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

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Does your business measure up?

All businesses that sell, supply or use measuring equipment, such as weighing systems and flowmeters, for trade purposes need to comply with Australia’s trade measurement laws.

If you use measuring equipment to determine a price for goods or services, you must make sure the equipment:

  • is of an approved type
  • is suitable for its intended purpose
  • has been verified as accurate by a licensed technician.

Details of the rules are set out in the National Measurement Act 1960 and the National Trade Measurement Regulations 2009. Businesses that don’t comply with these laws can face prosecution and fines of up to $210,000 per offence.

The National Measurement Institute’s trade measurement team is there to help you understand and comply with the law.

Is your measuring equipment of an approved type?

The design of weighing systems, flowmeters and any other measuring equipment used for trade must have a Certificate of Approval from the National Measurement Institute (NMI). The Certificate of Approval confirms that the instrument meets relevant standards and performs as intended over a range of environmental and usage conditions.

More information on Certificates of Approval is available on the Pattern Approval Examination page.

Has your measuring equipment been verified?

Before measuring equipment can be used for trade it must also have a verification mark (usually a label) from a technician licensed by NMI (Servicing Licensee), who tests the instrument to ensure that it operates in accordance with the Certificate of Approval and is accurate. Only equipment that has a Certificate of Approval can be verified.

Are there other legal requirements for measuring equipment?

Trade measurement law also requires that measuring equipment used for trade is:

  • used in the correct manner (eg indicating zero before use)
  • kept clean and in good working order
  • re-verified after any repair or adjustment.

It is your responsibility to make sure your measuring equipment is accurate at all times.

To ensure continued accuracy, NMI recommends that all such equipment is checked regularly by a Servicing Licensee.

A list of Servicing Licensees for your area and instrument type is available from NMI’s Licensing Team on 1300 686 664 (option 2) or

What is the penalty for breaching the law?

NMI employs Trade Measurement Inspectors who can visit a place of business ‘at any reasonable time of day’ to inspect and/or test equipment and review trading practices to ensure that they comply with the law.

Where equipment and/or trading practices are found not to comply with the requirements of the law, an inspector can issue a non-compliance notice. When continued non-compliance is detected after a notice has been issued or a breach detected in an initial audit is particularly severe, enforcement action of a more serious nature is taken. This includes warning letters, infringement notices with associated fines and, in the most severe cases, referral to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Using an unverified measuring instrument for trade or selling or supplying an unapproved measuring instrument for trade purposes can result in an infringement notice with a $1,050 fine for each offence. If the matter is taken to Court, the maximum penalty associated with those offences is $210,000 for a company and $42,000 for an individual.

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, or use our on-line form.