Weights and Measures Act
- Commenced on 1 January 1960
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2014.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated in the Fifth Revised Edition of the Laws of Malawi (L.R.O. 1/2018), by the Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice under the authority of the Revision of the Laws Act.]
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Weights and Measures Act.[10 of 1981]
2. InterpretationIn this Act, unless inconsistent with the context—“article” includes any liquids, foods, chattels, wares, merchandise, commodities and other goods of any description and, where necessary, any article and its package;“assize” or “re-assize” in relation to an instrument, weight or measure means to examine, verify, test in the prescribed manner and when found correct stamp with the stamp of assize and provide with a seal of assize, where prescribed, in accordance with this Act, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;“assizer” means a person appointed as an assizer in terms of section 11;“authorized measure” means a unit of weight, length, capacity, area or volume referred to in section 4, and “unauthorized measure” shall be construed accordingly;“Board” means the Assize Board established in terms of section 12;“correct” in relation to an instrument, weight or measure, means correct within such limits of error and with such sensitiveness as may be prescribed;“inspector” means a person appointed as an inspector in terms of section 11;“instrument” means a weighing or measuring instrument;“measuring instrument” means an instrument for the measurement of length, area, capacity, volume or quantity;“police officer” means any member of the Malawi Police of the rank of Inspector or above;“pre-packed”, in relation to an article, means packed or made up in advance ready for sale in a wrapper or container;“purchaser” includes a person acting on behalf of a purchaser;“rejected”, in relation to an instrument, weight or measure, means examined, tested and found not to comply with the requirements of this Act by an assizer and stamped with a prescribed rejection mark, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;“sale by retail” means a sale to a person buying otherwise than for the purpose of resale, but does not include a sale to a caterer or manufacturer for the purposes of his catering or manufacturing business, as the case may be, and “sell by retail” and “sold by retail” shall be construed accordingly ;“seal of assize” means a prescribed seal of assize;“sell” includes to 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;“stamp” includes to cast, engrave, etch, print or otherwise mark in such manner as to be as far as possible indelible, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;“stamp of assize” means a prescribed stamp of assize;“standard” means a Malawi, Local or Working Standard, as the case may be, referred to in section 5;“trade” includes any contract, bargain, sale, dealing and generally any transaction for valuable consideration in pursuance of which articles are weighed, measured or counted but does not include any contract, or bargain for sale of or dealing in land or interest in land;“unassized” means not assized, or, in relation to an instrument, weight or measure which under this Act should have been re-assized, not re-assized;“use in trade”, in relation to an instrument, weight or measure, means the use thereof for weighing, measuring or counting in trade, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;“weighing instrument” includes scales, balances and all kinds of machines or instruments used for weighing, including those which also compute prices and those which count objects by weighing.[10 of 1981]
Part I – Standard weights and measures
3. Standard units of weight, length and capacity
4. Units of weight, length, capacity, area and volume in MalawiThe units of weight, length, capacity, area and volume in Malawi and their corresponding values shall be those specified in the Schedule, and such units of weight, length, capacity, area or volume of the Imperial system and their corresponding values as may for the time being be prescribed.[10 of 1981]
5. Malawi, Local and Working standards
6. Replacement of standardsIf at any time a standard is lost, destroyed, defaced, damaged or found by the Minister to be unsuitable, the Minister shall cause that standard to be replaced by a fresh standard.
7. Authentication of standards
8. Verification of standards
9. Equipment for administration of the ActThe Minister shall procure such suitable instruments, appliances and facilities as may be necessary for the purposes of this Act, and shall provide for such repair, adjustment, maintenance, verification or replacement of the instruments, appliances and facilities as may be required.
Part II – Administration
10. Arrangements with local authorities for administration of the Act
11. Appointment of officers
12. Assize Board
13. Certificates in respect of design or pattern of instruments, etc.
Part III – Assizing of instruments, weights and measures
14. Instruments, etc. used in trade to be assizedSubject to this Act, every instrument, weight and measure used in trade shall be assized or re-assized in accordance with this Act.
15. Assizers to reject certain instruments, etc.
16. Instruments, etc., to be assized or re-assized
17. Powers of inspection and entry
Part IV – Sale of articles and use of instruments, weights and measures
18. Contracts to be made by reference to an authorized measure
19. Containers marked with unauthorized measureSubject to this Act, no person shall sell any article in a wrapper or container marked with an unauthorized measure unless its correct equivalent in terms of an authorized measure is also marked on that wrapper or container—
20. Sale and delivery of articles
21. Sale of prepacked articles
22. Provision and operation of weighing instruments
23. Price lists
24. False statements as to measure, weight, etc.Any person who, by any means whatsoever, whether directly or indirectly—
25. Prohibition of use and sale of certain instruments, etc.
26. Lawful use of certain unassized instruments, etc.
27. Repairs to instruments, etc.
Part V – General
28. Regulatory powers of Minister
30. ForfeitureUpon conviction of a person under this Act, the court may, if it thinks fit, either in addition to or without inflicting any other penalty, order that any article, instrument, weight or measure in respect or by means of which the offence was committed shall be forfeited, unless the owner of such article, instrument, weight or measure or any person acting on his behalf or having a right in that article, instrument, weight or measure shows cause to the contrary.
31. Acts or omissions by managers, agents or employees
32. Safeguards to traders
33. Documents to be prima facie evidence
34. Burden of proof
35. Recovery of feesThe Minister may by action in any court of competent jurisdiction recover the amount of a fee payable in terms of this Act.
History of this document
31 December 2014 this version
01 January 1960