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Weight and Measures legislation

Weights and Measures Act 1985 Part I (Units and Standards)
Weights and Measures Act 1985 Part II (Use for trade)
Weights and Measures Act 1985 Part III (Public weighing)
Weights and Measures Act 1985 Part IV (Transactions in goods)
Weights and Measures Act 1985 Part V (Packaged goods)
NWML and legislation


Ever since the 13th century, weights and measures has played a vital role in trade, both nationally and internationally. Almost all trade is subject to weights and measures legislation and the Weights and Measures Act 1985 was the original raison d'etre of the trading standards service.
The Act and its associated legislation establishes a hierarchy of standards of weight, area, length, volume, and capacity. Local authorities are charged with maintaining local and working standards which are traceable to national standards, and which are used to ensure all trade equipment is accurate. Any trade equipment is regulated, from 'optics' in bars to bulk fuel metering systems and computerised packing equipment in factories.
Inspectors of Weights and Measures are appointed by statute and have wide powers of entry to premises and test purchase of goods to check compliance with the law.

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Except for the USA, Great Britain was the last developed country in the world to retain the Imperial system of weights and measures long after all other nations have adopted the SI (metric) system. Even the United States of America has decided, in principle, to follow the rest of the world and go metric, although considerable resistance remains.

In 1965 the Government announced that the complete conversion of the United Kingdom to the SI system would be reached by 1975. In 1969 the Metrication Board was established with a view to the voluntary change in trade and industry from the Imperial system to the SI system. The Board was charged with the responsibility to consult and advise consumer, education, industry and government interests on the nature and timing of metric changes; coordinating metrication programmes in the various sectors of the economy; and informing those making the metric changes and those affected by them of the practical implications. It was intended that amendments to the law to abolish Imperial units of weight and measure and to facilitate the sale of goods by the SI system alone would follow the voluntary adoption of the new system by trade and industry.

From the beginning the work of the Metrication Board was hampered by a lack of enthusiasm in government departments. Although it set about its task with vigour and did much to familiarise the nation with the SI system it had little impact on the rate of change. Despite the UK’s admission to the then European Economic Community in 1973 (with an associated obligation to implement the EC Council Directive of 1971 relating to Units of Measurement), in 1975 the United Kingdom remained substantially an Imperial nation. The economic cost of trading with a metric world whilst maintaining the Imperial system at home was significant. A position had been reached where consumer interests and political factions showed little enthusiasm for the subject but industrial interests were keen to see a total conversion of the system at an early date.
In April 1980 the Metrication Board was abolished on the grounds that its work was largely finished. By the end of 1981 nearly all goods could be sold in SI units with the notable exceptions of draught beer, cider and packaged milk.

It was not until 1 October 1995, that legislation finally required all pre-packed goods to be marked with metric indications, and created a general prohibition on the use of imperial units for use for trade. In accordance with a derogation available under the terms of the Units of Measurement Directive, a date of 1 January 2000 was set for the abolition of the use of the pound and ounce for goods sold loose from bulk.

In the event, reports and surveys from across the UK confirm that the metrication 'D' day has gone reasonably smoothly - consumer groups report that over 95% of people are happy with the metric system, and weights and measures authorities are finding that about the same percentage of retailers are geared up with metric equipment. Of course there are stragglers, but common sense will hopefully prevail and a sensible approach is being recommended to authorities, to give small retailers additional time to get their 'house in order'. Scaremongering stories of small grocers being fined thousands of pounds for selling quarter pounds of sweeties is a scenario that everyone is hoping to avoid!

It is notable that the UK has so far only made provision for the specific prohibition of the use of imperial units where they are ‘in use for trade’ within the meaning of that term under the Weights and Measures Act. There must be doubt as to whether such an apparently restricted prohibition properly reflects the requirements of the Directive, which appears to demand a much wider adoption of metric units.

The Imperial system has been slow to die and it may be expected that the old units will be found in common, if not legal use, for some years. It is notable that in France, more than 140 years after the compulsory adoption of the metric system, the old units were customarily and unlawfully still to be found in many rural areas.

For more information on the metrication process and its history, try this up to date metrication site at http://www.usma.demon.co.uk/

Or the Department of Trade and Industry site at http://www.dti.gov.uk/cacp/ca/contents.htm

It is worth noting, for those imperialphiles among you that the following will be allowed indefinately:

  • Miles, yards, feet and inches for road signs.
  • Pints for draught beer and cider, and bottled milk.
  • Troy ounces for precious metals.
  • Acres for land registry.

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Weights and Measures Act 1985 Part I

Part 1 of the Act, ie sections 1 through 6 deals with UK units and standards of measurement
It consolidates the law laying down the legal units of measurement, and control of primary, secondary and tertiary standards by the UK National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML). It also makes provision for working standards, stamping and testing equipment for use by local weights and measures authorities (Trading Standards Departments).

Section 1 defines the yard as 0.9144 metre exactly, and the pound as 0.45359237 kilogram exactly
The metre is of course 'the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299792458 of a second'.
The kilogram is of course the mass equal to the mass of the international prototype of the kilogram.
This section also refers to Schedule 1 of the Act for other units of measurement legal for trade use in the UK.

Sections 2 through 5 deal with UK primary, secondary, tertiary, local and working standards, and testing and stamping equipment. Section 6 deals with the testing of other standards and equipment.

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Weights and Measures Act 1985 Part II

Part 2 of the Act ie sections 7 through 17 deal withs weighing and measuring for trade.
It defines the meaning of 'in use for trade', lays down the units which are lawful for use for trade, and provides for very wide powers of metrological control by inspectors of weights and measures, under the direction of the Secretary of State.

Section 7 defines use for trade as:
'use in connection with a transaction where:

  • the transaction is by reference to quantity or is a transaction for the purposes of which there is made or implied a statement of the quantity of goods to which the transaction relates, AND
  • the use is for the purpose of the determination or statement of that quantity.'
A transaction is caught if it is for:
  • the transferring or rendering of money or money's worth in consideration of money or money's worth, OR
  • the making of a payment in respect of any toll or duty.
In addition 7(5) states that any equipment found on business premises is 'in use for trade', unless the contrary is proved.
Sections 8 t0 10 deal with units lawful for use for trade, multiples and fractions of units.
Section 11 is important, it specifies equipment which must be passed as fit for use for trade, by an inspector, before use. Anyone not complying commits an offence. In addition equipment can be forfeited, and fees can be charged for tests carried out.
Each inspector in the UK has a unique stamping number (I am 22!!) which is valid throughout the UK. More recently for NAWI many authorities have European Notified Body numbers which are valid throughout the EEC.
Section 12 allows the Secretary of State (through NWML) to 'approve' certain types or patterns of equipment for use for trade. (Commonly known as section 12 notices they are valid for 10 years)
Section 13 deals with offences in connection with pattern approval, and section 14 with general specifications of equipment.
Section 15 gives the Secretary of State powers to make regulations relating to trade equipment, for example:
Measuring Equipment (Intoxicating Liquor) Regulations 1983
Weights Regulations 1986
Measuring Equipment (Liquid Fuel and Lubricants) Regulations 1995
Section 16 creates offences connected with the stamping of equipment, eg if anyone NOT an inspector tampers with or marks any plug or seal, or forges or counterfeits any stamp, they will be guilty of an offence. Again equipment can be forfeited.
Section 17 creates offences relating to false or unjust equipment, or fraud in connection with any weighing or measuring.

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Weights and Measures Act 1985 Part III

Part 3 of the Act ie sections 18 through 20 deals with public weighing or measuring equipment.
Section 18 requires any person operating any public weighing or measuring equipment, where a fee is charged, to hold a certificate of competency from a chief inspector of weights and measures. The certificate will be valid throughout the UK.
Section 19 allows local authorities to provide public equipment, and section 20 details offences which can be committed in connection with public equipment:
ie if any person appointed as a public weigher:
  1. fails to carry out the weighing on demand (without reasonable cause)
  2. carries out the weighing unfairly
  3. fails to deliver a statement of the weight in writing
  4. fails to make a record of the weighing (and keep it for 2 years)
In addition any fraud in connection with a weighing is also an offence.
Inspectors can require public weighers to produce records on demand.

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Weights and Measures Act 1985 Part IV

Part 4 of the Act ie sections 21 through 46 deals with regulation of transactions in goods.
This is a very important and complex part of the Act, bringing together the previously piecemeal control over a vast range of classes of goods.
Powers are conferred on the Secretary of State to impose requirements in respect of the sale of any specific goods. Including requirements to sell by weight, capacity, volume, length, or number; by net or gross quantity; in prescribed quantities; to be marked in a specific way, and so on.
The main requirements, which may be altered by specific Order are contained in 4 schedules to the Act:
  1. Sand and other ballast
  2. Solid fuel
  3. Miscellaneous goods other than foods
  4. Composite goods and collections of articles
The measurement of foodstuffs is controlled by Orders and Regulations made under this part of the Act.

Section 21 gives effect to schedules 4 to 7 of the Act.
Section 22 gives the Secretary of State powers to make orders with repect to any goods to ensure that the goods in question:

  • are only sold by quantity expressed in a specified manner
  • are prepacked only if the container is marked with specified information
  • are prepacked only if made up in a container of a specified size
  • are sold or prepacked on ly in specified quantities
  • are not sold without the quantity being made known to the buyer at a specified time
  • are sold by vending machine only if specified information is given
  • are carried for reward only if the agreement is by reference to quantity expressed in a specified manner
  • have a document associated with them specifying the quantity
  • when carried on a road vehicle have a document associated with them containing specified particulars.
Section 23 gives the Secretary of State power to make regulations as to information to be given in connection with goods
For example:
Weights and Measures (Quantity Marking and Abbreviation of Units) Regulations 1987
Section 24 gives the Secretary of State the power to grant exemption from the requirements imposed by sections 21-23.
Section 25 provides for a comprehensive series of offences for breach of the Schedules, orders or regulations which are given effect by sections 21 and 22. A person can be guilty of an offence if he offers or exposes for sale, sells or agrees to sell, either on his own behalf or on behalf of another any goods which do not comply with specified requirements.
Section 26 requires that in certain cases the seller must deliver a statement in writing as to the quantity of the goods before delivery. ie where goods are required to be sold in a quantity expressed in a particular manner or
where the quantity of the goods sold in a particular manner is required to be made known to the buyer before a particular time or
where there is a sale by retail NOT covered by the above two circumstances and the sale is by quantity expressed other than by number

Section 27 provides for exemptions from the requirements of section 26.
Section 28 deals with shortweight etc. Any person selling any goods by quantity is guilty of an offence if they deliver:

  • a lesser quantity than that purported to be sold OR
  • a lesser quantity than corresponds to the price charged.
Any statement about the weight of any goods shall be taken to be a statement as to the NET weight of the goods.

Section 29 makes it an offence to make misrepresentations:
On or in connection with the sale or purchase of any goods,

  • in exposing or offering any goods for sale,
  • in purporting to make known the quantity,
  • in offering to purchase any goods.
Section 30 prohibits the sale or possession for sale of prepacked goods which are marked with a quantity in writing but the actual quantity is less than that stated.
Section 31 prohibits the use of documents containing materially incorrect statements, associated with goods by virtue of Scedules 4 - 7 or orders made under section 22.
Offences under this section must be committed knowingly that is with mens rea.
Section 32 provides for the prosecution of third parties by whose act or default the offence was committed.
Section 33 provides the statutory defence of warranty, ie that the goods came from some other person who gave a written representation as to the particulars.
Section 34 provides the reasonable precautions and due diligence defence, basically to ensure that no person will be convicted of an offence that he could not reasonably avoid.
This defence is often proved by quality systems and the like. The most famous case being Tesco v Nattrass (1971)
Section 35 provides for a defence where proceedings arise for short measure, and the person charged can prove that the deficiency arose after the goods were marked with the quantity
after preparation for delivery or
after making up the goods for sale AND
it was attributable wholly to factors for which reasonable allowance was made.
Section 36 provides a defence for an EXCESS being due to measures taken reasonably to avoid a DEFICIENCY.
Section 37 makes provision for testing of goods. ie noone shall be convicted for short measure goods unless a reasonable number of goods have been tested, and also that the court shall have regard to the circumstances of the case, and shall disregard any inconsiderable deficiency or excess.
Section 38 provides for powers for inspectors to enter premises and to inspect and test goods.
Section 39 provides for powers for inspectors to inspect documents associated with goods and if necessary seize them as evidence.
Sections 40 and 41 give powers to inspectors to check-weigh loads being carried on road vehicles.
Section 42 gives powers to the local weights and measures authority to make test purchases (and charge them to the rates!). This function is an essential and fundamental part of the enforcement process.
Section 43 related to sales of beer and cider but was repealed in November 1994 much to the disappointment of weights and measures authorities; it would have provided a control over excessive froth on beer.
Section 44 deals with selling by quantity and 'making the quantity known to the buyer'
Section 45 specifies circumstances which will satisfy the requirements of section 44, for example weighing or measuring the goods in the presence of the buyer
Section 46 further defines and clarifies weighing in the presence of a person.

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Weights and Measures Act 1985 Part V

Part 5 of the Act ie sections 47 through 68 deals with packaged goods.
This part of the Act implements EU Directives 75/106/EEC and 76/211/EEC which required member states to introduce the average system of quantity control for certain prepackaged goods.

This was a departure from the traditional metrological system where quantity controls were based on the minimum system, and is a clear recognition of the fact that there are inherent errors in all metrological equipment, especially automated packing systems.
The main emphasis for enforcement moved therefore from the retail level to controls at factories, packing plants and points of importation.

Another new provision was the introduction of the 'e' mark. The placing of this mark on packages guaranteed that they met the requirements of the Directives, thus gaining free access to markets throughout the Community without further metrological checking. Special responsibilities are imposed on packers and importers before this mark can be used.

Section 47 provides for the duties which must be performed by packers and importers to ensure that a group of packages selected by an inspector pass the reference test. There are 3 basic rules which must be satisfied:

  1. The actual contents of the packages shall not be less, on average, than the nominal quantity
  2. Not more than 2.5 percent pf packages may be non-standard ie have Tolerable Negative Errors (TNE) greater than that specified for the particular nominal quantity
  3. No package may be inadequate ie be deficient by more than twice the TNE
Note: the test performed by inspectors is known as the reference test; details can be found in Part V of the Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations 1986. Codes of practical guidance are also available.
Section 48 requires packers and importers to mark the package with:
  • A statement of quantity in the prescribed form see Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations 1986
  • his name and address or a mark which enables an inspector to readily ascertain his name and address
  • a mark allocated by the Secretary of State
Subsection 4 also specifies that any statement of quantity is not to be taken as a trade description.
Section 49 requires that persons making up packages must use suitable prescribed equipment or carry out checks using prescribed equipment which show he has performed the duty placed on him by Section 47. Records of any checks made on packages must be retained for an appropriate period and must be available for inspection by an inspector of Weights and Measures.
Section 50 creates offences under this Part of the Act of:
  1. failing to perform a duty imposed by sections 47, 48, 49
  2. making false records showing that such duties have been performed
  3. referring to documents containing information known to be false
  4. altering records or documents with intent to deceive
  5. having in possession for sale, or selling or agreeing to sellinadequate packages, AND being either the packer or importer, OR knowing the package to be inadequate
Section 51 provides defences for persons charged under S50:
  • Where the offence is failing to perform the duty imposed by section 47 it is a defence to show that the packages were not in the possession of the defendant when the reference test took place and they were not marked with the nominal quantity when they were in his possession
  • Where the importer is charged with a similar offence he must show:
    1. he carried out the necessary checks under 49(2)
    2. he obtained the necessary documents referred to in 49(2)
    3. he took reasonable steps to verify the information
    4. he served a copy of the documents on the prosecutor within 7 days of the hearing
    5. he took all reasonable steps to ensure that the quantity of the goods did not alter while in his possession
  • Where the offence is failing to mark a regulated package under 48(1) it is a defence to show that the container was marked with a mark, as to which notice had been given to an inspector stating that the mark referred to his name and address
  • For any other offences there is the general defence of reasonable precautions and all due diligence
Section 52 specifies the enforcement body as a local weights and measures authority, but restricts the institution of proceedings in Scotland. (proceedings in Scotland are instituted by procurators fiscal on behalf of the Crown)
Section 53 gives effect to Schedule 8 of the Act as to the enforcement powers of inspectors and local authorities
Section 54 makes special provision for packages which contain goods of a prescribed quantity and which are marked with the EEC or 'e' mark.
It is an offence for anyone other than a packer or importer, or someone acting on their behalf, to mark a package with the EEC mark.
Essentially a package marked with the EEC mark cam be freely moved around the European Community without it being treated as IMPORTED GOODS
Anyone wishing to 'e' mark packages or 'import' or 'export' them must give prescribed details to the weights and measures authority in the appropriate area, before the marking, 'import' or 'export' occurs, otherwise they commit an offence.
The EEC mark itself is prescribed by regulation 12 of the Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations 1986 and is a small letter 'e' as set out in drawing A in the Annex to Schedule 1 to the Measuring Instruments (EEC Requirements) Regulations 1980 and shall be:
  • at least 3mm high
  • in the same field of vision as the statement of nominal quantity
  • indelible, clearly legible, and visible under normal conditions of purchase
Section 55 referred to the National Metrological Co-ordinating Unit which has been abolished
Section 56 gives the Secretary of State the duty of generally supervising the operation of the Act, as well as disseminating information to local weights and measures authorities
Section 57 empowers the Secretary of State to require packers and importers to supply details of marks which are applied to packages in order that the place and time at which they were made up can be determined. It is an offence for anyone not to comply with a notice from the Secretary of State for this purpose
Section 58 empowers the Secretary of State to prepare a scheme for allocating marks.
Section 59 provides for the supervision by the Secretary of State of local authority inspectors, by way of reports on relevant functions.
Sections 60 and 61 ceased to have effect from 17th December 1987 following the abolition of NMCU.
Section 62 gives the Secretary of State powers to confer the functions of the NMCU on himself or any other body.
Section 63 deals with instructions by inspectors:
If an inspector has reasonable cause to believe that a person has failed to perform the duty imposed on him by section 47, the inspector can give the person in charge of the packages instructions in writing:
  • specifying the packages
  • requiring the person to keep the packages at a specified place for 24 hours
The purpose of this is to allow the inspector time to carry out the appropriate test.
If an inspector has reasonable cause to believe that a person has failed to carry out a duty imposed by s49 (1) or (2) he may give instructions in writing which he thinks appropriate to ensure that there are no subsequent failures.
Provision is also made for the referral of notices to the secretary of State.
Section 64 makes it an offence for anyone involved in the administration of Part V of the Act to disclose any information relating to any trade secret or manufacturing process, unless the disclosure is made in the performance of a duty.
Section 65 and 66 provide for regulations to modify or supplement this Part of the Act.
Section 67 provides for the service of documents under this part of the Act.
Section 68 deals with interpretation of Part V.

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NWML and legislation

In the UK legislation falls into 2 broad categories, primary and secondary. Primary legislation is made by Parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, following discussion and debates. This legislation generally takes the form of "Bills" when in draft form, which go through several "readings" and procedural stages before becoming "Acts" of Parliament once agreed and once Royal Assent (on behalf of Her Majesty) has been given.

Secondary legislation, on the other hand, is generally made by Ministers of the Government under powers given or delegated to them by Parliament. Secondary legislation will contain the more detailed provisions and may be subject to more frequent change. There are procedures for Parliament to hold debates on the more important items of secondary legislation and to scrutinise it to ensure that it is in line with the Ministers’ powers.

These broad arrangements have been modified by the devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Welsh Assembly. However, in general Northern Ireland is responsible for its own weights and measures legislation, and Parliament at Westminster retains responsibility for the rest of the United Kingdom.


NWML is responsible to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for several aspects of the Weights and Measures Act 1985, namely those Parts of the Act concerned with weighing or measuring equipment for use for trade and with the standards of weights and measures for length, area, volume and capacity which are used to provide traceability to national standards. The Act has been amended by: -

1. Amending instrument

2. Principal effect on the Act

The Units of Measurement Regulations 1986, SI 1986/1082, regulation 10

Section 8(5)(b) updated

The Weights and Measures Act 1985 (Metrication) (Amendment) Order 1994, SI 1994/2866

Section 8(2) and Schedules 3 to 7 amended

The Units of Measurement Regulations 1994, SI 1994/2867

Sections 1, 3 and 27 and Schedules 1, 5 and 11 amended

The Deregulation (Weights and Measures) Order 1999, SI 1999/503

Sections 11, 14, 16, 74, 75, 79, 84 and 94 amended; new sections 11A, 11B and 15A and Schedule 3A added



REGULATIONS ON WEIGHING OR MEASURING EQUIPMENT These Regulations "prescribe" equipment for the purposes of section 11 of the Act. This means it has to be tested, passed as fit for use for trade and stamped before use. However in many cases there are European Union Directives covering the same equipment, in which case full compliance with the requirements of the relevant Directives counts the same as the testing and stamping procedure. The design for the prescribed stamp is given by the Weights and Measures (Prescribed Stamp) Regulations 1968, SI 1968/1615 as amended by SI 1999/504. Note that very many of the Regulations below have been amended, for example in connection with metrication, but the amendments are not listed.

1. Regulations

2. Applicable to (in Great Britain unless otherwise stated):

The Weights and Measures Regulations 1963, SI 1963/1710

Automatic weighing equipment:
- dynamic axle weighers (road)
- rail weighbridges
- direct mass flow measuring systems (coriolis)

The Cubic Measures (Ballast and Agricultural Materials) Regulations 1978, SI 1978/1962

Cubic measures for the goods indicated:
- small box measures
- shovel loaders
- calibrated tipper trucks

The Weighing Equipment (Beltweighers) Regulations 1983, SI 1983/914

Beltweighers (continuous totalising automatic weighing machines)

The Measuring Equipment (Liquid Fuel delivered from Road Tankers) Regulations 1983, SI 1983/1390

Road tanker measuring systems for liquid fuel:
- contents gauging systems
- meter measuring systems
- dipstick measuring systems

Measuring Equipment (Intoxicating Liquor) Regulations 1983, SI 1983/1656

Measuring Equipment:
- beer meters
- spirit dispensers

The Weighing Equipment (Filling and Discontinuous Totalising Automatic Weighing Machines) Regulations 1986, SI 1986/1320

Automatic weighing equipment:
- gravimetric filling machines
- discontinuous totalisers

Measuring Equipment (Measures of Length) Regulations 1986, SI 1986/1682

Measures of length

Weights Regulations 1986, SI 1986/1683


Capacity Serving Measures (Intoxicating Liquor) Regulations 1988, SI 1988/120

Capacity measures:
- wine carafes
- wine glasses
- beer glasses

The Measuring Equipment (Cold-water Meters) Regulations 1988, SI 1988/997

Cold-water meters for domestic purposes in England and Wales only

Measuring Equipment (Capacity Measures and Testing Equipment) Regulations 1995, SI 1995/735

Capacity measures used for various purposes including;
- paraffin
- anglers’ bait
- intoxicating liquor (thimble measures, pewter mugs)
- dispensing for pharmaceutical purposes

The Measuring Equipment (Liquid Fuel and Lubricants) Regulations 1995, SI 1995/1014

Measuring equipment:
- petrol/diesel dispensers
- oil dispensers
- paraffin dispensers

The Weighing Equipment (Automatic Gravimetric Filling Instruments) Regulations 2000, SI 2000/388

Automatic gravimetric filling instruments which sub-divide from bulk into pre-determined quantities, eg packets of starch; bags of crisps and other snack foods

The Weighing Equipment (Non-automatic Weighing Machines) Regulations 2000, SI 2000/932

Non-automatic weighing equipment of all types including:
- weighbridges
- platform machines
- counter machines


Most of the Weights and Measures Act 1985 applies only to Great Britain. In general, Northern Ireland has its own weights and measures legislation. Other parts of the British Isles, i.e. the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, also have their own weights and measures legislation which is very much in line with the legislation in Great Britain. On this basis the Secretary of State can make Orders "designating" Northern Ireland, etc. The effect of designation is twofold: firstly, that weighing or measuring equipment stamped in a designated country can be exported to Great Britain and be used for trade without further testing and stamping; and secondly, that goods for export to those countries are not exempt from the need to comply with the legislation applicable in Great Britain.


1. Country

2. Designation Order

Guernsey and Alderney

The Weights and Measures (Guernsey and Alderney) Order 1995, SI 1995/1011


The Weights and Measures (Jersey) Order 1992, SI 1992/1592

Isle of Man

The Weights and Measures (Isle of Man) Order 1992, SI 1992/1591

Northern Ireland

The Weights and Measures (Northern Ireland) Order 1992, SI 1992/1593


The Act provides, in sections 4 and 5, for certain aspects of the standards and equipment used by inspectors (Trading Standards Officers) to be set out in Regulations. These aspects include the limits of error and intervals between calibration.

1. Category

2. Regulations


The Weights and Measures (Local and Working Standard Linear Measures) Regulations 1986, SI 1986/1684 as amended by SI 1994/1851


The Weights and Measures (Local and Working Standard Weights and Testing Equipment) Regulations 1986, SI 1986/1684 as amended by SIs 1991/1775 and 1994/1851


The Weights and Measures (Local and Working Standard Capacity Measures and Testing Equipment) Regulations 1990, SI 1990/2626 as amended by SIs 1994/1259, 1994/1851 and 1995/735


The following Regulations are the principal ones, which implement Directives into UK legislation. Other Regulations have also been made to deal with consequential amendments which have been needed for complete implementation, for example the Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations were amended in 1992 to allow for the use of non-automatic weighing instruments (coming within the scope of Directive 90/384/EEC) in the making up and/or checking of packages.


1. Regulations

2. Directives

Measuring Instruments (EEC Requirements) Regulations 1988, SI 1988/186

71/316/EEC on common provisions for both measuring instruments and methods of metrological control
71/317/EEC on 5 to 50 kg medium accuracy weights
71/319/EEC on meters for liquids other than water
71/347/EEC on measuring of standard mass per storage volume of grain (also partly implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)
71/348/EEC on ancillary equipment for meters for liquids other than water
73/360/EEC on non-automatic weighing machines
73/362/EEC on material measures of length
74/148/EEC on weights from 1 mg to 50 kg of above medium accuracy
75/33/EEC on cold-water meters
75/410/EEC on continuous totalizing weighing machines
77/313/EEC on measuring systems for liquids other than water
78/1031/EEC on automatic checkweighing and weight grading machines
79/830/EEC on hot-water meters
86/217/EEC on tyre pressure gauges for motor vehicles

Calibration of Tanks of Vessels (EEC Requirements) Regulations 1975, SI 1975/2125

71/349/EEC on the calibration of the tanks of vessels (i.e. the cargo tanks of inland waterway and coastal vessels)

Alcoholometers and Alcohol Hydrometers (EEC Requirements) Regulations 1977, SI 1977/1753

76/765/EEC on alcoholometers and alcohol hydrometers

Alcohol Tables Regulations 1979, SI 1979/132

76/766/EEC on alcohol tables

Taximeters (EEC Requirements) Regulations 1979, SI 1979/1379

77/95/EEC on taximeters

Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Regulations 2000, SI 2000/3236

90/384/EEC on non-automatic weighing instruments

December 2000

NWML and legislation information provided courtesy of NWML, National Weights and Measures Laboratory.
Visit also WELMEC which is an organisation of European national legal metrology services, their site at www.welmec.org contains various details including a list of Notified Bodies under NAWI.

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