Weights and measures

The Weights and Measures Act 1985 controls how weighing and measuring equipment is used. All this equipment must be tested and stamped for accuracy by a weights and measures inspector before you use it. The most common problem we find relate to using weights and scales which are either not accurate or not stamped, or both.

Buying weights or scales

It’s very important when you buy weights or scales to make sure that the equipment comes stamped with an inspector's stamp. You should check the equipment regularly to make sure it’s accurate.

Unstamped machines

Unstamped machines can be stamped and certified by a weights and measures inspector after you have bought them, as long as they are the correct type. Obviously, the machine must pass the examination for accuracy. Some electrical and digital scales are legitimate, but many are not. If you’re in doubt, check with your supplier or with us.

It’s an offence to:

  • use inaccurate equipment for trade
  • use unstamped equipment for trade and forge, alter or remove our inspector's stamp


Our officers have the authority to:

  • enter your shop
  • inspect and test weighing equipment
  • seize equipment and documents

Remember, you’re guilty of an offence if you deliberately obstruct an officer, fail to keep to any requirements or, without good reason, fail to give an officer any other information or help.

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