More than a third of jewellery shops in the UAE are using weighing scales that do not perform to accepted standards, a survey by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) has revealed.
The survey results showed that 35 percent of the jewellery weighing scales checked were found to have exceeded the maximum permissible error, as per the UAE standard for non-automatic weighing instruments.
The survey of 800 instruments was conducted in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ajman and is estimated to have covered 10 percent of the total jewellery weighing scales in the country.
A second survey covering Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah will be conducted over the next two months, ESMA said in a statement.
It said that while differences in weights were small, the inconsistency "makes a significant impact in the trade of gold and other precious metals".
Mohammad Saleh Badri, ESMA's acting director general, said: "It is the goal of ESMA to protect the interests and rights of the consumers and the traders hence we are conducting the verification of these weighing scales every year.
"We have started with the weighing scales in jewellery shops because of the nature and sensitivity of the product. Gold is an expensive commodity and any small error may have a huge impact on the economy and on the people. We will also verify weighing scales used in other business sectors beginning next year."
He added that ESMA will put a metrology mark on the weighing scales certifying that they have been checked and verified.