New Metrology Act to iron out loopholes in the trade sector

Martin Endjala

Industrialisation and Trade Minister, Lucia Iipimbu, says that the new Metrology ACT No.5 of 2022 will iron out loopholes within the trade sector and help shape the domestic market to greater heights with credible measurement systems.

She said that the Act is a game changer in the sense that it will protect the country’s domestic market trade from fraudulent practices and will enforce the necessary measures that will ensure that Namibia Standards Institution’s (NSI) standards are fully adhered to.

The Minister said this during the launch of the awareness campaign for the new metrology Act, last week Friday in Windhoek, which will be rolled out to all 14 regions, aimed at informing and capacitating the nation on changes to the metrology legal framework, on administration and enforcement related matters.

This comes after the Minister tabled the draft Metrology Bill in Parliament last year, to repeal and supersede the Trade Metrology Act of 1973 and the 2005 Trade Metrology Amendments, as part of an array of interventions adopted in the process of activating relevant laws.

She is urging regional leadership structures to support the initiative which could unleash some of the untapped economic potential which exists at grassroots levels, particularly with Small and Medium Enterprises.

“It is a well-known fact that such economic activities have not been explored yet, simply due to a lack of relevant information, “said Iipumbu.

She believes that Metrology, which is a science of measurements, is of utmost importance in the daily lives of the people as it reinforces quality in manufactured goods and processes through accurate and credible measurements by providing the basis for fair domestic and international trade.

Iipumbu is adamant that given the fact that Namibia, is a member of the World Trade Organisation, the government is obligated to consider and implement a governance framework. Equally, the government must continue to update policies and legal frameworks to mitigate the risk of exposing the country to potential threats that are associated with technical trade barriers.

This is why, the ministry saw the need to expand metrology functions to include measurements in health, safety and the environment, to have a holistic legal structure for the administration and enforcement of metrology services.

To this end, the minister is convinced that the adjustments they have made will allow NSI to carry out its designated function of being the National Metrology Institute and the competent legal metrology authority effectively.

This she said, will enable the NSI to continue dispensing their functions on standardisation and conformity services through a well-defined national measurement system to the benefit of the Namibian citizenry at large.

The new Act which is undergoing finalisation and soon to be enacted, will address the broadened gap on the lack of application of metrology controls on critical measurements in health, safety and the environment that exists in the current laws, thereby enhancing consumer protection and conformity assessment activities.

The Metrology Act further attends to Namibia’s national quest to be synchronised with trading partners to foster market access and alleviate technical trade barriers based on measurements.

The world experienced rapid changes to the economic landscape, especially after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Iipumbu believes that Namibia must also align itself to these trends and put in measures that are aimed at preserving the quality of products and services for the betterment of society and the environment.

Meanwhile, the measurements and their applications are said to be central to the implementation of the National Quality Infrastructure, a product of the revised National Quality Policy, which prioritises metrology as a key element of the national development agenda. According to the Iipumbu, Namibia is experiencing a growing need for accelerated metrology services and regulatory framework due to domestic and international market access, growing consumer awareness and the general desire for quality goods and services.

“We have transitioned our primary focus beyond trade, encompassing all elements that advance our quality of life. Our ability to have an industrial base that promotes both local and international trade depends on the provision of high-accuracy and reliable measurements in all sectors of our economy. Let us therefore expand the application of this law to the manufacturing and industrialisation agenda for us to attain the objectives of Vision 2030, “she said.

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