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NMI inspectors issue non-compliance notices whenever any breaches of trade measurement law are identified during trader audits.

Enforcement action of a more serious nature is taken when:

  • continued non-compliance is detected after a notice has been previously issued
  • a breach detected in an initial audit is particularly severe
  • contraventions are of high public interest.

Potential enforcement actions include:

  • warning letters
  • infringement notices with associated fines
  • enforceable undertakings
  • referral to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) for injunction or prosecution.

Any enforcement action, such as a warning letter or infringement notice, may cover more than one breach of trade measurement law.

The value of fines associated with infringement notices is currently $1,050 per offence.

If a matter is dealt with in a Court, the maximum penalty is $210,000 per offence for a company and $42,000 per offence for an individual.

In 2017-18, NMI issued 58 infringement notices with $65,250 in associated fines and referred one matter to the CDPP for consideration of prosecution.

Year Non-compliance notice Warning letter Infringement notice Referral to CDPP Conviction
2015-16 2938 186 87 ($85,100) 7 1
2016-17 3708 305 74 ($69,300) 3 3
2017-18 3620 222 58 ($65,250) 1 0

As shown in the table below, the most common breach subject to an enforcement action in 2017-18 was short measure in packaged goods. Trading practices breaches include not correctly operating scales and not allowing for the weight of packaging during over-the-counter transactions. As noted above, a single enforcement action may cover more than one breach.

Breaches by enforcement action 2017-18
Enforcement action Inaccurate measuring instruments Packaged goods (short measure) Packaged goods (labelling) Trading practices
Warning letter 13 205 33 95
Infringement notice 10 45 1 11