New metrology law on the cards
The Namibia Standards Institution (NSI) is spearheading the revision of the current metrology law with the aim of enacting a new law that will take into account the modern needs of consumers and businesses.
The new legislation will replace the Trade Metrology Act of 1973 which has been deemed antiquated.
As part of the process of drafting a new legislation, a steering committee consisting of representatives from the public and private sector was established to facilitate and guide the process. At its first meeting held at the NSI in March, the committee agreed that the SADC model draft metrology law would serve as a prime reference for the new legislation.
It was also agreed that nation-wide consultations would be held where public input would be solicited, and it is in this vein that a national consultative workshop was held in the capital recently.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Riundja Kaakunga, CEO of the NSI told participants that the need to draft a new metrology legislation has been necessitated by the fact that the Trade Metrology Act, 1973, which has been amended several times, was now outdated and no longer in line with the modern state of the science of measurement.
“This initiative is also necessary to harmonise Namibia’s metrology legislation with regional and international requirements, in particular the recommendations of the International Organisation for Legal Metrology and the SADC Cooperation in Legal Metrology,” Kaakunga said.
The new legislation is expected to provide for “ the regulation of the national system of units of measurement, measurement standards, type approval of measuring instruments, verification of measuring instruments, authorised laboratories, validity of foreign marks and documents as well as metrological supervision, including their competence and rules of operation to ensure the provision of accurate and internationally traceable results of measurement and an appropriate level of credibility of measurement results within the boundaries of Namibia, their international comparability and acceptance, and measuring instruments used for measurement in the field of protection of human and animal health, safety, protection of the environment, transactions in goods and services and proceedings before administrative and judicial authorities; and to provide for incidental matters.
The NSI boss told the workshop that the application of metrology underpins quality in manufactured goods and processes through accurate and credible measurement.
“Metrology plays a key role in the adoption of scientific and technological innovations, the design and efficient manufacture of products that comply with the needs of the marketplace, and the detection and avoidance of non-conformities. It provides fundamental support for health and safety testing, environmental monitoring, and food processing. It also provides the basis for fair-trading in a domestic economy and international trading in the global market place.”