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Legal Metrology Overview

The Legal Metrology Act was promulgated in August 2014 and expanded the scope of Legal Metrology to include measurements made in the fields of health, safety, and the environment. The promulgation of the Legal Metrology Act places South Africa on par with many developed countries and well in advance of many developing countries especially some of our trading partners. 

​​​Legal Metrology Activities ​

The following is a list of activities undertaken to give effect to the requirements of the Legal Metrology Act and Regulations:​​​​
  • Type Approval of measuring instruments used in trade; health; safety and Environment.
    ​Is the evaluation process to ascertain whether measuring instruments are compliant or not with applicable national standards and technical regulations. A Type Approval certificate shall be issued on successful completion of the evaluation of the measuring instrument submitted. Based on trends over the last 20 years and an analysis of the available staff as well as available man-hours all submissions for type approval projects will be completed within an average processing time of 120 working days per application.

  • Type evaluation of Gaming Equipment
    ​Legal Metrology is also responsible for evaluating test reports from NGB licensed test laboratories to determine compliance with the requirements of the compulsory specifications with the view of issuing a LOC for compliant gaming and gambling equipment under the authority of the National Gambling Act, 2004 (Act 7 of 2004). Issuing of a Letter of Certification, after evaluation of test report to specific requirements in relation to hardware and/or software of gambling machines. From Gaming analysis, it is evident that all applications for LOCs will be issued within an average processing time of 21 working days per application. ​

  • Market surveillance
    ​Market surveillance is conducted to ensure compliance with the prescribed requirements of the Legal Metrology Act, 2014 (Act 9 of 2014) and Regulations; prepacked goods and measuring instruments are inspected for compliance to the requirements for the sale of goods, approval, and verification status of measuring instruments. 

    • ​pre-packaged goods to prevent non-complying in terms of short measured or/and incorrect labeling to entering the market.
    • measuring equipment to prevent the use of false, defective, or inaccurate measuring instruments.
    • Application of sanctions in instances of non-compliance through embargoes/rejection, warnings, and recommendations for prosecution
  • Designation of verification and repair bodies
    ​This is a process of ascertaining compliance to legislation through performing accreditation assessments against policies and processes as well as their compliance to regulatory requirements. Private organizations can be designated as a verification and repair body. A letter of designation is issued to competent/accredited laboratories to verify or repair measuring instruments under the control of Legal Metrology. Certificates of Designation will only be issued to all successful applications that met all prescribed criteria. In the monitoring of the designation, the Legal Metrology unit and SANAS conducted annual assessments at verification and repair laboratories. Provide lead and technical assessors expertise to the SANAS Verification and Repair Laboratory Accreditation Program ​

  • Verification
    ​Verification is the process of determining whether instruments are in compliance to type approval requirements and accurate within the tolerances as prescribed by the Legal Metrology Act.

  • Technical Training
    Assess and certify the competence of Verification Officers and that of repairers through written and practical examinations by NRCS assessors. The Verification Officer and repairer Certificate will be issued to all successful candidates once the following has been completed. o Evaluation and registration of verification officers working in accredited verification bodies/laboratories. Evaluation and registration of repairers working in accredited repair bodies/ laboratories 

  • Calibration Services
    ​To provide calibration service to our verification laboratories (client), market surveillance inspectors, and type approval with the aim of ensuring traceability to National Standards (Physical) of the working standards used to do verification and inspection. On completion of the calibration process, the client or regional office will be issued with a calibration certificate. It is a requirement of the Legal Metrology Act that all working standards be calibrated 12 monthly. Legal Metrology further provide calibration service for to industry to ensure accurate, traceable to International and National standard on the following: Masspieces and volumetric measures

  • Quantity control registration scheme
    Quantity control registration scheme to pre-packers facilitating smooth trade both national and international e-mark for importers and local manufacturers for Measuring Container Bottle manufactures

  • Quality Management Systems
    Legal Metrology adopted and maintains a number of Management systems to ensure the level of confidence in operations through consistent application and interpretation of requirements. The type approval and calibration laboratories are accredited under ISO 17025, Market surveillance function is accredited under ISO 17020

  • Harmonizing of International, Regional and Local Standards
    This is achieved through participation in strategic Structures and Technical Committees on an International, Regional and National level. This process includes hosting the secretariat in some committees, commenting, and voting in the interest of South Africa. In response to demands for goods that are safe and environmentally friendly, governments and their regulators are adopting various approaches when imposing technical regulations. These technical regulations may involve product standards, conformity assessment such as product certification, testing, and inspection, pre-or post-market requirements as well as sanctions if the products fail to meet the technical regulation. As a result of the multiplicity of approaches used by governments and their regulators, it is difficult for enterprises, specifically enterprises from developing countries, to meet requirements in both the domestic and the export market. Access to the appropriate underlying technical institutional capacity, through a strategy supported by Government, is therefore crucial to realizing and maintaining market access for South Africa. The adoption of OIML recommendations is crucial for growth initiatives and sector-specific expansion as they will ensure compliance to international standards as well as to WTO/TBT agreement obligations and will ensure easier market access to foreign markets. ​






Approval and Inspection

List of VC's of Regulated Products

VC# Title Download

LOA and Application FORMS

Title Download
Application for Designation Verification Download
Application for Registration Sealing Pliers Download
Application for Designation Repair Download
Application VO Download

Database of Approved Products

Title​​ Download
Database of Natural Gas as of 24 November 2011 Download
Database of Legal Metrology Measuring Instrument 22 Jan 2021 Download
Repair Bodies Database Download
Verification Bodies Database Download

Frequently Asked Questions

It is the science of measurements divided into three branches namely: scientific, industrial, and Legal  ​Metrology
Legal Metrology is measurements controlled by law concerned with the accuracy of measurements where they have an influence on the transparency of economic transactions, health, and safety.​

In every transaction, an impartial unseen third party watchdog is an essential element to ensure fair and honest play;
Legal Metrology Business Unit is mandated to ensure that consumers receive the correct measure of goods declared by the importer, manufacturer, or retailer on pre-packaged goods or, where a measuring instrument is used to conclude a transaction, it remains accurate within prescribed limits. In short, both industry and consumers are protected, which ensures fair trade. This is achieved by doing the following:

Ensuring that prescribed measuring instruments used for trade are type approved for proper design, construction and accuracy taking into account South African climate and environment before they are allowed to be sold into the market for trade purposes

Conducting inspection on goods and measuring instruments to ensure that importers, manufacturers, and retailers use approved and accurate measuring instruments for trade and that where there is pre-packing of goods, there is no short measure

Through our calibration laboratory we are providing traceability of accuracy to National Standard for verification and inspection standards, also standard used to approve measuring instruments

Under the National Gambling Act, we are mandated to evaluate and approve gaming hardware and software by issuing a Letter of Certification

Providing technical input into national, regional, and international standard development in the metrology domain. e.g.​ International Legal Metrology Organization (OIML) SADCMEL and AFRIMETS. The NRCS represents South Africa on the Legal Metrology matters on the forums mentioned above.​

The e-mark is a voluntary registration scheme in terms of SANS 1841, underwritten by NRCS Legal Metrology to ensure a consistent implementation of quantity control measures and gives consumers a guarantee that prepackaged goods bearing the mark are compliant with the average packing system. The scheme is also a mechanism designed to enable Industry to regulate themselves, to instill consumer confidence in pre-packaged goods, and promote international and cross border trade.​

Local Packer: The packer must submit an application for assessment of the packer’s quantity control process to the Legal Metrology. The application shall include the complete documentation of the system to be implemented as well as an application form, on which the packer shall include the range of products to be registered under the quantity control scheme. The documentation submitted shall at least include the elements of the quantity control guidelines and the applicable standard.

Importers: Importers must submit an application form, a product list, and proof of compliance of the product(s) as required by the three packing rules to Legal Metrology.​


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Rose Kuruti​​

Personal Assistant

:+27 (0) 12 482 8902 ​​​​