Arrangement of Sections



   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation


   3.   Renaming of Zambia Weights and Measures Agency as Zambia Metrology Agency

   4.   Seal of Agency

   5.   Functions of Agency

   6.   Relations and co-operation with regulatory agencies and other authorities

   7.   Board of Agency

   8.   Functions of Board

   9.   Delegation of functions and directions

   10.   Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director and other staff


   11.   Standard unit of measurement

   12.   Units of measurement

   13.   Prohibition of use of certain units of measurement

   14.   Equivalence of certain units


   15.   National measurement standards

   16.   Maintenance of national measurement standards

   17.   National reference measurements

   18.   Certificates


   19.   Units of measurement

   20.   Measurement traceability

   21.   Inspection and verification measurement standards


   22.   Regulations for controlled measuring instruments

   23.   Technical requirements of controlled measuring instruments

   24.   Type approval of measuring instruments

   25.   Placement into service and verification of measuring instruments

   26.   Calibration and inspection services

   27.   Designated legal metrology organisations


   28.   Regulations for controlled pre-packaged commodities

   29.   Pre-packaged commodities

   30.   Registration and responsibilities of pre-packaging companies


   31.   Establishment of Metrology Fund

   32.   Administration of Fund and accounts

   33.   Annual report and statement of income and expenditure


   34.   Appointment of metrologists

   35.   Powers of entry and search

   36.   Powers of inspection and seizure

   37.   Inspection by joint committee

   38.   Conduct of inspections and assessments

   39.   Rebuttable presumptions regarding measuring instruments and pre-packages

   40.   Samples and information

   41.   Non-compliance with legal metrology regulations


   42.   Prohibition of publication or disclosure of information to unauthorised persons

   43.   Offences by officers or employees of Agency

   44.   Certification of technician, fitter or contractor

   45.   Prohibition of employment of uncertified technician, fitter or contractor

   46.   General offences

   47.   Offence by body corporate or unincorporate body

   48.   Admission of guilt

   49.   General penalty

   50.   Consent of Director of Public Prosecutions


   51.   Appeals

   52.   Presumption as to importer of measuring instrument or commodity

   53.   Use of repaired measuring instruments

   54.   Acts not to be interpreted as assurances or guarantees

   55.   Burden of proof

   56.   Judicial notice

   57.   Forfeiture

   58.   Limitation of liability

   59.   Regulations

   60.   Repeal of Cap. 403




to continue the existence of the Zambia Weights and Measures Agency, rename it as the Zambia Metrology Agency and re-define its functions; establish the Board of the Agency and provide for its functions; provide for the designation, keeping and maintenance of national measurement standards; provide for the use of measurement units of the International System of Units and other units; provide for consumer protection, health, safety and environmental management through legal metrology measures; repeal the Weights and Measures Act, 1994; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

[1st January, 2018]

Act 6 of 2017,

SI 85 of 2017.


1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Metrology Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“accreditation” means a third party attestation related to a conformity assessment body conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks;

“AFRIMETS” means the Intra-Africa Metrology System established in 2006;

“Agency” means the Zambia Metrology Agency referred to in section 3;

“associate” has the meaning assigned to it in the Anti-Corruption Act, 2012;

“BIPM” means the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (International Bureau of Weights and Measures), the permanent institute established under the Metre Convention to co-ordinate international research in physical units and standards and to administer the inter laboratory comparisons of national metrology institutes;

“Board” means the Board of the Agency established under section 7;

“Bureau” means the Zambia Bureau of Standards continued under the Standards Act, 2017;

“calibration” means the set of operations that establish, under specified conditions, the relationship between values of quantities indicated by a measuring instrument or measuring system, or values represented by a material measure or a reference material and the corresponding values realised by standards;

“certification” means the issuance of a written statement by a third party based on a decision following a review, that the specified products, processes, systems or persons have fulfilled specified requirements;

“certified reference material” means reference material, accompanied by a certificate, one or more of whose property values are certified by a procedure which establishes traceability to an accurate realisation of the unit in which the property values are expressed, and for which each certified value is accompanied by an uncertainty at a stated level of confidence;

“CGPM” means the Conference General des Poids et Mesures (General Conference on Weights and Measures) of the member states of the Metre Convention;

“Chairperson” means the Chairperson of the Board appointed under section 7;

“CIPM” means the Comite Internationale des Poids et Mesures (International Weights and Measures Committee) overseeing the BIPM;

“CIPM Mutual Recognition Arrangement” means the arrangement signed by member States under the Metre Convention for the mutual recognition of national measurement standards and for calibration and measurement certificates issued by national metrology institutes;

“commodity” has the meaning assigned to it in the Standards Act, 2017;

“conformity assessment” in relation to a measuring instrument means the testing and evaluation of the instrument to ascertain whether or not the instrument, an instrument lot or production series of an instrument complies with a requirement under this Act or any other written law;

“correction” means a value added algebraically to the uncorrected result of a measurement to compensate for systematic error;

“Emoluments Commission” means the Emoluments Commission established by the Constitution;

“Executive Director” means the person appointed as Executive Director under section 10;

“former Agency” means the Zambia Weights and Measures Agency established under the repealed Act;

“Fund” means the Metrology Fund established under section 3;

“IEC” means the International Electrotechnical Commission;

“industrial metrology” means the application of measurement science to manufacturing and other processes and their use in society ensuring the suitability of measuring instruments, their calibration and quality control of measurements;

“international standard” includes a normative document published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Telecommunications Union (lTU) and the International Organisation for Legal Metrology (OIML);

“International System of Units, (SI)” means the coherent system of units adopted and recommended by the CGPM;

“ISO” means the International Organisation for Standardisation;

“legal metrology” means that part of metrology that is concerned with units and accuracy of measurement in relation to the mandatory technical and legal requirements that guarantee the transparency of economic transactions, health, safety, the environment and law enforcement;

“measurement standard” means a material measure, measuring instrument, certified reference material or measuring system intended to define, realise, conserve or reproduce a unit or one or more values of a quantity to serve as a reference;

“measuring instrument” means a device intended to be used to make measurements, alone or in conjunction with supplementary devices;

Metre Convention” means the International Metrology Treaty established in 1875;

“metrology” means the science of measurement;

“metrologist” means a person appointed as a metrologist under section 35;

“national accreditation focal point” means the office that coordinates accreditation on behalf of a regional accreditation body;

“OIML” means the Organisation Internationale de Metrologie Legale (International Organisation for Legal Metrology);

“premises” means any land, building or other structure, and includes a train, boat, ship, aircraft, vehicle, trailer or other conveyance;

“pre-packaged commodity” means a commodity that is made up as a unit or entity and whose quantities have been determined and indicated on its label before being offered for sale, irrespective of whether the unit or entity is enclosed in a container, wrapped in any manner or unenclosed;

“product” has the meaning assigned to it in the Standards Act, 2017;

“realise” in relation to a national measurement standard, means the physical determination of the measuring unit from its international definition provided in terms of physical constants, or the determination of a highly reproducible measurement standard based on a physical phenomenon;

“reference material” means material or substance one or more of whose property values are sufficiently homogeneous and well established to be used for calibration of an apparatus, the assessment of a measurement method or for assigning values to materials;

“regulatory agency” means a person or body, except a professional body, which by law, is empowered to regulate a business activity in which measurement is applied in any sector, and includes a Minister;

“relative” has the meaning assigned to it in the Anti-corruption Act, 2012;

“repealed Act” means the Weights and Measures Act, 1994;

“responsible person” in relation to a measuring instrument, means the person in whose possession, control or use the measuring instrument is found;

“SADCMEL” means the Southern African Development Community Cooperation in Legal Metrology established under the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Trade;

“SADCMET” means the Southern African Development Community Cooperation in Measurement Traceability established under the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Trade;

“scientific metrology” means metrology dealing with the organisation and development of measurement standards and with their maintenance;

“secondary standard” means a measurement standard established through calibration with respect to a primary measurement standard for a quantity of the same kind;

“Secretary” means the person appointed as such under section 10;

“sell” includes offer, advertise, expose, keep, have in possession or prepare for sale and to exchange or dispose of for valuable consideration;

“service” means a service provided for remuneration and at the request of a recipient of the service, and includes the process used to deliver the service;

“standard” means a document approved by a recognised body that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for products and their related processes or production methods, including terminology, symbols, and packaging, marking or labelling requirements as they apply to a product, its related process or production method;

“supplier” means the manufacturer, merchant, distributor, importer or agent who places a commodity or measuring instrument on the market;

“traceability” means the property of a result of a measurement or the value of a standard whereby it can be related to a stated reference, usually national or international standard, through an unbroken chain of comparisons all having stated uncertainties;

“trade” includes a contract, bargain, sale or dealing generally in a 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;

“trade metrology” means measurement related to trade transactions where a measuring instrument is the basis for the trade transactions;

“type approval” means a decision based on an evaluation report that a type of measuring instrument complies with the relevant statutory requirements and is suitable for use in the regulated area in a manner that it is expected to provide reliable measurement results over a defined period of time;

“uncertainty” means a parameter associated with the result of a measurement that characterises the dispersion of values that could reasonably be attributed to the measurement;

“verification” means a procedure, other than type approval, which includes the examination and marking or issuing of a verification certificate that ascertains and confirms that the measuring instrument complies with statutory requirements;

“working standard” means a measurement standard that is routinely used to calibrate or verify measuring instruments or measuring systems; and

“WTO” means the World Trade Organisation.


3.   Renaming of Zambia Weights and Measures Agency as Zambia Metrology Agency

   (1) The Zambia Weights and Measures Agency established under the repealed Act shall continue to exist as if established under this Act and is renamed as the Zambia Metrology Agency.

   (2) The Agency is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name and with power, subject to the other provisions of this Act, to do all such acts and things as a body corporate may, by law, do or perform.

   (3) The provisions of the First Schedule apply to the Agency.

4.   Seal of Agency

   (1) The seal of the Agency shall be such device as may be determined by the Board and shall be kept by the Secretary.

   (2) The affixing of the seal shall be authenticated by the Chairperson or the Vice-Chairperson and the Secretary or any other person authorised in that behalf by a resolution of the Board.

   (3) A contract or instrument which, if entered into or executed by a person not being a body corporate, would not be required to be under seal, may be entered into or executed without seal on behalf of the Agency by the Secretary or any other person generally or specifically authorised by the Board in that behalf.

   (4) A document purporting to be a document under the seal of the Agency or issued on behalf of the Agency shall be received in evidence and shall be deemed to be so executed or issued, as the case may be, without further proof, unless the contrary is proved.

5.   Functions of Agency

   (1) The function of the Agency is to establish a national measurement system traceable to the international measurement systems so as to attain the international recognition of the national measurement system.

   (2) Despite the generality of sub-section (1), the functions of the Agency are to—

   (a)   oversee scientific, industrial and legal metrology in accordance with this Act and any other written law;

   (b)   promote the equitable use of measurements in commercial transactions and law enforcement and protect society from the consequences of false measurements;

   (c)   facilitate the use of correct measurements in industry, trade, labour, health, safety, environmental management and other activities that utilise measurement;

   (d)   promote the reliability of measurement-based activities in the Republic;

   (e)   increase opportunities for companies to participate in international science and technology transfer through metrology;

   (f)   facilitate national, regional and international trade;

   (g)   develop metrological standards for use in Zambia;

   (h)   promote public education and the nation wide use of metrology;

   (i)   identify sectors where the use of metrological standards is mandatory;

   (j)   carry out market research in order to identify the changing needs and trends in metrology;

   (k)   use market and marketing research for accurate data which can be used to formulate new strategies and policies;

   (l)   establish and maintain metrology laboratories;

   (m)   participate and represent Zambia in international, regional and foreign bodies with similar functions to the Agency;

   (n)   monitor, evaluate and review regional and international metrology programmes; and

   (o)   encourage networking and sharing of metrological information in the region.

   (3) The Agency shall, in relation to scientific and industrial metrology—

   (a)   realise, maintain and act as custodian of the national measurement standards according to the needs of the private and public sectors and in accordance with international practice;

   (b)   participate in regional and international inter-comparisons to determine the accuracy of national measurement standards;

   (c)   disseminate units of measurement and maintain a traceability chain; and

   (d)   pursue the inclusion of the national calibration and measurement capabilities in the relevant international and regional mutual recognition arrangements.

   (4) The Agency shall, in relation to legal metrology—

   (a)   type approve weighing and measuring equipment used in commercial transactions, law enforcement, health and safety services and environmental management in accordance with established standards;

   (b)   ensure the use of type measuring equipment in commercial transactions, law enforcement, health and safety services and environmental management, including the relevant calibration and verification of the measuring equipment in use;

   (c)   evaluate and approve pre-packaging of commodities intended for and provided to the market place in accordance with relevant standards;

   (d)   keep and maintain secondary standards and other working standards; and

   (e)   regulate the manufacture, repair and sale of measuring instruments.

   (5) The Agency shall, in relation to co-ordination and communication at the national level—

   (a)   collaborate with the Bureau and the national accreditation focal point to ensure coordinated support for the national quality infrastructure;

   (b)   convene technical advisory fora to facilitate the dissemination of international best practice and gather input from commerce and industry;

   (c)   establish specialist technical committees to provide input to the process of developing and implementing legal, scientific and industrial metrology measures and standards;

   (d)   co-operate and enter into agreements on metrology with State institutions;

   (e)   disseminate information on metrology to the public and private sectors;

   (f)   promote the concept of all aspects of metrology;

   (g)   establish pre-market and post-market surveillance systems; and

   (h)   obtain information from manufacturers and suppliers of measuring equipment and commodities falling within the scope of legal metrology regulation.

   (6) The Agency may, in relation to services—

   (a)   assess and test measuring equipment to determine compliance with relevant standards;

   (b)   calibrate measuring equipment traceable to national measurement standards;

   (c)   promote the creation of a national calibration service to ensure access to traceable calibrations through accredited laboratories;

   (d)   calibrate and verify measuring equipment subject to legal metrology control;

   (e)   enter into agreements with conformity assessment service providers to inspect, test and certify measuring instruments;

   (f)   develop, certify or provide reference materials; and

   (g)   issue certificates in relation to measuring equipment and reference materials.

   (7) The Agency may, in relation to control over the supply of weighing and measuring equipment, establish and impose registration requirements for suppliers, service persons and service agencies that install, adjust, maintain, calibrate and verify measuring instruments falling within the scope of legal metrology requirements as provided for by this Act.

   (8) The Agency may determine the fees payable for any calibration, verification, testing, type approval or inspection conducted for the purposes of this Act.

   (9) The Agency shall operate as the legal, scientific and industrial metrology authority for Zambia with regard to national, regional and international metrology activities and obligations.

6.   Relations and co-operation with regulatory agencies and other authorities

   (1) The Agency shall liaise, consult, collaborate and co-operate with relevant regulatory agencies and other authorities in Zambia and may, for such purposes, have joint programmes, plans, strategies and policies.

   (2) The Agency and other regulatory agencies and authorities shall apply an integrated metrological approach to achieve the objectives of sub-section (1) and shall, in so doing—

   (a)   promote the use of international metrological standards, wherever possible;

   (b)   facilitate bilateral and multilateral agreements related to metrology;

   (c)   establish and enforce public health standards and regulations, in liaison with relevant authorities;

   (d)   undertake inspection and certification of commodities that are subject to this Act;

   (e)   promote the application of metrology and disseminate metrology information; and

   (f)   maintain statistics related to the application of metrology.

   (3) The Agency may, in relation to international and regional co-operation—

   (a)   represent and co-ordinate representation of Zambia on the AFRIMETS, BIPM, OIML, SADCMET and SADCMEL and other regional and international organisations that deal with scientific, industrial and legal metrology issues;

   (b)   organise participation for Zambia in the relevant international or regional metrology committees; and

   (c)   co-ordinate, interact and manage international, regional and bilateral interaction with other metrology institutes and authorities.

7.   Board of Agency

   (1) There is constituted a Board for the Agency which shall comprise the following part-time members appointed by the Minister—

   (a)   a representative of the Ministry responsible for industry;

   (b)   a representative of the Attorney-General;

   (c)   a representative of the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research;

   (d)   a representative of higher education institutions nominated by the Minister responsible for higher education; and

   (e)   three persons with experience and knowledge in matters relevant to this Act.

   (2) The Minister shall appoint the Chairperson of the Board from amongst the members of the Board who are not public officers.

   (3) The members of the Board shall elect the Vice-Chairperson from amongst themselves.

   (4) A person shall not be appointed as a member of the Board if that person—

   (a)   is not a citizen of Zambia;

   (b)   is an undischarged bankrupt;

   (c)   has a mental or physical disability that makes the person incapable of performing the functions of a member; or

   (d)   is convicted of an offence under this Act or any other written law and sentenced to imprisonment for a period exceeding six months without the option of a fine.

   (5) The provisions of the First Schedule apply to the Board.

8.   Functions of Board

   (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the Board shall provide strategic policy direction to the Agency.

   (2) Despite the generality of sub-section (1), the functions of the Board are to—

   (a)   promote effective corporate governance of the Agency;

   (b)   formulate the policies, programmes and strategies of the Agency;

   (c)   approve the annual workplan and activity reports of the Agency; and

   (d)   approve the annual budget estimates and financial statements of the Agency.

   (3) The Minister may enter into a performance contract with the Board for a specified period, which shall be consistent with the provisions of this Act.

9.   Delegation of functions and directions

   (1) The Board may, subject to any conditions imposed and guidelines issued by it, delegate any of it’s functions to the Executive Director.

   (2) The Minister may give to the Board general or specific directions, which are consistent with the provisions of this Act, relating to the discharge of its functions and the Board shall give effect to those directions.

10.   Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director and other staff

   (1) The Board shall appoint an Executive Director for the Agency on such terms and conditions as the Emoluments Commission may determine.

   (2) The Executive Director shall be the chief executive officer of the Agency and shall be responsible, under the direction of the Board, for the day-to-day administration of the Agency.

   (3) The Executive Director shall attend the meetings of the Board and may address those meetings but shall not vote on any matter before the Board.

   (4) The Board may appoint, on such terms and conditions as it may determine, the Deputy Executive Director, the Secretary and such other staff as it considers necessary for the performance of the functions of the Agency and Board.

   (5) The Secretary shall perform corporate secretarial duties for the Board and such other functions as the Board may determine, under the direction of the Board and the Executive Director.


11.   Standard unit of measurement

A person shall not, without reference to the standard unit of measurement, in relation to any goods and services—

   (a)   quote a price or charge;

   (b)   issue or exhibit a price list, invoice or other document;

   (c)   state a quantity in an advertisement, poster or document; or

   (d)   indicate the net quantity of a commodity on a package.

12.   Units of measurement

   (1) The legal units of measurement, the symbols of those units and the rules relating to the use of units and their symbols shall be—

   (a)   the units, their symbols and the rules of the International System of Units, SI, prescribed by the Minister, by statutory instrument; and

   (b)   such other units not covered by the International Systems of Units, SI, other symbols of those units and the rules relating to the use of those units and their symbols as the Minister may prescribe, by statutory instrument, for applications required by the necessity of international trade, air or maritime navigation, health care or for safety reasons.

   (2) The definitions of the base or derived units of the statutory instrument, their multiples, subdivisions and symbols shall comply with the recommendations of the Metre Convention and international standards.

13.   Prohibition of use of certain units of measurement

   (1) A person shall use legal units in trade, documentation and advertisements for commodities, services, publications or training except—

   (a)   in documents of and references to products produced and services carried out before the coming into operation of this Act;

   (b)   when referring to non-legal units in a historical perspective in publications and training; or

   (c)   in documents, publications or marking of commodities that are intended for users in countries with different systems of units.

   (2) The Minister may, by statutory instrument, make provision for the granting of exemption from any of the provisions of sub-section (1), for a specified time and a specific area of activity.

14.   Equivalence of certain units

The Minister may, by statutory instrument, after consultation with the Agency, determine the equivalence of any unit expressed in any other unit of the same quantity, and that equivalence shall, for all purposes, be deemed to be the equivalent of the unit in question.


15.   National measurement standards

   (1) The Minister may, by statutory instrument, declare any measurement standard as a national measurement standard.

   (2) A national measurement standard may be a—

   (a)   primary measurement standard that independently realises a measurement unit; or

   (b)   measurement standard traceable to an international standard set by the BIPM.

   (3) The value of the national measurement standard in relation to the measurement unit shall—

   (a)   be the value declared as such by the Agency;

   (b)   have stated uncertainties; and

   (c)   be accepted as the most accurate value.

   (4) A measurement standard which is not a national measurement standard or a measurement carried out by that measurement standard shall, for the purposes of measurements for a legal purpose, be traceable to one or more national measurement standards through an unbroken chain of comparisons stating uncertainties, and carried out by the Agency or an accredited facility.

16.   Maintenance of national measurement standards

   (1) Subject to sub-section (2), the Agency shall—

   (a)   keep and maintain all national measurement standards declared under section 15;

   (b)   provide measurement traceability to other measurement standards; and

   (c)   keep and maintain the instruments necessary for bringing national measurement standards into being and implement the procedures connected with the standards.

   (2) Where the Agency, for financial or technical reasons, cannot keep and maintain a specific national measurement standard, the Minister may, in consultation with the Agency, designate another organisation as the custodian of the national measurement standard.

   (3) The Minister may, in the public interest and on the recommendation of the Agency, withdraw the designation provided for in sub-section (2).

   (4) The Agency may establish and maintain, as necessary, a system of providing certified reference materials traceable to national measurement standards.

17.   National reference measurements

A reference measurement or analysis performed for a legal purpose by the Agency stating the uncertainties of measurements and traceable to national measurement standards or certified reference materials traceable to national measurement standards recognised under the CIPM Mutual Recognition Arrangement shall be regarded as the true value.

18.   Certificates

   (1) The Agency shall issue a certificate stating the outcome of a measurement or analysis regarding any matter specified in this Act.

   (2) The certificate provided for in sub-section (1) shall be signed by the Executive Director or another officer of the Agency authorised by the Board.


19.   Units of measurement

The units of measurement used for the implementation of the legal metrology provisions of this Act shall be in accordance with the national measurement standards provided for in section 15.

20.   Measurement traceability

All measurement standards used for legal metrology shall be traceable to the national measurement standards.

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