The Average Quantity System (AQS) gives manufacturers and packers an opportunity to:
- reduce compliance costs associated with packing substantially above the stated quantity to avoid rogue packages being included in the sample
- align with international trading partners using the AQS e-mark — allowing for easier export
- use statistical sampling methods providing greater assurance that the packaged goods they sell and buy contain the quantity stated on the label
- have e-marked packaged goods to compete under the same rules as their international competitors in both domestic and international markets
- have greater confidence that exported products will not be rejected due to quantity issues
Packers and importers have a duty to carry out sufficient checks to ensure that all batches of pre-packaged goods meet the legislative requirements for correct measurement. The company does not need to follow the sampling requirements illustrated below for trade measurement inspectors, but it is strongly recommended to implement testing procedures and practices that provide a statistically robust and verifiable measure for compliance with these requirements.
When inspectors visit premises to inspect pre-packaged goods, they will be checking what policies and procedures are in place to ensure the articles on the premises are the correct measurement. Inspectors will request information about:
- controls to ensure the production process is operating correctly
- sampling and check-measuring plans
- training relating to check-measuring and whether it ensures that staff are competent to conduct these checks
- records being kept and their appropriateness, including actions taken when non-conforming packaged articles are detected
- equipment being used for check-measuring and its suitability for these checks
If inspectors decide that that they need to test products to assess the validity of these procedures, the testing will be performed at the manufacturing or packing site as outlined below.
All goods pre-packed for sale must be marked with the net measurement (e.g. the weight of the contents without the packaging material).