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Australian Government: National Measurement InstituteAustralian Government: National Measurement Institute
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Transport and Delivery Services

Trade measurement legislation does not specify how transport and delivery services must be supplied and charged,  however the legislation does outline the requirements when providing services that involve a measurement, including:

  • If the price charged for the service is based upon a measurement (weight/dimension), the supplier must measure the item in the presence of the customer, or provide the customer with an invoice, statement, receipt or delivery docket detailing the measurement.
  • If a measuring instrument is used to determine a price based on measurement, then the instrument must be of a type approved by the National Measurement Institute (NMI) and legal for trade use, and be verified by a servicing licensee or inspector.

Instruments in Use for Trade

A measuring instrument is considered to be “in use for trade” if it is used to determine the measurement of an item or service (e.g. freight) from which the price of the service is calculated. This includes measuring instruments that are used to randomly check the quantity of a package, and to make adjustments to the measurements in the transaction.

Below are examples of types of instruments that are commonly used in the transport industry. If these are used to determine a measurement for which a price is charged they must be NMI approved and verified by a servicing licensee or inspector:

  • Dimensional measuring instruments.
  • Rulers and Tape Measures.
  • Weighbridges.
  • Platform scales and other weighing instruments including forklift scales.

Responsibilities of Instrument Owners

Owners of measuring instruments used for trade are responsible for the accuracy of their measuring instruments. The instruments must:

  • be of a type approved by NMI
  • be verified as accurate by a servicing licensee or inspector before they are used
  • used in the correct manner (e.g. level and indicating zero before use)
  • be kept clean and in good working order
  • be properly installed and appropriate for the intended use
  • be used correctly by staff who have had adequate training in their correct use.

Regulating the Industry

NMI employs trade measurement inspectors throughout Australia. The role of inspectors is:

  • to ensure that all measuring instruments used for trade are verified and used correctly
  • to monitor the verification activities of servicing licensees
  • to check pre-packages for correct packer identification, measurement markings and accurate measure
  • to investigate complaints and resolve problems with trade measurement matters
  • to issue infringement notices or take prosecution action where there has been a breach of the law.

Offences and Penalties

The national trade measurement laws outline a number of offences including:

  • incorrectly charging for a product or service
  • using an unverified measuring instrument for trade
  • using an incorrect measuring instrument for trade
  • using a measuring instrument incorrectly
  • failing to measure an article in the presence of the customer or provide a written statement of the measurement.

Breaches of the trade measurement laws could lead to an infringement notice or prosecution.

For more Information

The main laws covering trade measurement are the National Measurement Act 1960 and the National Trade Measurement Regulations 2009

For more information contact 1300 686 664, infotm@measurement.gov.au or use our online form.



Related pages

What is Trade Measurement?