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Chapter 14:23

Trade Measures Act

Acts 51/1973, 1/1987, 22/2001 (s. 4).




  1. Short title.



  1. Definitions of base units.
  2. Authorized units of measurement.
  3. Zimbabwe, local and working standards.
  4. Replacement of standards.
  5. Authentication of standards.
  6. Verification of standards.
  7. Equipment for administration of this Act.



  1. Appointment of officers.
  2. Trade Measures Board.
  3. Certificates in respect of design or pattern of measuring equipment, etc.



  1. Measuring equipment used in trade to be assized or re-assized.
  2. Inspectors to reject certain measuring equipment.
  3. Powers of entry and inspection.
  4. Powers to prohibit sale of articles.



  1. Contracts to be made by reference to authorized unit.
  2. Containers marked with unauthorized units.
  3. Sale and delivery of articles.
  4. Sale of pre-packed articles.
  5. Provision and operation of equipment for measuring mass.
  6. Price-lists.
  7. False statements as to measurements, etc.
  8. Prohibition of use of certain measuring equipment.
  9. Lawful use of certain unassized measuring equipment, etc.
  10. Repairs to measuring equipment, etc.



  1. Safeguards to traders.
  2. Documents to beprima facie evidence.
  3. Burden of proof.
  4. Act or omission by manager, agent or employee.
  5. Regulatory powers of Minister.

AN ACT to define and authorize the units of measurement which may be used in trade; to provide for the uniformity of measuring equipment; to permit the establishment of the Trade Measures Board and the assignment of functions thereto; to provide for the assizing and re-assizing of measuring equipment; to confer powers on certain officials; to provide for the protection of the public in relation to the sale of articles and other transactions by measurement or number; and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing.

[Date of commencement: 1st February, 1974.]



1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the Trade Measures Act [Chapter 14:23].

                       2    Interpretation

In this Act—

“article” includes any liquid, food, ware, merchandise, commodity and other goods of any description and any article and its package;

“assize”, in relation to measuring equipment, means to examine and test in the prescribed manner and, if found correct, stamp with the stamp of assize and provide with the seal of assize, where prescribed, in accordance with this Act;

“authorized unit” means a unit referred to in section four and “unauthorized unit” shall be construed accordingly;

“base unit” means a unit referred to in section three;

“Board” means the Trade Measures Board established in terms of section eleven;

“correct”, in relation to measuring equipment, means correct within such limits of error and with such sensitiveness as may be prescribed;

“examiner” means a person appointed as an examiner in terms of section ten;

“inspector” means a person appointed as an inspector in terms of section ten and includes the Superintendent;

“measure” means a measuring instrument representing an authorized unit or a multiple or submultiple thereof;

“measuring equipment” means equipment, including a measure, used for measuring length, area, volume, mass or number, and includes any mass measuring equipment which computes prices or numbers;

“Minister” means the Minister of Industry and Commerce or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“officer” means a person appointed as an officer in terms of section ten;

“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;

“re-assize”, in relation to measuring equipment, means to examine and test in the prescribed manner and, if found correct, issue to the owner or user of measuring equipment a certificate indicating that the measuring equipment has been re-assized;

“rejected”, in relation to measuring equipment, means stamped with a prescribed rejection mark;

“repealed Act” means the Weights and Measures Act, 1959 (No. 18 of 1959);

“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;

“seal of assize” means a prescribed seal of assize;

“sell” includes—

  • to offer, advertise, expose, keep, possess or prepare for sale;
  • to exchange or dispose of for any consideration;

“stamp” includes to cast, engrave, etch, print or otherwise mark in such manner as to be as far as possible indelible;

“stamp of assize” means a prescribed stamp of assize;

“standard” means a Zimbabwe, local or working standard measure, as the case may be, referred to in section five;

“Superintendent” means the Superintendent of Trade Measures appointed in terms of section ten;

“trade” includes any contract, bargain, sale or dealing and generally any transaction for any consideration in pursuance of which articles are measured or counted but does not include any contract or bargain for sale of or dealing in land or an interest in land;

“unassized” means not assized or, in relation to measuring equipment which in terms of this Act should have been re-assized, not re-assized;

“use in trade”, in relation to measuring equipment, means the use thereof for measuring or counting in trade. PART II


                       3    Definitions of base units

  • The base unit of length in Zimbabwe is the metre as defined and adopted by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures, Sèvres, France.
  • The base unit of mass in Zimbabwe is the kilogram and is equal to the mass of the international prototype of the kilogram in the custody of the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures, Sèvres, France.

                       4    Authorized units of measurement

The authorized units in Zimbabwe shall be—

  • the metre for measurement of length;
  • the square metre for measurement of area;
  • the cubic metre for the measurement of volume;
  • the kilogram for the measurement of mass;
  • such multiples or submultiples of the units specified in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d) as may be prescribed;
  • any other unit which may be prescribed in respect of articles generally or in respect of a particular article or class of articles.