The Average Quantity System (AQS) is an internationally agreed method of determining the size or quantity of pre-packed articles with a ‘constant nominal content’. This means it provides confirmation of the measurement or quantity of goods in the package, being sold by measure (weight, volume, length, area or number).
AQS is based on recommendations developed by the International Organization of Legal Metrology, (OIML R 79 Labelling Requirements in Pre-packages and OIML R 87 Quantity of Product in Pre-packages) and is intended for use in large-scale packaging plants where goods (e.g. breakfast cereals) are packed in the same quantity in batches of at least 100 packages.
Under Australia’s trade measurement legislation, manufacturers, packers and importers can use either:
- the average system
The average system
- The average content in a sample of pre-packaged articles of the same measurement cannot be less than the stated quantity marked on the packages.
- No pre-packaged article can have a shortfall greater than 5% of the stated quantity.
- The average net content in a sample from the production run of pre-packed articles cannot be less than the stated quantity marked on the packages.
- Allowance is made for a small number of packages to exceed a ‘tolerable deficiency’.
- None of the packages in the sample can have more than twice the prescribed tolerable deficiency.
AQS provides a 97.5% assurance that goods are the correct quantity within the prescribed tolerances. These tolerances are proportional to the quantity of product and related difficulty of accurate filling.
Note: Australian AQS requirements align fully with OIML recommendations and may differ from those of other countries that do not fully implement the OIML recommendations. Importers should be aware of these differences when importing products using AQS.