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Yvonne Chebet March 23, 2021

COUNTY KICKS OFF VERIFICATION AND STAMPING OF WEIGHING INSTRUMENTS

Promotion of fair trade is a key mandate for the department of trade, investment and industrialization. Through the weights and measures subsector, the department achieves this through Ensuring use of uniform system of units of measurements in trade; Regulating the manufacture, sale, use and repair of weighing and measuring equipment for use in trade; Regulating sale of goods and services in terms of quantity and quality; and Protecting consumers against misdescription and misrepresentation in the sale of goods and in the provision of services across the county. It also seeks to protect consumers against counterfeit products.

The department is currently undertaking verification and stamping of weighing instruments throughout the county. Initial verification is usually done to new weighing equipment that have never been stamped before including new weigh bridges, pumps, scales among others. Periodic or Subsequent verification is done annually to equipment and instruments already in use. A certificate of verification is then issued. The team is deployed to every sub-county.

Thereafter, inspection is done to enforce the requirement of weights and measures Act Cap 513 and the Trade Descriptions Act Cap 505. During this exercise, the county weights officers check and seize equipment in use that have not been verified.

The team also enforces the sale and labelling of goods around business premises to ensure they are done as per Act Cap 515 of Weights and Measures.  In ordinary trade transactions, the law ensures that during the sale of any commodity in loose form, the quantity delivered to the purchaser is not less than the quantity contracted and paid for. This legal control on the performance, accuracy and use of weighing and measuring equipment saves consumers from huge losses thereby contributing to the protection of their purchasing power and hence to their ability to purchase more.

Sadly, it has been witnessed a number of times in some shops and butcheries across the county whereby the consumer gets less the quantities they pay for. Such cases have been reported and action taken against them. All Nandi County residents are urged to be vigilant and report such acts to the county department of trade through the toll-free number 1548 to ensure fair trade is conducted in Nandi.

The law requires every package to carry thereon, or on a label securely affixed thereto, information on name of product and address of the manufacturer or packer, number of net weight or measure of the goods in the package, and in some cases the date marking showing the last day, month and year by which the goods may be sold. This information should be conspicuous, legible and prominent so as to be readily seen and understood by a prospective purchaser. Consumers are encouraged to be bold enough and inquire on such information as a right before purchasing. Let’s be proactive and promote fair trade.

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