What equipment your business can use
Under the Weights and Measures Act your weighing or measuring equipment must be of an approved type, and be verified and stamped.
Equipment in use for trade
If you're manufacturing, packing or selling goods by weight, measure or number, the equipment you use to determine the quantity of goods is deemed to be in ‘use for trade’. This encompasses any weighing or measuring equipment that's used to determine a quantity (weight, measure, number) and to establish a basis for a financial transaction between 2 parties.
This includes a wide range of trading environments from shops, service stations, processing and manufacturing facilities to stalls, itinerant vendors and internet-based traders.
Equipment must be of an approved type
All weighing or measuring equipment used for trade must be of an approved type (known as a 'type approval' or 'trade approved'). This is a certificate issued by Trading Standards, which confirms that the equipment:
- is suitable for trade use, and
- will not facilitate fraud.
Only trade approved equipment can be stamped with the mark of verification.
See Applying for a type approval for more information.
Using equipment that's not approved
If you're found to be using weighing or measuring equipment for trade that is not of an approved type, the equipment may be seized by a Trading Standards Officer and you may face legal action.
Under Section 22 of the Weights and Measure Act, a type approval is not required for:
- automatic weighing machines
- automatic volumetric liquid dispensing machines.
Equipment must be verified
All weighing and measuring equipment used for trade must be:
- verified by an Accredited Person (this can sometimes be done by a Trading Standards Officer)
- stamped with a ‘Mark of Verification’.
See Visits from Accredited Persons for more information.
The Mark of Verification must:
- take the form of either:
- the Letters ‘AP’ followed by the technician’s personal identification number, or
- the ‘crown stamp’, and
- be applied directly to the weighing and measuring equipment, either:
- stamped into a lead seal, or
- affixed by an adhesive, destructible label
Examples of markings
If your equipment has been repaired, remember to check that the seal or sticker is still intact.
Equipment that doesn't comply
If your equipment is tested by an Accredited Person (AP) and doesn't show the correct weight, they can decline to stamp the instrument with a Mark of Verification or issue a Certificate of Accuracy.
If this is the case, they will issue you with a Notice of Non-Compliance, which means that:
- you can't legally use the equipment for trade, and
- we may take legal action if you continue to use the equipment.
If equipment is tested by a Trading Standards Officer and doesn't show the correct weight, they can reject it. Equipment can't be used after it's rejected until it's repaired, re-tested and verified by a Trading Standards Officer or Accredited Person. Continued use of non-compliant equipment may lead to prosecution under the Act.
Only a Trading Standards Officer can reject equipment. Rejected equipment is marked with a 6-pointed star. We advise you not to purchase second-hand equipment with this mark.
See Trading Standards inspections for more information.
Penalties for breaching the Weights and Measures Act
If you're convicted of breaching the Weights and Measures Act or Regulations:
- you may face fines of up to $10,000 (for an individual) or $30,000 (for a body corporate), plus $250 for each day the breach continues, and
- your equipment may be seized by a Trading Standards Officer, and may later be forfeited by a Court.