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									Trade Measurement

 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
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.

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
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.

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
• 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
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
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.

• 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)

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

Authorised by the Victorian Government,
121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, 3000.

Printed by Sovereign Press, 6 Traminer Court,
Wendouree 3355.

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