Guidance

Weights and measures: business guidance

Resources for business.

Resources available to you from the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) include guidance on weights and measures equipment and packaged goods.

Business advice

Most UK weights and measures legislation is enforced by Local Authority Trading Standards (or the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland).

For business-specific advice on complying with the regulations, contact your local Trading Standards service.

Local authorities often ask us to clarify technical or enforcement issues that can be significant to businesses, and we publish our responses in bulletins.

Weights and Measures Bulletins

Weights and measures equipment

We publish guidance for manufacturers, importers and distributors on the regulation of weights and measures equipment, which is also relevant to local authority trading standards:

Measuring Instruments Regulations 2016

Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Regulations 2016

Standard temperature accounting: weights and measures

Weighing and measuring equipment used in business must be passed as fit for use for trade by a Weights and Measures Inspector or an approved verifier. Equipment that is repaired or adjusted will then need to be to be requalified either by the Inspector or an approved verifier. Contact your local Trading Standards Office for guidance. An approved verifier is a manufacturer, installer or repairer of weighing and measuring equipment permitted to qualify or requalify specific equipment types, using stickers with authorised stamp numbers:

Read guidance on approved verification, apply to become an approved verifier, or view the list of approved verifiers

View the list of authorised stamp numbers

We also provide specialised conformity assessment services to enable manufacturers to place regulated weighing and measuring instruments on the market.

NMO Technical Services

Market surveillance of weighing and measuring instruments

OPSS is responsible for the market surveillance of regulated non-automatic weighing instruments and measuring instruments. We carry out monitoring of instruments to ensure that those that do not comply with the provisions of the Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Regulations 2016 or the Measuring Instruments Regulations 2016 are prevented from being placed on the market or put into use.

To report concerns to OPSS regarding weighing and measuring instruments that may not be in conformity with the regulations, please email opss.enquiries@beis.gov.uk

Equipment verification

Download guidance on the metrology changes made by the Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (PDF, 190 KB, 5 pages)

This guidance concerns the changes made by the Product Safety and Metrology etc (Amendment) Regulations 2021 to the Measuring Instruments Regulations 2016 (MIR) and Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Regulations 2016 (NAWI). The changes apply to the enforcement procedures of disqualification and requalification. It is relevant to inspectors, approved verifiers, approved manufacturers, notified bodies (in Northern Ireland) and approved bodies.

Apply to become an approved manufacturer or view the list of approved manufacturers

Verification stickers correspondence and pricing

Occasionally, OPSS receives queries regarding verification stickers. The most common questions are:

How do I place an order for stickers?

Orders require the metrology stickers order form below to be completed and sent to OPSS. We cannot process orders without this form. A purchase order is also required and must contain a purchase order number, details of the order required, invoice address and delivery address.

Download the metrology stickers order form (ODT, 367 KB)

Please send the form and purchase order to metrologystickers@beis.gov.uk.

What are the prices for the stickers?

Approved bodies, approved verifiers and inspectors can claim an initial free sample of 20 stickers, but subsequent stickers have to be purchased. This is for both initial verification and requalification with the exception of requalification stickers for inspectors, which are available free of charge.

With regard to the purchasing of the new metrology stickers, the prices and quantities are as follows:

  • 500 Stickers=£30+VAT
  • 1000 Stickers=£50+VAT
  • 2000 Stickers = £100+VAT

Smaller amounts can be supplied but where less than 250 are required there is a minimum charge of £10+VAT.

Delivery is free of charge and posted second class. Please raise a purchase order stating quantity required and which sticker type along with the approved body or inspector number.

How long does it take to produce the stickers?

OPSS aims to have stickers produced and put in the post in 5 to 10 working days from receipt of your order.

How long will it take for them to be delivered?

Stickers are sent using royal mail second class postage. Orders that come to more than £250+VAT are sent using royal mail second class recorded delivery.

Packaged goods

We publish guidance for packers and importers on packaged goods:

Packaged goods: weights and measures regulations

Food information to consumers: quantity labelling

Measuring container bottles: register a manufacturer’s mark

Hallmarking

We sponsor the British Hallmarking Council, which provides guidance for manufacturers and retailers on the hallmarking of precious metal articles.

Published 10 April 2014
Last updated 22 December 2021 + show all updates
  1. Guidance added on the metrology changes made by the Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment) Regulations 2021.

  2. Metrology stickers order form updated.

  3. A paragraph with the subheading 'Market surveillance of weighing and measuring instruments' has been added under 'Weights and measures equipment'.

  4. Page revised to focus on businesses.

  5. Invitation to Local Weights and Measures Authorities for the 2018-19 Market Supervision Project has been included under national metrology projects.

  6. List of authorised stamp numbers for use by LWMA and approved verifiers updated

  7. List of authorised stamp numbers for use by LWMA and approved verifiers has been updated.

  8. Bulk milk measurement project has been completed and the final report published.

  9. Every Local Weights and Measures Authority in the UK is required to report the level of local enforcement work conducted over a 12 month period under section 70 of the Weights and Measures Act 1985. The Section 70 report for 2014 to 2015 been published in this guidance.

  10. The national legal metrology project for 2014 to 2015 covered medical weighing instrument located in doctors’ surgeries, pharmacies and health centres. The final report has now been published.

  11. The weights and measures bulletins and guidance section of this page has been updated to include an attachment that explains the impact of the Measuring Instruments Directive (MID) after 30th October 2016 for National and European certification requirements pre and post 2016. This guidance note is for business and trading standards.

  12. Every Local Weights and Measures Authority (LWMA) in the UK is required to report the level of local enforcement work conducted over a 12 month period under section 70 of the Weights and Measures Act 1985. The updated Section 70 Return form is now available on this guide. All LWMA’s must complete and return their report to NMRO before 30 June 2016.

  13. Invitation to participate in 2015 to 16 national metrology project which will focus on the competency of verifiers (approved verifiers and approved manufacturers) within the fuel dispenser, weighbridge and bulk fuel industries.

  14. The annual report of Weights and Measures activity conducted by Local Authorities as now been published, it is the Section 70 report 2013 to 2014.

  15. National Measurement Office has updated the guide on enforcement of Weights and Measures to include a section titled Market Surveillance. This section covers an invitation for Local Authorities to participate in a national project on Weights and Measures enforcement relating to Non-automatic Weighing Instruments up to 50kg.

  16. First published.