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What is Government Approved Test Centre (GATC) Under Legal Metrology?

calendar28 Apr, 2023
timeReading Time: 3 Minutes
What is Government Approved Test Centre (GATC) Under Legal Metrology?

A Government Approved Test Centre is a private counterpart of the legal metrology office with a principal officer responsible for the laboratory operations required to verify the weights or measures. As per the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, the nodal officer verifies the weights and measures to approve the Legal Metrology certificate. The Government approved test centres do the same job as the nodal officer with proper approval from the Government and ensure the proper usage of weights or measures as per the Act.

What is Government Approved Test Centre (GATC) under Legal Metrology?

Government-approved test centre (GATC) is a centre or a unit that the Union Government has approved to undertake verification of weights or measures specified under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009. A GATC recognized under this Act shall carry out verification and review of weights or measure as specified under the GATC rules, 2013 and according to the specification in the Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011[1]. The recommendation of the International Organization of Legal Metrology, as the case may be, as advised by the Director of Legal Metrology from time to time.

What Are The Functions Of A Government Approved Test Centre?

According to Legal Metrology (Govt. Approved Test Centre) Rules, 2013. The following are considered functions of the Government Approved Test Centre.

  • The GATC shall verify the weights and measures specified in Schedule I, including the non-automatic weighing instrument of Accuracy Class-IIII/ Class-III (up to 150kg) and load cell.
  • The principal officer must maintain the accuracy of testing equipment as per rules and directions issued by the Director of Legal Metrology occasionally.
  • Proper records of the testing and certificates issued should be maintained.
  • The testing centre should record and redress the grievances of customers appropriately as and when required.
  • Any weight or measure rejected after verification shall be returned to the user for repair or replacement. After repair or replacement, the weight or the measure may be accepted for verification on payment of the verification fee again.
  • The testing centres should mandatorily abide by the directions issued by the Director of Legal Metrology from time to time.
  • The weights and measures received for verification and stamping should be returned by Government Approved Test Centre (GATC) after due verification within 15 days of receiving the application.
  • After carrying out a metrological evaluation of weights or measures as per the law conforming to the specification laid down under the Act and rules, a certificate of verification should be issued with a stamp on the weight or measure.
  • The stamps for verification shall be protected against fraudulent use.
  • Every Government Approved Test Centre should mandatorily keep and retain records for five calendar years of evaluation of weights or measures carried out by them. The test centre shall produce these records before the Director or any officer authorized by him, as and when directed.

What Is The Procedure For Recognition Of GATC?

Any person or business unit desirous of obtaining recognition as a Government Approved Test Centre (GATC) shall apply to the Director of the Legal Metrology Department in the prescribed form. The Principal Officer of the Set Laboratory shall make the application only. Before recognizing any laboratory as GATC, the Government will consider the following things.

  1. The Laboratory should be spacious and accessible to land and building;
  2. There should be availability in the adequacy of measuring equipment, testing facilities and other infrastructure required for testing.
  3. Availability of a technically qualified workforce to conduct the testing
  4. The test centre should have the capacity for efficient and timely service to customers.
  5. Willingness to get and adopt equipment periodically verified by any secondary standard laboratory or any other agency determinable by the Director of the Legal Metrology.
  6. The Laboratory should be willing to train its employees in institutions nominated by the Director of Legal Metrology.
  7. Any other factor which, in the opinion of the Director of Legal Metrology, will affect the proper functioning of the Government Approved Test Centre.
  8. Conditions to set up the unit should be correctly verified
  9. The qualification of the principal officer or any of the employees of the Government Approved Test Centre shall be equivalent to the qualification as specified in the Legal Metrology (General Rules), 2011 for a Legal Metrology Officer.
  10. The principal officer or any other employees of the Government Approved Test Centre shall have working experience of at least 3 years in the field of legal metrology.

What Weights And Measures Can The Government Approved Test Centre Stamp And Verify?

  1. Water meter.
  2. Sphygmomanometer
  3. Clinical Thermometer.
  4. Automatic Rail Weighbridges.
  5. Tape Measures.
  6. Non-automatic weighing instrument of Accuracy Class IV/Class III (upto 150kg)
  7. Load Cell
  8. Beam Scale
  9. Counter Machine
  10. Weights of all categories

What are the steps involved in setting up GATC?

  • The person should set up the Laboratory as per ISO 17025.
  • Must obtain accreditation of NABL for Laboratory.
  • Make an application before the Union Government to recognise the Laboratory as GATC.
  • Inspection of the Laboratory by the Government Authorities from time to time.
  • Successful grant of GATC if no query is raised at the inspection.

Conclusion

The Government approved test centre (GATC) is a unit that the Union Government has approved to undertake verification of weights or measures specified under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009. It verifies, tests and stamps the weight or measure per the Legal Metrology Act. These test centres reduce the burden of the Government and encourage to have verified and stamped weights and measures across the business.

Read Our Article: Key Legal Metrology Rules Applicable In India

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