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Mar 21, 2011

Recommendations for the Belize Bureau of Standards for LPG Suppliers

The Statutory Instrument regulating the weighing of Liquefied Petroleum Gas takes effect on Tuesday.  The Belize Bureau of Standards made the announcement earlier this month, giving butane suppliers time to adequately equip their depots and trucks with approved scales.  And following a weeklong visit, German Metrologist, Rolf Weiss, has provided the Belize Bureau of Standards with guidelines for the industry.  Top among the recommendations are also safety issues.

Kenisha Stuart, Consumer Protection & Liaison Officer

“We’re talking about safety in terms of the filling process used by the suppliers, the conditions of the storage tanks, of the butane cylinders, how they are kept. Also, the environment for which the LPG is being sold. So that’s what we are looking at right now, but safety in terms of the environment, in terms of the cylinders, the storage tanks at the depot and on the trucks. Like I said, we can’t give any more information until we get the full report.”

Marion Ali

Kenisha Stuart

“Well many of these depots are located within residential areas and I know it won’t be an overnight fix. So while the companies will have to invest in better tanks, newer tanks, safer tanks and equipment, how will the BBS also ensure that while the transition period will be a while, that the residents in the area; their safety is not compromised?”

Kenisha Stuart

“From the onset of this consultation, we know that we have to work with other partners because some of the areas won’t be under the bureau’s authority. So for instance, we’ll have to work with the Department of Environment, the Fire Department and the Police Department who deals with dangerous goods, to monitor the whole safety of the industry. So for example I can say that these people are already on the technical committees to look at the standards for the LPG industry.  Basically, the S.I. is introducing scales into the whole sale process. So for instance if consumers go to the depot, your tank is full, the supplier is obligated to weigh that tank—before and after—if you purchase fifty, you’re getting fifty pounds of gas. So it is introducing scales at the depot and on the trucks. So if they come to you house, they should have a scale also—weighing the tank before they take it; weighing the tank when they bring it back—so that you can be sure that you are paying for what you purchase. The S.I. also specifies the type of scales that the importers can use. It is not saying that you have to buy A scale over B scale, but it is saying that the scale has to be for trade purposes, which is a class 3 scale; it has to be pattern approved which means that the manufacturer had tested the scale for accuracy and you can prove that. The scales have to be verified by us first. So if you are applying to purchase a scale that is not in the country, you bring in the details of the scale, we look it over. We give it a preliminary approval. When the scale is in the country, you bring it into the bureau, we check the scale and we put our Bureau of Standards sticker on the scale so that the consumers know it’s been checked by us and it’s accurate.”

Marion Ali

“And it can’t be tampered with?”

Kenisha Stuart

“The scales will also be sealed, but of course this has to be followed up by inspections to ensure that all the mechanisms that were put in place from the beginning are maintained.”

Butane providers will now be penalized for forging the stamps used by Bureau of Standards to mark approved measuring instruments.  They can also be fined or confined for incorrect weights and measures.

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1 Response for “Recommendations for the Belize Bureau of Standards for LPG Suppliers”

  1. James Comsumer says:

    What about the Large Consumers with Stationary Tanks (restaurants, hotels, bakerys, ect) how will they be protected from getting ripped off.
    You can not weigh those huge tanks.
    We asked 7 News for an answer and they ignored us. Come on News 5 show 7 who the real news leader is.

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