Trade measurement

Your business must comply with Australian trade measurement laws if it:

  • sells goods by measurement
  • manufactures, packs, imports or sells pre-packaged goods.

A measuring instrument used to sell goods, such as a scale, must be of an approved type when in use for trade with the public directly, and used in an approved manner.

If you use a measuring instrument such as a weighing instrument to sell goods, you must make sure it's:

  • approved for trade use
  • verified before use by a servicing licensee or inspector
  • 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
  • verified after each repair or metrological adjustment
  • suitable for its intended purpose
  • used in the correct manner.

It's a good idea to have your measuring instruments used for trade purposes checked regularly by a licensed service organisation and have a quality management program in place to monitor how you're going.

Goods offered for sale by measurement must be sold by legal units of measurement - e.g kilograms, litres, millimeters.

Manufacturers, packers and importers have a duty to carry out sufficient checks to ensure that all batches of prepacked articles meet the legislative requirements for correct measurement.

Inspector visits

Trade measurement inspectors can visit a place of business 'at any reasonable time of day' in response to a complaint or enquiry from a consumer.

They can also visit as part of a trade measurement compliance inspection program.

Inspectors are employees of the National Measurement Institute (NMI), Australia's peak measurement organisation. The NMI is responsible for maintaining the primary standards of measurement and providing the legal and technical framework for measurement standards.

The NMI website has specific advice about trade measurement laws and regulations applying to:

  • point of sale (POS) systems
  • alcohol
  • bread and bakery products
  • firewood
  • fruit and vegetables
  • garden landscape materials
  • liquid fuel
  • meat and seafood
  • precious metals and stones.


For all trade measurement enquiries, including finding a servicing licensee to calibrate your measuring instruments or the location of public weighbridges, contact NMIs trade measurement hotline:

Phone: 1300 686 664
Online form

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Page last updated 22 August 2022

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Department for Industry, Innovation and Science
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