Dubai Cetral Laboratory verifies weighing devices in jewellery outlets in Dubai. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Municipality inspectors are now conducting random checks on gold and jewellery shops to verify their weighing devices as part of their move to protect consumers.

Although a criteria for gold shops’ tools and equipment has been in place for at least a decade now, inspectors are now approving or rejecting the devices to ensure that they are up to standard.

A yellow label will be put on the machines that comply with the technical specifications approved by Dubai Central Laboratory (DCL).

A red label will be put on the rejected machines until they are repaired and verified, and all labels are made of irremovable paper in order to prevent fraud and deceit.

“The authority will issue verification signs and seals bearing the logos of both parties, which shall be fixed on the measuring instruments according to technical regulations and procedures. Gold traders should know the required specifications of measuring equipments,” said Fareed Ismaeel, head of standards section at Dubai Municipality.

“The legal calibration will effectively contribute to the protection of both consumers and traders and help in the growth and protection of the national economy,” he explained.

Although the weighing device is primarily used for gold jewellery, it has a set of features that can programme it to weigh all types of special stones except diamonds.

According to officials, DCL will start issuing verification certificates in line with the technical regulations and procedures approved by them as per the agreement signed between Dubai Municipality and DCL, in cooperation with Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology.

Hawa Bastaki, Director of DCL said the agreement was made to ensure the accuracy of measuring instruments, in accordance with the mandatory requirements, as well as to achieve the necessary consumer protection supporting the national economy.

Hawa stressed that this phase is the first of many, as the authority is set to address all authorised measuring instruments in the near future, including medical devices, taxi meters, fuel meters, pre-packaged containers and volumetric gas meters.

“As the Municipality deals with a large segment of society, it has the infrastructure, qualified staff and laboratories - winning international accreditation in a number of metrological areas,” she said.

Jewellery shops yesterday also welcomed the move of Dubai Municipality to standardise weighing devices as it provides a far detailed and accurate measure of gold and precious stones.

Dubai Municipality’s decision to standardise the weighing device was previously announced last June so as to provide more than 5,000 gold shops with ample time before the application of calibration.

“We started using the new weighing device three months ago as per the municipality’s recommendation, and it has made our jobs a lot easier because the machine calculates karats, ounces and grams,” said Ikhtiar Mohammad, an employee at Gem Mart.

Pointing at the Citizon brand machine in the shop, he noted that the municipality had earlier provided them with a recommended list of weighing devices that have been accredited by local authorities.

“We use the machine for both buying and selling gold, and have noticed a positive response from customers as they now do not argue about our weighing methods,” he said.

Vijay Gujarati, an employee at Clara jewellers, explained that the weighing device is enclosed in a plastic case, “so the air condition does not affect the weight of goods.”

Gujarati explained that he has been using the municipality recommended weighing device since the shop opened eight years ago, in order to obtain a trade licence.