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Australian Government: National Measurement InstituteAustralian Government: National Measurement Institute
National Measurement Institute

Who looks after compliance?

All measuring instruments in Australia that are used to determine the price of products and services must comply with the National Measurement Act 1960 and the National Trade Measurement Regulations 2009. These laws underpin the Australian trade measurement system. The trade measurement system ensures that the pricing of products is based on accurate measurements and covers both business-to-business and business-to-consumer trade.

Australia’s trade measurement system provides confidence to all consumers and businesses that buy and sell goods and services where the value is based on measurement.

The National Measurement Institute (NMI) administers the Australian trade measurement system. NMI ensures that businesses and individuals comply with the rules and regulations so that there is accurate and reliable measurement in trade.

In other words, it’s our job to make sure you get from the traders what you pay for!

Want to know more?

More information on trade measurement is available.

More information on NMI compliance and enforcement:

The role of NMI

NMI is directly responsible for many aspects of the national trade measurement system; however we also work with industry to support and facilitate its smooth and efficient operation.

Collapsed - Working with industry

Trade Measurement Inspectors are the public face of NMI.  Inspectors visit businesses to:

  • Check measuring instruments are accurate for trade purposes
  • Check instruments are of approved pattern (design)
  • Check instruments are being used correctly
  • Check pre-packed products are the correct measurement
  • Spot-check verifiers
  • Investigate complaints or information about potential issues

NMI also works with industry to develop standard ways of testing measuring instruments; standards around what error margins are acceptable for trade transactions; and standards about operating instruments.

Legal Metrology Authorities and Verifiers

Legal Metrology Authorities are third party organisations, appointed by NMI, who support the trade measurement system by providing legally traceable measurement standards. These measurement standards are used by industry to ensure that measurements made for legal or trade purposes are accurate and traceable to Australia’s primary standards of measurement.

Legal Metrology Authorities produce reference standards of measurement, certified measuring instruments and Australian certified reference materials; all of which are legally traceable to Australia’s primary standards of measurement.

Measuring instruments that are used for trade must be verified to make sure they are accurate. NMI licenses and appoints verifiers of measuring instruments in Australia.  These verifiers include Servicing Licensees and Utility Meter Verifiers. Verifiers use reference standards (calibrated by Legal Metrology Authorities) in order to test and verify measuring instruments which are used for trade every day.

The trade measurement system, the work of NMI and our licenced and appointed verifiers ensure that each measuring instrument that is used for trade is approved and operating accurately.

How do we do this? 


Diagram explaining the relationship between NMI and the customer, trader and licensee


Want to know more?

More information on Legal Metrology Authorities and Utility Meter Verifiers is available.

More information on Servicing Licensees is available.

Collapsed - What does NMI do?

  • We maintain Australia’s primary standards of measurement.
  • We produce reference standards of measurement which are used by industry to make measurements which are legally traceable to Australia’s primary standards.
  • We appoint Legal Metrology Authorities, Servicing Licensees and Utility Meter Verifiers who play a vital role in the national trade measurement system through the certification of reference standards and verification of each measuring instrument that is used for trade across Australia.
  • We approve and certify the pattern (a.k.a. type or design) of measuring instruments used for trade.
  • NMI Trade Measurement Inspectors undertake targeted and routine compliance checks and inspections to ensure that measuring instruments being used for trade are pattern approved, verified and being used correctly.
  • NMI Trade Measurement Inspectors also ensure that where trade is based on measurement, it is performed in an appropriate and accurate manner, for example, in the labelling of pre-packaged products.

The diagram below is a representation of Australia’s trade measurement system. It shows how measuring instruments that are used to make measurements for trade everyday are traceable to Australia’s primary standards through a series of calibrations and verifications.

Diagram explaining Australia's trade measurement system
NMI’s key activities in support of this system are indicated in the green boxes. 

For more details

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