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In all commercial applications where product is sold by weight, it is a legal requirement that weighing equipment must be verified as ‘legal for trade’ or 'trade approved'. In summary, this means that the equipment (from an individual scale to a complete pre-pack line) has undergone a stringent set of tests to ensure it is sufficiently accurate and fit for purpose.

If a trade approved unit undergoes any alteration or repair, it will require re-verification to ensure that the approval remains valid.

The following list provides examples of typical applications where a legal-for-trade scale might be required:

  • Determination of mass for commercial transactions.
  • Determination of mass for the calculation of a toll, tariff, tax, bonus, penalty, remuneration, indemnity or similar type of payment.
  • Determination of mass for the application of laws or regulations; expert opinion given in court proceedings.
  • Determination of mass in the practice of medicine for weighing patients for the purposes of monitoring, diagnosis and medical treatment.
  • Determination of mass for making up medicines on prescription in a pharmacy and determination of mass in analyses carried out in medical and pharmaceutical laboratories.
  • Determination of price on the basis of mass for the purposes of direct sales to the public and the making-up of pre-packages.

 

Who governs this law?

Global:

Weights and measures authorities around the world are responsible for controlling legal for trade equipment and related legislation. Most countries globally (outside of the USA) have adopted International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) requirements for weighing equipment. OIML has developed a set of international guidelines relating to the manufacture and use of weighing and measuring instruments for legal metrology applications.

 

Canada Specific

In Canada, approval for trade is governed by standards and testing by Industry Canada under Measurement Canada's approval process. Measurement Canada approval is required even if the product is NTEP certified.

Please click here to see more about recent changes to Measurement Canada's Weights and Measures Regulations

 

Who can certify a product as legal for trade?

This certification can only be given by a weights and measures inspector or an ‘approved qualifier’. An appropriate approved body must evaluate the design and operation of the equipment to ensure that it conforms to the published guidelines/ requirements.  It is also an offence to have, or use, seriously incorrect equipment or to alter equipment that is incorrect after it has been stamped.

 

Useful links:

International Organization of Legal Metrology (Global)

https://www.oiml.org/en/about/legal-metrology/trade

 

National Conference for Weights and Measures: NTEP (USA)

www.ncwm.net/content/ntep

 

Measurement Canada

https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/mc-mc.nsf/eng/home

 

 

*Disclaimer: This document is intended to provide a basic introduction, it is by no means an exhaustive explanation of the regulations and should not be used as such. Those needing to fully understand the how the law impacts upon their business should refer to the links outlined in the ‘useful links’ section of this page, or speak to one of our sales representatives