2022 CEEMS Award


The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS)



At the online 57th CIML Meeting, the CIML President, Dr Roman Schwartz, announced that the recipient of the 2022 OIML CEEMS Award was the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS).




The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) was established in 1984 by the GNBS Act No 11 of 1984 under the then Ministry of Tourism Industry and Commerce. Previously the Legal Metrology Services, commonly known as Weights and Measures Services, were provided by the License and Revenue Department under the Ministry of Finance, since it was seen as a means of generating revenue rather than of consumer protection and ensuring equity in trade. However, in 1997 with the intervention of the GNBS, this responsibility was transferred from the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce. This gave the GNBS full responsibility for developing legal metrology activities in Guyana through the implementation of the 1981 Weights and Measures Act.

The evolution of legal metrology in Guyana has come a long way since 1997. The journey began with the establishment of the Legal Metrology Department of the GNBS, which has been responsible for the coordination and implementation of all legal metrology activities countrywide for the past 25 years. The contribution to legal metrology at the national and regional (Caribbean) levels is significant considering that Guyana is a small developing country with an area of approximately 214 000 km2 and a population of around 750 000.



As a small developing National Metrology Institute (NMI), the GNBS has made significant strides in the development of legal metrology in Guyana through the employment of several legal metrology inspectors, capacity building, and the acquisition of numerous pieces of metrology equipment to effectively conduct verification activities. The Bureau has transformed from having six officers in 1997, to a current workforce of 25 legal metrology inspectors and four regional officers. The GNBS currently provides verification services in the areas of petrol pumps, bulk meters, tanker wagon compartments, flow meters, storage tanks, scales, masses and measures, breathalysers, grain moisture meters, and electricity meters. Also, the GNBS is presently working on developing a new Metrology Act and Regulations. With its current capacity, the GNBS performs approximately 35 000 verifications annually.


Establishment of Branch Offices

The Bureau has also established branch offices in seven of the ten administrative regions of Guyana to decentralise its services to persons living in these regions, and expected to establish branch offices in the remaining three administrative regions of Guyana by the end of 2022. The officers stationed at these branch offices are responsible for the verification and reverification of measuring instruments subject to legal control, surveillance, diffusion of legal metrology activities, and public education about legal metrology to enhance the awareness of the importance of measurements in daily life, to ensure consumer protection and equity in trade.


Legal Metrology Monitoring Committee

The Legal Metrology Monitoring Committee was established to coordinate legal metrology activities countrywide. This Committee meets quarterly, where the coordination of verifications activities is discussed, challenges encountered during verification activities are highlighted and addressed, and the need for stakeholder education and sensitisation are determined and subsequently provided. A significant amount of work is also done on promoting the use of SI units in all sectors of Guyana. The members of the Legal Metrology Monitoring Committee monitor and control measuring instruments used in commercial trade by conducting periodic verifications twice yearly, and by inspecting instruments used in trade to ensure they are approved for use in commercial trade and are accurate. All instruments used to perform verification activities are calibrated by the GNBS calibration and testing metrology laboratory to guarantee traceability to international standards. The GNBS legal metrology department also monitors measuring instruments used by airlines, supermarkets, hospitals, clinics, rice mills, shipping agencies, seafoods entities, ferry stellings, sugar estates, and other private entities.

Guyana became a Corresponding Member of the OIML in January 2021 and has collaborated with metrology authorities within CARIMET and the SIM region in gathering experience and knowledge, to facilitate the development of metrological capabilities in Guyana. The GNBS uses this to supervise and control all measuring instruments subject to metrological control. The Bureau has the same lack of economic, technical and human resources faced by other metrological control authorities when developing their activities, and relies on the support of the regional democratic councils in the administrative regions for conducting the metrological verification of measuring instruments. Owners of measuring instruments pay for verification services provided by the GNBS, which enabled the GNBS to increase these activities without incurring additional costs.


Emerging areas of demand

The GNBS has recently supported the emerging oil and gas sector in Guyana by enhancing its capacity to perform the verification of bulk transfer meters, tanks gauging, and the custody transfer of crude oil on floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels. It has also started the verification of breath analysers and speed guns based on the demand from Guyanan stakeholders. The provision of these services by the GNBS is necessary to ensure the accuracy of measurements during the sale of crude oil, to monitor staff working in critical areas of operations within the oil and gas industry, for consumer protection, and for ensuring highway safety.

The GNBS is also currently developing capacity to start the verification of net contents of prepackaged products. Recently, training on this subject was conducted for 25 inspectors of the legal metrology department of the GNBS by Mr Pedro Vargas of SIC (Colombia), chair of the SIM Legal Metrology Working Group, and the Bureau is acquiring the necessary equipment to commence this activity in early 2023.


New Metrology Portal

On 20 May 2022, in observance of the World Metrology Day theme of “Metrology in the digital era”, the GNBS legal metrology department launched its Metrology Portal, which is designed to transform the operations of the department from a paper-based system to a fully digital system, to increase operational efficiency, and to create greater interactions between the GNBS and its customers. Currently the Metrology Portal consist of a database of all known measuring instruments in use for trade in Guyana which are subject to metrological control. This information will be used by metrology inspectors to manage and coordinate verification activities, for information sharing purposes, and to guarantee accurate measurements for Guyanese consumers.