The Weights and Measures Bureau has been in existence for over fifty years as a government' department 'striving to meet the needs of the state and the community. Its responsibilities 'has always been that of consumer protection through ensuring that 'measuring' systems' 'result in fair trade transactions. Throughout its history it has gone a continuous process of change to respond to a dynamic environment. Ever since the Bureau has remained the sole organization responsible for fair trade transactions through certification of weights and measures.
The use of weights and measures was first introduced in the country before the First World War, during the German era. While the Germans introduced the metric system of measurement, the British, introduced the imperial system of measurement. However, by the Act of parliament No.46 of 1968 Tanzania along' with the rest of East African Community member states adopted the use of the metric system.
Initially the Bureau operated under the Superintendent of Police up to 1960 when it was shifted to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. In 1964 it was placed under the then Ministry of Commerce and Cooperatives before moving to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry again in 1967. It was subsequently moved to the Ministry of Trade in 1976. Since 1984, it has , remained under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Certification is done by way of inspection calibration and verification, The Agency also advises manufacturers and' other clients on the proper use, care and custody of weights and measures. It operates under the Weights and Measures Laws.