CHAPTER 48:08
METRICATION

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   SECTION

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

PART II
INTRODUCTION OF THE METRIC SYSTEM

   2.   Metric units

   3.   Power of Minister to adapt, alter, convert and modify

   4.   Conversion of Imperial standard units to metric units

   5.   Power of Minister to add to, vary or amend Schedules

   6.   Saving

PART III
WEIGHTS, MEASURES AND INSTRUMENTS USED IN TRADE

   7.   Interpretation of Part

   8.   Power of Minister to prohibit non-metric systems

   9.   Seizure and destruction of prohibited weights and measures

   10.   Surrender of instruments, seizure, etc.

   11.   Power of Minister to exempt

   12.   Conversion of instruments

   13.   Power of Minister to prohibit importation, sale or manufacture of non-metric instruments

   14.   Offences and penalties

       First Schedule

       Second Schedule

9 of 1981
G.N. 48/1981

An Act to introduce the units of the metric system in Malawi, to enable necessary modification of legislation to be effected, to provide that the metric system of weights and measures shall be the only permitted system in trade transactions and for matters incidental thereto

[26TH JUNE 1981]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

   (1) This Act may be cited as the Metrication Act.

   (2) This Act shall be construed as one with the Weights and Measures Act (hereinafter called the principal Act) so however that, in the case of any conflict between the provisions of this Act and the principal Act, the provisions of this Act shall prevail.

PART II
INTRODUCTION OF THE METRIC SYSTEM

2.   Metric units

   On and after the commencement of this Act the units of the metric system shall have legal force and validity in Malawi and the units of the metric system shall consist of—

   (a)   the base units set out in Part I of First Schedule (including their multiples and sub-multiples);

   (b)   the supplementary and derived units set out in Part II of the First Schedule; and

   (c)   the additional units set out in Part III of the First Schedule.

3.   Power of Minister to adapt, alter, convert and modify

   The Minister responsible for the administration, of an Act may, in respect of that Act, by Order provide for the adaptation, alteration, conversion or modification of any of the provisions of that Act for the purpose of replacing references to units other than metric units which are either equivalent to such provisions or such approximations thereto as appear to the Minister to be desirable to ensure that, as so adapted, altered, converted or modified, they are expressed in convenient terms.

4.   Conversion of Imperial standard units to metric units

   The values expressed in terms of any units of the Imperial standard relating to measures of extension whether lineal, superficial or solid, or weight or capacity, may be converted into values expressed in terms of the units of the metric system in accordance with the Second Schedule.

5.   Power of Minister to add to, vary or amend Schedules

   The Minister may from time to time, by Order, add to, vary or amend the Schedules to this Act as he may think fit.

6.   Saving

   (1) No Act or thing done prior to the making of any Order pursuant to section 3 shall be challenged only on the ground that such act or thing done was in a unit other than a unit of the metric system.

   (2) Nothing in this Part shall affect the legal force and validity of any other system of units lawfully used in Malawi.

PART III
WEIGHTS, MEASURES AND INSTRUMENTS USED IN TRADE

7.   Interpretation of Part

   In this Part—

   “instrument” means a weighing or measuring instrument;

   “licensed repairer” means a person licensed pursuant to the principal Act to repair or overhaul instruments;

   “measure” means any device for the measurement of length area, capacity or volume;

   “weight” means a mass piece, of a kind ordinarily used in association with a weighing instrument, for the determination of quantity according to weight.

8.   Power of Minister to prohibit non-metric systems

   (1) The Minister may, by Order, specify any area, industry, trade or transaction to be an area, industry, trade or transaction in which—

   (a)   all weights and measures possessed or used in trade and denominated in units other than metric units shall be surrendered to an assizer on such date and in such circumstances as may be specified in the Order;

   (b)   all instruments possessed or used in trade and indicating in units other than metric units shall be converted to indicate in metric units within such period and in such circumstances as may be specified in the Order.

   (2) When an Order is made under subsection (1) the Minister may, by the same or a subsequent Order, specify a date after which the possession or use in trade in the area, industry, trade or transaction concerned of any weights, measures or instruments which indicate in units other than metric units shall be prohibited.

9.   Seizure and destruction of prohibited weights and measures

   (1) After the date specified in an Order made under section 8 (2) an assizer or inspector may seize and detain any weight or measure which he has reason to believe is prohibited by the Order.

   (2) Unless, within 90 days after the date of seizure, the owner or other person found in possession of such weight or measure institutes proceedings for the recovery thereof on the ground that the same was not prohibited by the Order, giving notice in writing to the Minister of the institution of such proceedings, the weight or measure shall be destroyed.

   (3) Proceedings under subsection (2) shall be heard and determined before a court of a Resident Magistrate.

10.   Surrender of instruments, seizure, etc.

   (1) After the commencement of any period specified in an Order made under section 8 (1) (b), the Government Assizer may, by General Notice published in the Gazette and in such other manner, if any, as he may consider expedient, require any person in the area, industry or trade, or engaged in the transaction, to which the Order relates, who has in his possession for use in trade any instrument to which the Order applies, to surrender such instrument to an assizer on such date and at such place as is specified in the Notice being a date within the period specified in the Order.

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