Trading Standards - Weights and Measures

Trading Standards officers routinely check the accuracy of scales, spirit measuring instruments, petrol pumps and other weights and measures equipment used by businesses. They check that customers get what they pay for, whether it’s ensuring that a pint of beer really is a pint or that a petrol pump is dispensing at the correct pence per litre.

Almost all goods today are sold by some reference to quantity - either its weight or measure, whether by the pint, litre, gramme or metre. This includes everyday items such as bread, petrol, beer, clothing material or virtually anything else you can think of. Trading Standards enforce a complex set of regulations designed to ensure that the public and businesses can have confidence in their purchases and ensures fair competition.

This is done by:

  • Verifying that weighing and measuring equipment is initially accurate
  • Routinely visiting businesses and checking weighing and measuring equipment
  • Checking products already in the shops
  • Checking products when they are being manufactured or imported
  • Investigating complaints of short measure and weight

Inspectors of Weights and Measures (or Trading Standards Officers as they are more commonly known) visit trade premises and carry out inspections and verification of weighing and measuring equipment. Examples include weighing machines, weighbridges, weights, petrol pumps, spirit measuring instruments, wine and beer glasses and metre measures to name some common examples. Prepacked goods, breads, etc, are tested to ensure correct weight or measure.

Trading Standards officers also provides free advice to businesses on all aspects of Weights and Measures law, to help them comply with their legal obligations and to trade competitively and fairly, as well as investigating allegations of short measures of goods and enforcing Weights and Measures law.

For more information, please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service by phone: 03454 040 506 or visit the Business Companion site (external link)

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Page last updated:

October 24, 2022