CHAPTER 340
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT

[PRINCIPAL LEGISLATION]

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   Section

Title

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

   1.   Short title.

   2.   Interpretation.

PART II
STANDARDS

   3.   Units of measurement.

   4.   National Standards.

   5.   Procurement of Secondary Standards.

   6.   Custody of Secondary Standards.

   7.   Periodic verification of Secondary Standards.

   8.   Cancellation of Secondary Standards.

   9.   Standards equipment.

   10.   Working standards.

PART III
USE OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES IN TRADE

   11.   Weights and measures permitted to be used in trade.

   12.   Sale by metric carat weight.

PART IV
DISTINCTIVE MARKS

   13.   Stamping of weights and measures with denomination.

PART V
ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

   14.   Appointment of employees.

   15.   Function of Commissioner.

   16.   Duties of Assizers.

PART VI
INSPECTION OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

   17.   Appointments of Weights and Measures Committee.

   18.   Testing facilities for approval of patterns.

   19.   Verification of weights and measures.

   20.   Limits of error.

   21.   Stamping of verification mark, etc.

   22.   Request by assizer to examine, test or retest weight, measure, etc.

   23.   Rejection of weight, measure, etc.

   24.   Illegal stamping.

   25.   Restriction on assizer buying, selling or adjusting weights, measures, etc.

PART VII
SALE OF GOODS BY WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

   26.   Sale by net weight or measure only, etc.

   27.   Exceptions.

   28.   Assizer may weigh or measure pre-packed goods.

   29.   Presumption of nature of goods.

   30.   Weighing, etc., operations to be in the presence of purchaser.

   31.   Safeguards to traders.

PART VIII
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

   32.   Falsely representing a pattern to be an approved pattern.

   33.   Offences in connection with the office of assizer.

   34.   Forgery of stamps on weights and measures.

   35.   Use of unauthorised weights or measures in trade.

   36.   Use of false or unjust instrument.

   37.   Making or selling unjust weights, measures, etc.

   38.   Sale of unstamped instrument.

   39.   Fraud in use of weight, measure, etc.

   40.   Obstructing assizers, etc., in the performance of their duties.

   41.   Prohibition of giving short weight, measure or number.

   42.   False declaration as to weight.

   43.   Sales by unauthorised denominations.

   44.   Attempts and aiding or abetting.

   45.   General penalty.

   46.   Power to compound offences.

PART IX
MISCELLANEOUS AND SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS

   47.   Evidence of possession.

   48.   Power of entry.

   49.   Judicial notice of documents.

   50.   Forfeiture.

   51.   Acts or omissions by managers, agents or employees.

   52.   Burden of proof.

   53.   Saving of civil remedies.

   54.   Regulations.

   55.   [Repeal and savings.]

SCHEDULES

CHAPTER 340
THE WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT

An Act to revise and consolidate the law relating to weights and measures and to provide for the introduction of the International System of Units (SI) and for related matters.

[15th May, 1983]
[G.N. No. 59 of 1983]

Acts Nos.
20 of 1982
8 of 1983
G.Ns. Nos.
38 of 1983
184 of 1984
188 of 1993
614 of 1995
128 of 1996

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS (ss 1-2)

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Weights and Measures Act.

2.   Interpretation Act No. 8 of 1983 Sch.; G.N. No. 38 of 1983">

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires–

   "approved pattern" means a pattern of any weighing or measuring instrument approved by the Minister;

"assizer" means a Weights and Measures Officer appointed under section 14 of this Act, and also means the Commissioner and the Assistant Commissioner;

   "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Weights and Measures appointed under section 14 of this Act;

   "Committee" means the Weights and Measures Committee appointed under section 17;

   "container" means any form of packaging of goods for sale as a single item, whether by way of wholly or partly enclosing the goods or by attaching the goods around some other articles, and includes a wrapper or confining band;

   "correct" in relation to a weight, measure, weighing instrument, means correct within such limits of error and with such sensitiveness as may be prescribed;

   "custodians" means the custodians of the secondary standards referred to in section 6;

   "error" in reference to a weighing instrument includes deficiency in sensitiveness;

   "General Conference" means the General Conference of Weights and Measures from time to time convened by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures;

   "International Bureau" means the International Bureau of Weights and Measures established by the Metric Convention;

   "International System of Units" "SI" means the system of units referred to in section 3 of this Act;

   "human food" includes every article used for food or drink by man;

   "just" means any weight, measure, weighing or measuring instrument which does not have an error greater than the prescribed limits of error;

   "metric carat weight" has the meaning assigned to it in Part V of the Seventh Schedule;

   "metric system" means the base, supplementary, derived and special or permitted units of the International System of Units;

   "Minister" means the Minister responsible for Trade;

   "National Standards" means the National Reference Standards of weight and measure maintained by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards under section 4 of the Standards Act *;

   "net weight" means the weight of any good excluding the weight of its container;

   "premises" includes any place whether open or enclosed, and any stall, vehicle, ship or aircraft;

   "pre-packed" means made up in advance ready for or kept for or stored for retail sale in or on a container;

   "prescribed" means prescribed by regulations made under this Act;

   "purchaser" includes any person acting on behalf of the purchaser;

   "quantity" includes any measurement of distance, length, width, height, area, size, volume, capacity, mass or number;

   "Secondary Standards" means the standards referred to in section 5 of this Act;

   "sell" includes offer, advertise, expose, keep, have in possession, or prepare for sale and to exchange or dispose of for valuable consideration, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;

   "ship" includes any boat or any other description of vessel used on navigation;

   "stamping" includes casting, engraving, etching, branding or otherwise marking in such manner as to be, so far as practicable, indelible, and the expression "stamp" and other expressions relating to it shall be construed accordingly;

   "Tanzania Bureau of Standards" means the Tanzania Bureau of Standards established under section 3 of the Standards Act *;

   "trade" includes any contract, bargain, sale, dealing and generally any transaction for valuable consideration in pursuance of which goods are weighed, measured or counted but does not include any contract or bargain for sale of or dealing in land or interest in land;

   "valid" in relation to stamp borne by any weight, measure, weighing or measuring instrument, means a stamp that is still in force according to any period which may be prescribed and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;

   "verification" means examination testing, passing as fit for use for trade and stamping any weight, measure, weighing or measuring instrument;

   "weighing or measuring instrument" means a weight or measure or any instrument for weighing or measuring in terms of any of the International System of Units "SI" base or derived or supplementary units such as units of mass, length, volume, capacity or, number whether or not the equipment is constructed to give an indication of the measurement made or other information determined by reference to that measurement;

   "weight" means mass;

   "working standards" means standards which, standardised by comparison with Secondary Standards, are kept for the purpose of verifying trades, weighing or measuring instruments, weight or measure.

   (2) The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette exempt any person, trade or industry from all or any of the application of this Act.

PART II
STANDARDS (ss 3-10)

3.   Units of measurement G.N. No. 38 of 1983">

   (1) Without prejudice to the powers of the Tanzania Bureau of Standards to set standards, the International System of Units (SI) shall be a system of measurement by reference to which any measurement in trade shall be made in the United Republic.

   (2) The International System of Units shall consist of–

   (a)   the base units set out and defined in theFirst Schedule;

   (b)   the supplementary units set out and defined in theSecond Schedule;

   (c)   units derived from the base and supplementary units, defined in theThird Schedule;

   (d)   any special and permitted units that may be used in conjunction with units mentioned in paragraph (a) to (c) as adopted by the General Conference and referred to in the Fourth Schedule.

   (3) The SI prefixes for multiples and sub-multiples of the units referred to in subsection (2) are those set out and defined in theFifth Schedule and include such prefixes for multiples and sub-multiples and defined by the General Conferences from time to time.

   (4) The Units to be used in specialised scientific fields as are set out and defined in theSixth Schedule.

   (5) TheSeventh Schedule shall have the effect for the purposes of defining the units of measurement set out in the Schedule, and for the purpose of any measurement of weight, that weight may be expressed, by reference to the units of measurement set out in Part V of the Seventh Schedule in the same terms as its mass.

   (6) TheEighth Schedule shall have effect for the purpose of defining the physical weights and measures that shall be used for the purpose of trade in the United Republic.

   (7) The Minister may, by order, amend any of the Schedules referred to in this section.

4.   National Standards

   (1) The prototype copies of the International Standards of the kilogram and metre together with any prescribed standards representing SI Base units as defined in the First Schedule hereto procured and maintained by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards shall for the purpose of this Act be the National Standards.

   (2) Without prejudice to the provisions of the Standards Act *, the Tanzania Bureau of Standards shall for the purposes of this Act be the procurers of the National Standards.

5.   Procurement of Secondary Standards

   (1) The Minister shall–

   (a)   procure and cause to be maintained copies of National Standards and the weights and measures specified in the Eighth Schedule;

   (b)   provide for the initial verification of any copies so procured; and

   (c)   cause the verified copies to be authenticated as Secondary Standards in the manner he may prescribe from time to time.

   (2) A Secondary Standard of linear or capacity measure may, as the Minister may think fit, be–

   (a)   provided either as a separate standard or by means of divisions on a larger standard measure; and

   (b)   either marked in whole or in part with subdivisions representing any smaller units of measurement of multiples or submultiples of unit or have no such markings.

6.   Custody of Secondary Standards

   The Commissioner shall be responsible for the proper care, maintenance and custody of the Secondary Standards except that the conditions of their custody may be determined by the Minister.

7.   Periodic verification of Secondary Standards Act No. 8 of 1983 Sch.">

   Once in every two years, the Minister shall cause each of the Secondary Standards referred to in subsection (1) of section 5 to–

   (a)   be compared with the National Standards and if necessary be corrected and adjusted by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards or any other competent institution as the Minister may direct, but such reverification, shall be witnessed by two wardens appointed by him, one of whom shall be the Commissioner; and

   (b)   bear a certificate of correctness prescribed in Form A of the Ninth Schedule and signed by the wardens and the institution so appointed by the Minister.

8.   Cancellation of Secondary Standards

   The Minister may, on the advice of the Commissioner, cancel any Secondary Standard and direct that it be no longer used.

9.   Standards equipment

   The Minister shall procure and cause to be maintained standard equipment which he may from time to time determine as being proper and necessary for the verification of standards of weights and measures.

10.   Working standards Act No. 8 of 1983 Sch.">

   (1) Every assizer shall be provided with proper and sufficient working standards of weights and measures which shall be used for assizing or re-assizing of weights or measures or instruments in use for purposes of trade.

   (2) Once at least in every twelve months an assizer shall compare the working standards, which have been in use during the past twelve months, with the Secondary Standards, and, if necessary be corrected and adjusted before signing a certificate prescribed in Form B of the Ninth Schedule to this Act.

   (3) The Minister may at any time cancel any working standard and direct that it no longer be used.

   (4) Judicial notice shall be taken of every working standard and each such standard shall be deemed to be true and accurate until the contrary is proved.

PART III
USE OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES IN TRADE (ss 11-12)

11.   Weights and measures permitted to be used in trade G.N. No. 38 of 1983">

   (1) Unless otherwise permitted by this Act, every contract, bargain, sale or dealing made or had after the commencement of this Act whereby any work, goods, wares, merchandise or other thing is or are to be, or is or are done, sold, delivered, carried, measured, computed, paid for or agreed for by weight or measure shall be made and had according to one of the relevant units of measurement specified in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Schedules to this Act or to some multiple thereof, and if not so made or had, shall, so far as it is to be performed in the United Republic, be void:

   Provided that a court may, in exceptional circumstances in the interest of justice, direct that a person who has received an advantage under such contract, bargain, sale or dealing so declared to be void restore it or make compensation for it to the person from whom it was received.

   (2) All tolls and duties charged and collected according to weight or measure shall be charged and collected according to one of the relevant units of measurement specified in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Schedules or to some multiple of the units.

   (3) Such contract, bargain, sale, dealing and collecting of duties mentioned in this section are in this Act referred to under the term "trade".

12.   Sale by metric carat weight

   (1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall use the carat unit for purposes of trade except in transaction relating to precious stones or pearls.

   (2) The restrictions set out in this section do not apply to any transaction affecting the export of goods to a country where a system of units of measurement other than those authorised by this Act is used for purposes of trade.

PART IV
DISTINCTIVE MARKS (s 13)

13.   Stamping of weights and measures with denomination

   (1) No person shall at any time after the end of twelve months from the commencement of this Act use or have in his possession for use in trade–

   (a)   any weight which, except where the small size of the weight, renders it impracticable, does not have its denomination stamped on the top or side thereof in legible figures and letters; or

   (b)   any measure or length or capacity which does not have its denomination stamped on the outside thereof in legible figures and letters.

   (2) Any weight or measure mentioned in subsection (1) of this section shall be stamped by an assizer with a prescribed verification mark.

   (3) Any person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.

   (4) Nothing of subsection (1) shall apply to any weight or measure where the user of such weight or measure, has applied and obtained an exemption from the Minister.

PART V
ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS (ss 14-16)

14.   Appointment of employees Act No. 8 of 1983 Sch.">

   (1) The President shall appoint a public officer to be Commissioner for Weights and Measures.

   (2) The Minister shall appoint Assistant Commissioners and Assizers as may be required to assist the Commissioner for Weights and Measures in carrying out the purpose of this Act.

15.   Function of Commissioner

   The Commissioner shall be the chief executive officer of weights and measures and shall–

   (a)   have the general supervision and control of the work of assizers; and

   (b)   be responsible for the verification or reverification of all weights, measures, weighing, or measuring instruments used or intended to be used for trade in the United Republic.

16.   Duties of Assizers

   The duties of an assizer shall be–

   (a)   to carry out verification of weights, measures, weighing and measuring instrument;

   (b)   to care for and maintain any working standards which may be entrusted to his care;

   (c)   to keep records and make such reports as the Commissioner may require;

   (d)   to give effect to the directions of the Commissioner; and

   (e)   generally to exercise such other powers and duties as may be conferred or imposed by this or any other Act or by regulations made under this Act.

PART VI
INSPECTION OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES (ss 17-25)

17.   Appointment of Weights and Measures Committee G.N. No. 38 of 1983">

   (1) The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, appoint a Weights and Measures Committee, consisting of not less than five and not more than seven persons.

   (2) Such Committee shall be convened as often as may be necessary and the Minister, or some other person deputed by him, shall be the Chairman of the Committee.

   (3) The duties of the Committee shall be to advise the Minister upon any matter arising out of the operation of the Act, which the Minister may refer to the Committee for advice.

18.   Testing facilities for approval of patterns

   (1) The Minister shall provide and maintain adequate facilities for testing prototype weights, measures, weighing or measuring instruments for use for trade.

   (2) No weight, measure, weighing or measuring instrument shall be verified, stamped or authorised for use for trade unless it is of a–

   (a)   pattern approved by the Minister; or

   (b)   class or kind exempted by regulation from the provisions of this Act.

   (3) Any person who fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence.

19.   Verification of weights and measures G.N. No. 38 of 1983">

   (1) Not more than once in every twelve months, in respect of an area of jurisdiction, an assizer shall, by notice published in the Gazette, and where it is necessary, by such other means as will in the opinion of the assizer, ensure the contents thereof coming to the notice of those who are concerned, specify such dates, times and places as he thinks fit, and require all persons who have in their possession any weight, measure, weighing or measuring instrument which is used or intended to be used in trade, to produce at such time and place within the area as he may appoint.

   (2) Every such weight, measure, weighing or measuring instrument shall be examined and verified by the assizer.

   (3) An assizer shall attend with his working standard at such times and places fixed and, on the prescribed fee being paid, shall examine and verify every weight, measure, weighing and measuring instruments brought to him for the purpose, except that an assizer may also verify a weight, measure, weighing or measuring instruments at any other time or place within his area of jurisdiction, or as may be authorised by the Commissioner.

   (4) Where a weight, measure, weighing or measuring instrument is of delicate construction and cannot conveniently be moved it shall be sufficient for the purposes of this section if the person who has the same in his possession for use or intended use in trade notifies the assizer in writing of its nature and position instead of producing it to the assizer.

   (5) When a measure of capacity made of glass, earthenware or enameled metal has been stamped it shall not be necessary to produce such measure, unless the original stamp is defaced or has become illegible or the measure has been chipped or cracked.

   (6) Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with the provisions of any notice issued by an assizer under this section shall be guilty of an offence.

20.   Limits of error Act No. 8 of 1983">

   Any weight or measure which is in accordance with the standard weight or measure which it represents or which has no greater error than the prescribed limit of error shall be deemed to be just and true unless it be shown to the satisfaction of the court that such weight, measure, weighing instrument or measuring instrument has been tempered with in such a way as to facilitate the commission of fraud.

21.   Stamping of verification mark, etc. G.N. No. 38 of 1983">

   (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, every weight, measure, weighing instrument or measuring instrument used or intended to be used in trade and found to be just shall, if not already stamped, be stamped with the prescribed verification mark in such manner so as to prevent fraud; except that an assizer may refuse to stamp a weight cased with iron unless it is fitted with a plug of softer metal suitable for stamping.

   (2) Where any dormant equipment which is required to be stamped only after it has been installed at the place where it is to be used for trade, if, after the equipment has been so stamped, is in any way removed or dismantled and re-installed whether in the same or some other place it shall not be used for trade after being so re-installed until it has been re-tested and re-stamped by an assizer.

22.   Request by assizer to examine test or retest weight, measure, etc.

   (1) An assizer may at any time request any person having in his possession or control any weight, measure, weighing instrument or measuring instrument which is used or intended to be used for trade to submit it to him at such time and place as the assizer may specify for the purpose of examination and testing or re-testing of that instrument.

   (2) Any person who fails to comply with the request of an assizer under this section shall be guilty of an offence.

23.   Rejection of weight, measure, etc.

   An assizer who on test finds a weight, measure, weighing instrument or measuring instrument to be false, unjust or to be not in compliance with the provisions of this Act or any regulations made under this Act shall–

   (a)   reject it;

   (b)   mark it with the prescribed rejection mark;

   (c)   issue to the person in charge of such instruction a rejection note in the prescribed form to the effect that it has been rejected:

   Provided that the assizer may in his discretion–

   (a)   adjust it;

   (b)   return it to the owner for adjustment; or

   (c)   retain it with a view to proceedings being taken for its forfeiture.

24.   Illegal stamping

   No assizer shall stamp with the prescribed verification mark any weight or measure–

   (a)   which is not just;

   (b)   which does not comply with the provisions of this Act or any regulations made under this Act except in so far as any discretion may be vested in the assizer or in any other person by the Act or regulations to waive such compliance;

   (c)   which is not of the denomination of a weight or measure specified in the Eighth Schedule to this Act;

   (d)   without testing by comparison with the appropriate working standard.

25.   Restriction on assizer buying, selling or adjusting weights, measures, etc.

   No assizer shall, while he holds office, be employed in or derive any profit from the making, buying, selling or adjusting of weights, measures, weighing instrument or measuring instrument; except that an assizer may while carrying out the duties of his office adjust weights, measures, weighing instruments and measuring instruments and for any such adjustment charge the prescribed fee for his services.

PART VII
SALE OF GOODS BY WEIGHTS AND MEASURES (ss 26-31)

26.   Sale by net weight or measure only, etc. G.N. No. 38 of 1983">

   (1) Subject to the provisions of section 27, no person shall–

   (a)   sell or offer, expose, keep on trade premises, carry or in any manner advertise, for sale, any of the goods specified in the Tenth Schedule to this Act otherwise than by net weight or measure and in a denomination specified in the Eighth Schedule, or in a multiple or aliquot part of any such denomination; or

   (b)   sell or offer, expose, keep on trade premises, carry or in any manner advertise for sale, any goods of the kinds and sold in the manner, if any, specified in the first column of the Eleventh Schedule otherwise than in a weight or measure specified in relation to such goods in second column of that Schedule; or

   (c)   sell or offer, expose, keep on trade premises, carry or in any manner advertise for sale pre-packed goods of the kinds specified in the Twelfth Schedule unless the wrapper or container bears on it, or on a label securely attached to it, a conspicuous and legible statement of the net weight or measure of such goods.

   (2) Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with the provisions of paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.

27.   Exceptions G.N. No. 38 of 1983">

   Nothing in section 26 shall apply to–

   (a)   the sale of human food for consumption on or at the premises of the seller; or

   (b)   the sale of any goods in quantities not exceeding 50 grams or 50 millilitres, or at a price not exceeding five shillings:

   Provided that the Minister may by order vary the quantity of goods to be sold and the price specified in paragraph (b) of this section.

28.   Assizer may weigh or measure pre-packed goods

   Where any person has in his possession for sale or delivery any goods of a kind required by the provisions of this Act to be sold by weight or measure, or any goods in respect of which any representation of weight or measure is made, he shall–

   (a)   cause such goods to be weighed or measured in the presence of the assizer or permit the assizer to weigh or measure them;

   (b)   if necessary for this purpose, break open or permit the assizer to break open any wrapper or container in which such goods are packed; and

   (c)   if so requested by the assizer sell such goods to the assizer.

29.   Presumption of nature of goods G.N. No. 38 of 1983">

   (1) In any proceedings under this Act, the description of any goods in any complaint, charge or information shall be prima facie evidence that the goods were, at the time of the offence and subsequently, as so described, and the burden of proving the contrary shall lie upon the accused.

   (2) Where any goods are found on any trade premises such goods shall be presumed to be for sale or to be carried for sale and the burden of proving the contrary shall lie upon the accused.

30.   Weighing, etc., operations to be in the presence of purchaser

   (1) Any person using any weighing or measuring instrument for the purpose of retail sale of any goods to a purchaser shall–

   (a)   cause the weighing or measuring instrument used for that purpose to be so placed; and

   (b)   conduct the operation of weighing or measuring as to permit the purchaser a clear and unobstructed view of such weighing instrument or measuring instrument and all the indications of weight or measure pertaining to such operation.

   (2) Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two thousand shillings.

31.   Safeguards to traders

   (1) In any proceedings under this Act in respect of an alleged deficiency of weight or measure of any goods mentioned in this Act or any Order made under this Act, it shall be a defence for the person charged to prove to the satisfaction of the court that–

   (a)   the commission of the offence was due to a mistake or to an accident or some other cause beyond his control; and

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