Free Trade Area of the Americas - FTAA


Trade Negotiations

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October 27, 2003

Original: English




Facilitating trade through support to Metrology Services

2. BACKGROUND: Based on a metrology survey conducted from 1996 – 1997, it was discovered that the majority of the weighing and measuring devices used in trade were giving incorrect readings. This problem had arisen due to the fact that over the past several years no maintenance, repairs or calibrations were conducted. An analysis of the situation at that time, revealed that the Police Department which was responsible for the verification of these devices based on the Weights and Measures Ordinance of Grenada (1934) did not have national measurement standards, laboratory facilities and trained personnel to conduct the exercise. As a result, weighing and measuring in the State were not verified for many years.

The non-existence of a system for the determination of fair measures for products and services and the general non-appreciation of these critical issues by producers, manufacturers, distributors and small scales commercial operators had conspired to create an atmosphere of general consumer suspicion and discontent. Grenada’s export sector was also suffering greatly. Errors caused in weighing and measuring operations resulted in considerable losses during exports. The nutmeg industry, one of our principal export crop, was losing approximately 1500 lbs per shipment in overweight due to the use of faulty scales. Cocoa and fresh agricultural produce were also experiencing similar problems. In addition, exports of fish from Grenada was rejected in many cases due to spoilage brought about by incorrect temperature readings during storage at local Plants. Water and electricity meters were not verified by an independent body and resulted in numerous consumer complaints regarding high water and electricity bills.

The Government of Grenada, taking into consideration these problems, as well as its commitment to free and fair trade, passed the Metrology Act in 1997 with the aim of ensuring that all weighing and measuring equipment used in trade, are verified and calibrated by an independent body, the Grenada Bureau of Standards.

However, in order for the Bureau to carry out its functions effectively, it is necessary to establish a hierarchy of national measurement standards having traceability to international standards, and to maintain them in a suitably conditioned laboratory. This is hampered due to:
(a) lack of national primary and secondary standards;

(b) lack of trained metrology personnel;

(c) inadequate expertise in metrology function;

(d) lack of equipment for the verification of thermometers, electric and water meters.
This project aims to address the above problems and establish a viable national metrology system in Grenada.

3. RATIONALE: Globalization and trade liberalization, with the accompanying increased competition, have focused attention on the importance of quality of production and services in economic development. Quality in turn is determined by measured parameters, hence the importance of Metrology (the science of Measurement) in determining quality. The use of Conformity Assessment Procedures to avoid unnecessary barriers to trade is enshrined in the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to trade to which Grenada is a signatory.

Under the Free Trade Area of the Americas, the subject of Metrology Development in all participating countries has assumed great importance in order to avoid the marginalization of developing countries in the trade among the 34 hemispheric countries. The reactivation of the Interamerican Metrology System (SIM) after the 1st Summit of the Americas, is testimony to its importance in the proposed FTAA arrangement.
The Government of Grenada is also committed under the Caricom Protocol in Industrial Policy to use standards, technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment Procedures in regional trade.

Metrology laboratories are needed to improve access to global markets and integration in the regional, hemispheric and international trade, and to assist in the improvement of consumer health and safety.


(a) General

To set up and operate a calibration system in Grenada that will ensure that all measurements made in the course of testing weights and measures or industrial measuring equipment are reliable, of known accuracy and traceable to national or international standards.

(b) Specific objectives

- to set up a laboratory with the requisite metrology equipment;

- to provide training for Metrology Staff in the verification and calibration of weighing and measuring equipment;

- to provide training for vendors/traders and the general public in the proper handling, use, cleaning and caring of weighing and measuring equipment;

- to clean and calibrate existing working standards possessed by the Grenada Bureau of Standards;

- to verify and stamp all weighing and measuring devices used in trade.


Inputs # of months UNDP
Grenada (US$) Total
- Expert in Metrology 2 + 5 91 000.00  91 000.00
- Laboratory building (100 m2)     75 000.00 75 000.00
- Training fellowship for Technical Officer1 10 000.00  10 000.00
- National Project Co-ordinator 12   20 000.00 20 000.00
- Technical Staff of the Bureau
● One Technical Officer

● Three Inspectors

12 x 3
  15 000.00

20 000.00
15 000.00

20 000.00
- Support Staff 12 x 2   14 000.00 14 000.00
- Equipment (Annex I)   193 920.00  193 920.00
                       TOTAL   $294, 920.00 $144, 000.00 438,920.00


The successful completion of the project will result in
(a) A metrology laboratory of approximately 100 m2 (space to be provided by the Government of Grenada);

(b) Primary, secondary and working standards of mass, volume and length;

(c) The necessary auxiliary equipment for calibration of measurement standards and weighing instruments used in the trade sector, i.e., calibration and verification of balances and length comparator;

(d) Equipment for the verification of electric meters, water meters and thermometers;

(e) Trained metrology staff – a graduate Technical Officer, two Weights and Measures Inspectors and a Technician;

(f) Fifty (50) trained vendors/traders in proper handling and caring of weighing and measuring equipment.


The project is an institution building project. Its direct beneficiary will be the Grenada Bureau of Standards. However, the more significant benefits would be received by the consumers of Grenada, the export trade and the growing number of industries. Also, scientific organizations in both the Public and Private Sectors will benefit from the services of the metrology laboratory that would be established as an output of the project.


The project will be implemented by the Grenada Bureau of Standards. The Director of the Bureau will act as the National Project Co-ordinator. An international expert attached to the project will be responsible for the execution of the technical content of the project.

The project strategy will be as follows:

● The Government of Grenada (Grenada Bureau of Standards) will provide approximately 100 m2 of space to house the metrology laboratory.

● Once the building has been provided and the project document signed, the metrology expert provided for in the project will be fielded for a period of two months. During this time, the expert will draft detailed specifications of the metrology equipment and place them on order. He will also hold training for the metrology staff in the verification of electric meters and meet with stakeholders. After this initial phase, the expert will leave Grenada to return after a period of four months.

A lead time of five (5) months has been allowed for the equipment to arrive in Grenada. The expert will return when the equipment has arrived and stay for a period of five (5) months. He will, together with the local staff, install, commission and calibrate the equipment.

In this second phase of the mission, the expert will train the Technical Officer and the Weights and Measures Inspectors in calibration of measurement standards and testing and verification of weighing and measuring equipment. The training will compose of both theoretical and practical phases and is expected to last about three (3) months.

The expert together with the local staff will also continue enforcement of the Metrology Act by verifying weights and measures equipment and taking other measures detailed in the Act.

After the completion of the job training and acquisition of sufficient experience in the work, the Technical Officer will be trained overseas for a period of one month. He is expected to commence his training from the twelfth month of the project duration.


This project would make a significant contribution to technical co-operation programmes in the field of Metrology among Caribbean States, particularly among the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). A number of islands in the Eastern Caribbean, namely Dominica, St Vincent, St Lucia, Antigua and St Kitts and Nevis, will be able to utilize the services of the laboratory and the expertise gained by its staff.

                                 Annex 1: Estimated cost of metrology equipment
Item No


Unit Price, US$ Cost, US$
1.1 1 kg Standard 2500 2500
1.2 Set of Class F1 Mass Standards 1 mg to 2 x 10 kg 8000 8000
1.3 Set of Class F2 Mass Standards 1 mg to 2 x 10 kg 7500 7500
1.4 Set of Class E2 Mass Standards, 1 mg to 100 g 2500 2500
1.5 3 Sets of verification masses, class M1. 1 mg to 2 x 2 kg. 2000 6000
1.6 3 Sets of verification masses, 5 kg, 2 x 10 kg 3500 10500
1.7 50 parallelepipidic cast iron weights. 20 kg. (RI 2) 50 2500
1.8 3 Sets of verification masses, 20 lb – 1/32 oz. 2000 6000
1.9 50 parallelepipidic cast iron weights, 56 lb. 50 2500
2.1 Calibration balance, capacity 20 kg. s = 5 mg 8500 8500
2.2 Calibration balance, capacity 2 kg. s = 0.1 mg 6000 6000
2.3 Calibration balance, capacity 200 g. s = 0.01 mg 5000 5000
2.4 Calibration balance, 20 g, s = 0.001 mg 9000 9000
2.5 2 Nos. Electronic balances capacity 20 kg. 3000 6000
2.6 1 No. Electronic balance, 30 kg. 5000 5000
3.1 2 Sets flasks (OIML) RI 43) 700 1400
3.2 2 Sets of pipettes (OIML RI 41) 200 400
3.3 2 Sets of measuring flasks (OIML) RI 43) 700 1400
3.4 2 Sets of measures 5,10, 20 ltrs. 1200 2400
3.5 2 Sets, volumetric measures,1 gal, 2 gal and 5 gallons 1200 2400
4.1 Reference standard metre and Comparator 1000 1000
4.2 One national standard reference yard 500 500
4.3 2, Nos, standard one metre bar for (OIML R1 24) 150 300
4.4 2 Nos. standard yard bars for verification officers 150 300
4.5 Metric steel meters
  2 Nos 0.5 m
  2 Nos 1 m
  1 No 2 m
300 300
4.6 Callipers
  2 Nos, 250 mm x 0.05 mm
  2 Nos, 100 mm x 0.05 mm
  2 Nos, 4 in x 0.002 inch
500 500
4.7 Micrometers
  2 Nos, 25 mm x 0.01 mm
  2 Nos, 1 in x 0.0004 inch
400 400
4.8 2 No, steel tape, 20 m 150 300
5.1 2 Sets of Hydrometers 200 400
5.2 2 Sets of alcohol meters 200 400
6.1 Fortin’s barometer 1500 1500
6.2 Mercury in glass thermometers 1200 1200
6.3 2 No whirling hygrometers 100 200
6.4 Temperature and humidity graphs 1000 1000
6.5 Water still 2000 2000
6.6 2 No magnifying glasses 200 400
6.7 Test bench for calibration of water meters 35000 35000
6.8 Field Potable Water Meter Verifier 10000 10000
6.9 1 Plug in Single Phase Tester 3000 3000
6.10 1 Emo Version Electric Meter Tester 5000 5000
6.11 Miscellaneous equipment 2000 2000
6.12 Water and oil baths for calibration of Thermometers   6000
    Total   167,200
  Estimated Insurance & Freight = 16,720
  Estimated Calibration Costs = 10,000
    Grand Total   193,920


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