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As in previous years, in 2017-18 more than 80 per cent of instruments tested were found to be fully compliant with legislative requirements and only a relatively small proportion (2.3 per cent) were found to be inaccurate to consumer disadvantage.

An instrument was deemed non-compliant if one or more of the following was found:

  • not verified by an authorised servicing licensee
  • failed to measure accurately
  • did not meet other standards necessary to comply with legislation, such as display issues; eccentricity; inadequate sealing; and data plate irregularities.
Year Instruments tested Compliant Not verified Inaccurate (cosumer advantage) Inaccurate (consumer disadvantage) Other non-compliance
2015-16 15,240 12,623 (82.8%) 587 (3.9%) 563 (3.7%) 261 (1.7%) 1206 (8%)
2016-17 17,093 14,664 (85.8%) 829 (4.8%) 571 (3.3%) 309 (1.8%) 720 (4.3%)
2017-18 14,906 12,605 (84.6%) 872 (5.9%) 557 (3.7%) 339 (2.3%) 533 (3.5%)


The instrument types with an above average proportion found to be inaccurate to consumer disadvantage has also been relatively consistent over recent years.

Instrument type Year Instruments tested Inaccurate (consumer disadvantage)
Weighbridges 2015-16 960 52 (5.4%)
2016-17 1147 94 (8.2%)
2017-18 965 61 (6.3%)
Fuel dispensers
(petrol and diesel)
2015-16 2925 70 (2.4%)
2016-17 1779 54 (3.0%)
2017-18 1933 93 (4.8%)
Weighing instruments
(30 kg to 3 tonnes)
2015-16 364 16 (4.4%)
2016-17 475 23 (4.8%)
2017-18 346 18 (5.2%
Beverage dispensers 2015-16 865 35 (4%)
2016-17 945 62 (6.6%)
2017-18 1113 34 (3.1%)


Compliance of retail fuel dispensers

While the proportion of retail liquid fuel (petrol and diesel) dispensers found to be inaccurate over the past three years has remained relatively steady at around 6 per cent, the proportion of liquid fuel dispensers inaccurate to consumer disadvantage has doubled between 2016-16 and 2017-18, from 2.4 per cent to 4.8 per cent.

In light of this trend, NMI’s National Compliance Plan for 2018-19 includes a focus on inspection of this instrument type.

Year Petrol and diesel
dispensers tested
Inaccurate
(consumer advantage)
Inaccurate
(consumer disadvantage)
2015-16 2925 117 (4%) 70 (2.4%)
2016-17 1779 51 (2.9%) 54 (3.0%)
2017-18 1933 30 (1.6%) 93 (4.8%)


Consumer concern about this issue is reflected in almost two thirds of complaints to NMI about potential breaches of trade measurement law being related to short measure from fuel dispensers (liquid and gas). However, it has been a consistent trend over recent years that only a small proportion of those complaints are found to be justified when investigated.

Year Total complaints received Fuel (liquid and gas) complaints Fuel complaints justified (consumer disadvantage)
2015-16 724 459 (63%) 10 (2.2%)
2016-17 672 411 (61%) 18 (4.4%)
2017-18 782 511 (65%) 16 (3.1%)