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St. Lucia moving from old Imperial to Metric System

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standard (SLBS) will spearhead the island’s conversion from the old Imperial System to the Metric System. Following Cabinet Conclusion No.171 of 2000, Director of SLBS, Dr. Allison Plummer, said her organisation, along with the Metrification Board would immediately bring to full completion, a process which began in 2000, when the Metrology Act Number 10 of 2000 was passed.

Explaining the rational behind the conversion, Dr. Plummer said, “It is a critical part of enabling the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, so that we all use the same units to trade. We all speak the same language to trade”.

The conversion to a metric system, such as gallons to litres, pounds to kilograms, and feet to metres will align St. Lucia with the rest of CARICOM and the developed world. This process, according to Dr. Plummer, has received the support of the business sector, and a massive public education campaign will be undertaken to sensitize the general public.

“One of the sectors that is very enthusiastic for the change over is the petroleum sector. So that we are hoping to first start off with changing the sale of petroleum to the metric system”, said Dr. Plummer, informing that within the Public Sector, several departments are already operating in the metric system, including the Land Registry and the Customs Department.

Dr. Plummer said imported goods and devices will also be monitored to ensure that they read in metric terms.

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