1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation


   3.   Establishment of the Malawi Bureau of Standards

   4.   Objects of the Bureau

   5.   Functions, powers and duties of the Bureau

   6.   Non-liability of the Bureau


   7.   Establishment of the Malawi Bureau of Standards Board

   8.   Composition of the Board

   9.   The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Board

   10.   Tenure of office of members, vacation and disqualification

   11.   Allowances for Members

   12.   Meetings of the Board

   13.   Non-liability of members

   14.   Pecuniary interest of members

   15.   Powers and functions of the Board

   16.   Committees of the Board

   17.   Delegation


   18.   Funds of the Board and its accounts

   19.   Annual Reports

   20.   Quality development cess

   21.   Audit

   22.   Reimbursement of expenses of members of the Board

   23.   Financial Year


   24.   Director General

   25.   Appointment of other staff and conditions of service


   26.   Setting of Malawi Standards

   27.   Declaration of Malawi Standards

   28.   Incorporation of Malawi Standards in laws

   29.   Effect of declaration as mandatory standard and application of standardization mark

   30.   Non-compliance with mandatory standards

Standardization Marks

   31.   Establishment, alteration of standardization marks, etc.

   32.   Application of standardization mark

   33.   Mark permits

   34.   Suspension or cancellation of permit

   35.   Samples and information

   36.   Limitations on certain claims


   37.   Appointment and powers

   38.   Functions


   39.   Order prohibiting or restricting supply of defective commodities

   40.   Remedy for supply of commodity in contravention of order

   41.   Order for recall of defective commodities

   42.   Voluntary recall of commodities

   43.   Certain actions not to affect insurance contracts


   44.   Offences and penalties


   45.   Restriction on use of certain words

   46.   Presumption

   47.   Certain acts not to be interpreted as assurances or guarantees

   48.   Confidentiality

   49.   Inventions by staff members and other persons

   50.   Levying of interest

   51.   Disclosure of certain information to protect consumer

   52.   Prohibition of victimization

   53.   Conflicting standards

   54.   Regulations

   55.   Relationship between this Act and other written laws

   56.   Repeal and savings


   57.   Transfer of assets, funds, liabilities, etc.

   58.   Transfer of employees




14 of 2012

An Act to establish the Malawi Bureau of Standards and the Malawi Standards Board; to vest the management and control of the Malawi Bureau of Standards in the Malawi Standards Board; to promote metrology, standardization and quality assurance of commodities and of the manufacture, production, processing or treatment thereof; and further to provide for matters incidental to, or connected with, the foregoing

[27TH JULY, 2012]



1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Malawi Bureau of Standards Act.


2.   Interpretation

    In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   "auditor", means a person appointed as such under section 37;

   "Board" means the Malawi Bureau of Standards Board established under section 7;

   "Bureau" means the Malawi Bureau of Standards established by section 3;

   "Bureau Management" means the Director General, Deputy Director General and the Heads of Departments of the Bureau;

   "cess" means the quality development cess imposed by the Minister under section 20;

   "Chairperson" means the Chairperson of the Board appointed and designated pursuant to section 9;

   "Code of practice" means a set of rules relating to the methods to be applied or the procedure to be adopted in connexion with the construction, installation, testing, operations or use of any article, apparatus, instrument, devise or process, including—

   (a)   the marking, handling, packing, storage and transport of a commodity; or

   (b)   the manner of installation of the commodity to ensure efficient performance;

   "commodity" means product, service, good or article of, or for, trade;

   "Director General" means the Chief Executive Officer of the Bureau appointed under section 24;

   "examine" includes inspect, check or observe;

   "financial auditor" means a person appointed as such to audit the finances of the Bureau;

   "financial year" means the financial year of the Bureau as specified in section 23;

   "import" means to bring or cause to bring a commodity in the country by any means;

   "inspector" means an inspector appointed under section 37;

   "Malawi Standard" means a specification, code of practice, terminology standard or method of test as declared under section 27 (1);

   "Mandatory Standard" means a Malawi Standard declared as such under section 27 (2) to which compliance is compulsory;

   "manufacture" includes produce, assemble, alter, modify, adapt, convert, process, package, including labeling, treat, install, test, operate and use;

   "mark" means any device, brand, heading, label, ticket, emblem, representation, heading ticket, name, signature, word, letter or numeral, or any combination thereof; whether used in a compound with any other word or not;

   "member" means a member of the Board appointed under section 8;

"person" includes a body corporate;

   "reference material" means any material or substance with one or more characteristics which may be used for—

   (a)   calibration of any apparatus;

   (b)   testing of the accuracy of any method of measurement; or

   (c)   determination, by comparison therewith, of any characteristic, including purity, of any other material or substance;

   "regulation" means a regulation in force in terms of this Act;

   "sell" includes—

   (a)   display, offer or advertise for sale;

   (b)   export from Malawi for or in pursuance of sale;

   (c)   have in possession for the purpose of sale, trade, manufacture export from Malawi or for humanitarian grounds;

   "specification" means an explicit set of requirements to be satisfied by a commodity with reference to its characteristics, including its nature, quality, strength, efficacy, purity, composition, assembly, quantity; dimensions, mass, grade, design, layout, durability, capacity, format, operation, performance, origin or age, which ever may be applicable;

   "standardization mark" means a certification mark, mark of proof, or mark of authenticity;

   "system", with regard to a commodity, means interrelated processes which are designed to achieve a particular purpose or to perform a specific function;

   "Vice-Chairperson" means the person appointed as such under section 9.



3.   Establishment of the Malawi Bureau of Standards

   There is hereby established the Malawi Bureau of Standards (in this Act otherwise referred to as the "Bureau"), which shall—

   (a)   be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, with power to alter the same from time to time;

   (b)   in its corporate name be capable of suing and being sued;

   (c)   subject to the provisions of this Act, of acquiring, holding, letting and otherwise disposing of any property; and

   (d)   be capable of doing and performing such acts and things as bodies corporate may by law do and perform.


4.   Objects of the Bureau

   The objects of the Bureau shall be—

   (a)   to promote standardization in commerce and industry;

   (b)   to prepare and issue standards and to administer schemes based thereon;

   (c)   to make arrangements to provide facilities for the testing and calibration of precision instruments, gauges and scientific apparatus, for the determination of their degree of accuracy by comparison with standards, approved by the Minister on the recommendation of the Board, and for the issue of certificates in regard thereto;

   (d)   to make arrangements or provide facilities in order to examine, test or analyze articles, materials and substances;

   (e)   to provide for the testing of locally manufactured or imported commodities with a view to determining whether such commodities comply with the provisions of this Act, the Merchandise Marks Act or any other law relating to standards of quality;

   (f)   to control the use of standardization marks;

   (g)   to encourage or undertake educational work in connexion with standardization;

   (h)   to provide for cooperation with any person, association or organization outside Malawi having objects similar to those of the Bureau;

   (i)   to assist any ministry, Government department, local authority, other public authority or any statutory corporation in the preparation and framing of the specifications or codes of practice required by it;

   (j)   to provide for cooperation with the representatives of any branch of industry, ministry, Government Department, local authority, other public authority or any statutory corporation or with any person with a view to bringing about standardization in connexion with commodities;

   (k)   to assess quality systems and to administer the certification by such systems thus assessed;

   (l)   to supply reference material for specific purposes; and

   (m)   to perform, in so far as it is not repugnant to or inconsistent with the provisions of any written law, such functions as the Minister may assign to the Bureau, so as to promote and maintain standardization and quality regarding commodities.


5.   Functions, powers and duties of the Bureau

   (1) The Bureau shall exercise the following powers and perform duties as are conferred on it by this Act or any other written law for the purposes of achieving the objects of the Bureau set out in section 4

   (a)   to supply reference material and issue directives in connexion with such material;

   (b)   at the request of any person, body, organization, administration or authority and subject to the conditions determined by the Bureau, conduct examinations, tests, or analyzes or cause them to be conducted in respect of any articles, material or substances;

   (c)   to purchase or otherwise acquire a sample of any article in order to investigate, test or analyze it, and for the purposes of a Malawi Standard determine the sampling examination, testing or analysis procedure to be followed in order to assess whether there has been compliance with the relevant characteristics requirements or the manner of manufacture of a commodity;

   (d)   subject to the provisions of this Act, determine and collect cess and fees for services rendered under this Act; and

   (e)   in addition to any function, power or duty that the Bureau is required or empowered to perform, exercise or execute in terms of the provisions of this Act or any other written law, do everything that is conducive to the achievement of its objects or is calculated, directly or indirectly, to enhance the value of or render profitable the property or rights of the Bureau.

   (2) The Bureau may in the exercise of its powers—

   (a)   enter into an agreement with;

   (b)   render assistance to; or

   (c)   obtain the cooperation of,

a person, body, organization, administration, authority or government in any country or territory outside Malawi.

   (3) The Bureau may issue to a person—

   (a)   who manufactures outside Malawi a commodity, a consignment of which is intended for importation into Malawi; or

   (b)   who intends to import a consignment of a commodity manufactured outside Malawi; or

   (c)   who intends to export a consignment of a commodity manufactured inside Malawi,

a certificate in which it is declared that such consignment complies with or has been manufactured in accordance with the requirements determined under this Act.

   (4) The Minister may, with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance, indemnify the Bureau against any losses which it may incur consequent upon any act or omission of the person, body, organization administration, authority or government referred to in subsection (2):

   Provided that such act was performed or omission was made with the approval of or at the request of the Minister.

   (5) The Bureau shall—

   (a)   subject to the payment of the prescribed fees, undertake the investigations or research which the Minister may assign to it; and

   (b)   at the request of the Minister, advise the Minister concerning any matter which is relevant to the objects of the Bureau.


6.   Non-liability of the Bureau

   The Bureau shall not be liable in respect of anything done under this Act in good faith and without negligence.



7.   Establishment of the Malawi Bureau of Standards Board

   (1) There is hereby established the Malawi Bureau of Standards Board (in this Act otherwise referred to as the "Board").

   (2) The operations of the Bureau shall be managed by the Board which, subject to the special or general direction of the Minister, may exercise all the powers and functions of the Bureau in addition to the powers and functions otherwise vested in the Board by this Act.


8.   Composition of the Board

   The Board shall consist of—

   (a)   six members to be appointed by the Minister from the industry sector, trade sector, academic or non-Governmental organizations, who shall be persons with sufficient knowledge and experience in matters relating to the objects of the Bureau; and

   (b)   the following ex officio members—

      (i)   the Comptroller of Statutory Corporations or his designated representative;

      (ii)   the Secretary for Industry and Trade or his designated representative; and

      (iii)   the Secretary for Health or his designated representative.


9.   The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Board

   (1) The Minister shall designate one of the members appointed under section 8, other than an ex officio member, as a Chairperson of the Board.

   (2) The members of the Board shall, at their first meeting, elect a Vice-Chairperson.


10.   Tenure of office of members, vacation and disqualification

   (1) The members, other than ex officio members, shall hold office for a period of two years but shall be eligible for reappointment for one more term.

   (2) Any member, other than an ex officio member, may at any time, by, at least two weeks notice in writing to the Minister, resign from his office.

   (3) The office of a member, other than an ex officio member, shall become vacant—

   (a)   upon his death;

   (b)   if he is mentally or physically incapable of performing his duties as a member of the Board;

   (c)   if he is adjudged bankrupt;

   (d)   if he is convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of six months or more without an option of a fine;

   (e)   if he is guilty of gross misconduct and is so notified in writing by the Minister;

   (f)   if he is absent from three consecutive meetings of the Board, for which he has had notice, without any reasonable excuse.

   (4) Any person who—

   (a)   is a Member of Parliament;

   (b)   is a Minister or Deputy Minister;

   (c)   is a holder of a licence under this Act;

   (d)   is an employee of a holder of a licence;

   (e)   is a director of a company holding a licence under this Act;

   (f)   holds five per cent or more shares in a company holding a licence under this Act;

   (g)   has, in the last seven years, been convicted of an offence under this Act, or an offence involving fraud or dishonesty by a competent court in Malawi or elsewhere; or

   (h)   is in a position where there is a material conflict of interest between the interests of the member as member of the Board and the business interest of that member,

shall be disqualified from being appointed as a member of the Authority.


11.   Allowances for members

   The members shall be paid such allowances as the Minister may, from time to time, determine.


12.   Meetings of the Board

   (1) The Chairperson of the Board shall call meetings of the Board at such places and times as the Chairperson may determine.

   (2) The Chairperson shall preside over every meeting of the Board but in the absence of the Chairperson from any meeting of the Board, the Vice-Chairperson shall preside over such meeting and in the absence of both the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson from any such meeting, the members present shall elect one of their number other than a member of ex officio to preside at that meeting.

   (3) The person presiding over any meetings of the Board shall have a deliberative vote and, in the case of an equality of votes, shall also have a casting vote.

   (4) A meeting of the Board shall be held at least once in every three months and at such other times and at such places as the Chairperson may determine.

   (5) At all meetings of the Board, two thirds of the members shall form a quorum.

   (6) A decision of the Board shall be a resolution of the majority of members present at any meeting and, at all meetings of the Board.

   (7) The Board may invite, for such a period of time as it thinks fit, any person whose knowledge or advice it may require, and the person invited may take part in the deliberations of the meeting of the Board but shall not be entitled to vote at any such meeting or be counted as a member for the purpose of forming a quorum.


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