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

Industry Sector

All businesses that sell goods by measurement, or that make available measuring instruments or operate measuring instruments used for trade, are required to comply with Australian trade measurement laws.

Businesses benefit from following correct compliance sampling.  This is achieved by monitoring correct measurement and using appropriate measuring instruments and procedures.

Collapsed - What are my requirements as a business?

If you use a measuring instrument such as a weighing instrument (a scale) to sell goods you must make sure it is:

  • suitable for its intended purpose
  • indicating zero before use
  • level when in use
  • positioned so that the customer can easily see the measurement process, or else provide a written statement of the measurement
  • kept clean and in good working order
  • an approved type and verified before use by a servicing licensee or inspector
  • verified after each repair or metrological adjustment
  • used in the correct manner.

The National Measurement Institute (NMI) recommends that you have all your measuring instruments used for trade purposes checked regularly by a licensed service organisation.  It is also recommended that your business have a quality program in place to continue to monitor your compliance.

Goods offered for sale by measurement must be sold by legal units of measurement, e.g. kilogram, litre, metre etc.

Manufacturers, packers, importers and sellers of pre-packed articles must:

  • Make sure packages are correctly labelled – the laws include requirements for measurement statements and packer’s identification.  Imported pre-packed articles are exempt from the packer’s identification.
  • Make sure packages they pack or sell contain the quantity stated on the label.
  • Assist trade measurement inspectors with any enquiries and provide information if required.

Collapsed - What do Trade Measurement Inspectors do?

The NMI employs inspectors throughout Australia. Their role is to:

  • educate, monitor and consult with businesses about their trade measurement obligations
  • ensure that all measuring instruments used for trade are verified and used correctly
  • monitor the activities of servicing licensees and public weighbridge licensees
  • check pre-packed articles for correct packer identification, measurement markings and accurate measurement
  • check public weighbridges for their conditions and accuracy
  • investigate complaints and resolve questions relating to trade measurement matters
  • take appropriate enforcement action where there have been breaches of the laws.

A visit by an inspector may be a response to a complaint or enquiry from a consumer, or part of a trade measurement compliance inspection program.

Inspectors can visit a place of business ‘at any reasonable time of day’, and the inspector does not have to give notice of entry. The frequency of visits may be based on a risk assessment by NMI.

We recommend that businesses work closely with their NMI inspectors, who are available to help and answer any enquiries.

Collapsed - What if a business fails to comply with trade measurement laws?

The NMI aims to prevent, stop or minimise contraventions of national trade measurement laws and deter future contravention. It has a range of compliance and enforcement options, from monitoring and issuing notices of non-compliance, through to infringement notices, fines, court-enforced undertakings and criminal prosecution.

Key business areas


For more Information

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

For more information contact 1300 686 664, or use our on-line form.


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