Trade Measurement Retailers Retailers Trade measurement legislation Consumer Affairs Victoria administers the Trade Measurement Act 1995 and the Trade Measurement Regulations 2007. This uniform national legislation covers: • the use of measuring instruments for trade • testing and certification of measuring instruments in use for trade • transactions by measurement • pre-packed articles • public weighbridges • instrument certifying businesses (servicing licensees). Trade measurement legislation creates consumer and business confidence in the marketplace by ensuring that consumers get what they pay for and businesses benefit by reducing the over-supply of goods. Consumer Affairs Victoria inspectors operate throughout Victoria to assist consumers, business and industry with advice and information about sound trade measurement practices. Consumer Affairs Victoria’s inspectors: • provide advice on trade measurement matters • ensure all measuring instruments in use for trade are certified • audit the accuracy of measuring instruments in use for trade • monitor the activities of servicing licensees and public weighbridges • check pre-packed articles for correct packer identification and measurement markings and for their correct measure • investigate complaints and resolve problems associated with trade measurement matters. Definitions A measuring instrument is deemed to be in use for trade if the measurement it makes forms the basis of a transaction. The possession of a measuring instrument by a trader, or its presence on premises or in a place used by that trader is prima facie evidence that the instrument is used for trade. A pre-packed article is one which is packed in advance ready for sale. A servicing licensee is a business that holds a licence with Consumer Affairs Victoria to certify measuring instruments in use for trade. User may mean any person who uses a measuring instrument, has a measuring instrument in their possession for use, or makes a measuring instrument available for use for trade. Instrument users’ responsibilities Users of measuring instruments are responsible for: • ensuring their instruments are properly installed and always measure accurately • ensuring their instruments are legal for trade use – National Measurement Institute approved type and certified • ensuring a Consumer Affairs Victoria approved servicing licensee certifies their measuring instruments • determining how regularly instruments are certified. It is not compulsory for instrument servicing businesses to be licensed. However, any user who has their measuring instruments serviced by an unlicensed business cannot legally use their repaired instruments for trade until they have been certified by a servicing licensee. Where a measuring instrument is used to measure an article in an over-the-counter type sale, it must be positioned so the customer can view the measuring process. In the case of a weighing instrument, the customer must be able to see the weight, price per kilogram and total price of the article. Alternatively, a docket or ticket indicating the weight of the article must be issued at the time of sale. Measuring instruments (including weights if applicable) must be kept clean. Faulty or damaged measuring instruments must not be used for trade purposes. To be confident that scales are weighing correctly and that pre-packed articles contain the stated measurement, retailers are encouraged to acquire an appropriately accurate and certified test weight and test the scale daily, particularly if the scales are moved frequently (for example, at market stalls.) Appropriate scales should be located on the premises to weigh all articles sold – appropriate meaning capacity and graduation size. Weight of an article When selling an article by weight, the weight transacted must be of the article alone without any wrapping or packaging. It is essential for the seller to make due allowance for all packaging containing the article when arriving at the net weight of the article. Specific requirements must be followed with the sale of meat which must be by weight. For further information refer to Consumer Affairs Victoria’s brochure Sale of Meat. Pre-packed articles Goods packed before sale are generally termed pre- packed articles and have specific requirements in the way they are packed and labelled before being placed on sale. There is a list of exempt articles in the Trade Measurement Regulations 2007. Where pre-packed articles are sold by reference to weight, the weight stated on the pack must be the net weight, that is, the weight of the article without any packaging material For further information refer to Consumer Affairs Victoria’s brochure Pre-packed articles. Servicing licensee responsibilities Businesses that certify measuring instruments in use for trade must be licensed with Consumer Affairs Victoria. After a servicing licensee or a nominated employee of the licensee attends to an instrument it must either be: • certified as suitable for trade use, or • subject to a notice of non-compliance. Servicing licensees must replace any previous certification mark with their own mark if they have altered the metrological performance of the instrument or broken any seals on adjustment points. A certification form for the instrument must also be issued to the user and a fee paid to Consumer Affairs Victoria. Servicing licensees must supply certification details to Consumer Affairs Victoria within 14 days of a certification. They must also forward the certification fee to Consumer Affairs Victoria by the end of the next month. Retailers Offences and penalties Offences include: • delivery of less than the measurement stated in the offer to purchase • using an uncertified measuring instrument for trade • using an incorrect measuring instrument for trade • using a measuring instrument in an unjust manner • advertising, offering or exposing articles for sale at a price determined by a measurement that is not in prescribed units • failing to measure an article in the presence of the customer or provide a written statement of the measurement • selling pre-packed articles without the net measurement being marked on the package • failing to mark the name and street address of the packer or business/individual accepting responsibility for packing the pre-packed articles. Breaches of the Trade Measurement Act 1995 could lead to prosecution with fines which may exceed $20,000 for individuals or $100,000 for corporate bodies. Further information and assistance If you have any queries or would like more information about trade measurement please contact Consumer Affairs Victoria on (03) 8684 6200. To contact your local trade measurement inspector phone 1300 36 55 00 (local call cost applies). Information is also available on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website at www.consumer.vic.gov.au. This brochure is one of a series on trade measurement. The aim of these brochures is to increase the awareness of legislative requirements when transacting by measurement. Brochures in this series: • Buying and selling firewood • Correct measurement is good business • Garden and landscape materials • Grain quality measurements • Measuring instruments in use for trade • Pre-packed articles • Petroleum retailing • Retailers • Sale of alcohol • Sale of meat • Selling fresh fruit and vegetables • Weighbridges Health issues The information contained herein relates only to trade measurement matters. Where health or other regulations may affect the articles being sold, traders should make separate enquiries to the appropriate organisation for their requirements in that regard. Disclaimer • Weighbridges Because this publication avoids the use of legal language, information about the law may have been summarised or expressed in general statements. This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional legal advice or reference to the actual legislation, specifically the Trade Measurement Act 1995, Trade Measurement (Administration) Act 1995 or Trade Measurement Regulations 2007. The information contained in this brochure relates only to trade measurement matters. Consumer Affairs Victoria Victorian Consumer & Business Centre 113 Exhibition Street Melbourne 3000 Telephone 1300 55 81 81 (local call charge) Email email@example.com Website www.consumer.vic.gov.au Regional offices are located in Ballarat, Bendigo, Berwick, Box Hill, Broadmeadows, Geelong, Morwell, Mildura, Wangaratta and Warrnambool. TIS Telephone Interpreting Service 131 450 TTY Textphone or modem users only, ring the NRS on 133 677, then quote 1300 55 81 81. Callers who use Speech to Speech Relay dial 1300 555 727, then quote 1300 55 81 81. Trade Measurement Enquiries: Telephone 8684 6200 Facsimile 8684 6222 Or to contact your local trade measurement inspector Telephone 1300 36 55 00 (local call charge) July 2009 TM-08-02-1292 Authorised by the Victorian Government, 121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, 3000. Printed by Sovereign Press, 6 Traminer Court, Wendouree 3355.
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