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Fruit and meat sellers will be forced to use digital scales to weigh their goods, after the Addis Ababa Trade Bureau raised concern about falsified weight measurements across the city.1682 analog scales were found in violation of the Trade Measures Act in just the last five months, according to the bureau.
Fuel and gas pumps, meat scales and fruit scales were some of those accused of using measuring instruments not been approved by the Trade Ministry.
The bureau is also taking strong action on those found to be violating the Measures Act; 525 bakeries have recently lost their licenses for such violations.
Gemeches Melaku, Vice Head of the bureau warned that in a year, digital scaling will be mandatory.
“We are speaking with the Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise (ECAT) to provide us with the most preferable digital scale to weigh fruit and meat in an accurate manner. But digital scales become mandatory, we will provide the business community with the necessary awareness”
He added that that bureau is in discussions with concerned bodies on how to supply digital scales.
“There is very low supply of digital scales in the city and most traders use the analog scales. We have also seen that the digital scales being utilized in some fruits shops have been rigged to trick customers. But the scale we are looking at with the enterprise is the right scale, which will have no room for cheating.”
Currently there are 41,000 analog scales is use in Addis Ababa’s markets and more than half are found in retail markets selling a variety of goods.  Wide testing and calibration is needed to understand the accuracy of measurements.
The bureau, however, is moving ahead with digital scaling and plans to apply the new rule to a variety of products.
“We will not stop with meat and fruits. We will continue to expand the requirement to other items vulnerable to false measurements,” Gemechis said.