred ($7500.00). Manufacturers’ premises
are also examined to ensure that the necessary tools, equipment and facilities are
available and proper quality control techniques are followed to ensure that devices
manufactured are in compliance with National Standards. If all the requirements are
met, the manufacturer is licensed by the Bureau to legitimately conduct such operations. Devices manufactured are inspected and tested by the Bureau prior to sale. Fuel pumps, tanker wagons and bulk meters at gas stations and bulk terminals throughout the country are also verified for accuracy and sealed. The GNBS also calibrates storage tanks for companies requesting this service.
CONSUMER COMPLAINTS INVESTIGATION
This is another major activity carried out by the LMSC Department. This service is rendered to consumers who would have purchased commodities monitored by the GNBS and subsequently reported a dissatisfaction regarding the quality, performance, short weight or measurements and the supplier fails to provide a redress. Consumer complaints are received from consumers via telephone, correspondence, or in person, and are investigated by Inspector If a complaint is received via telephone or correspondence, the complainant is required to visit the GNBS to sign the prescribed form and to provide a copy of the proof of purchase (receipt). Basic information relating to the particulars of the complaints is documented and is subsequently used to facilitate the investigation. Complaints not within the scope of complaints investigated by the GNBS are referred to the appropriate agencies for investigation.
Inspectors would investigate each complaint, trying to be as neutral as possible and mainly serve as mediators, at meetings between the supplier and the complainant. The services of evaluated and independent technicians are solicited to examine and pronounce on the most likely origin of defect with the product and cases where the investigation revealed that the supplier is obligated to provide the consumer with a redress, they are advised to amicably resolve the matter in favour of the consumer. If at the end of this process, a mutual agreement cannot be reached between supplier and consumer, the matter is then referred to the Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission for further action. Further, data obtained from complaints regarding defective products, are forwarded to the Standards Department for formulation of standards for those commodities. If necessary, existing National Standard are also revised to include additional requirements. In addition, information obtained also forms the basis for surveillance inspections. The Public Education Department also utilizes information obtained during the investigation of complaints to educate consumers accordingly, through press releases and advisories.
GNBS investigates Consumer Complaints