Consumers are getting what they pay for

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11 January 2019

The National Measurement Institute (NMI) has released its annual report on national trade measurement compliance for 2017–18.

NMI administers the National Measurement Act 1960 and associated regulations to ensure that, for trade purposes:

  • measuring instruments are fit for purpose
  • measurements are made correctly
  • representations about measurements are accurate

To help businesses comply with their legal obligations, NMI’s trade measurement inspectors:

  • test measuring instruments, inspect packaged goods and review business practices
  • provide advice on meeting compliance obligations
  • take enforcement action when necessary

In 2017-18, NMI’s trade measurement inspectors:

  • audited just under 9,500 business premises (includes initial and follow-up audits)
  • tested just under 15,000 measuring instruments
  • inspected over 950 weighbridges
  • inspected over 71,700 lines of packaged goods (over 271,000 individual packages) for correct measure and measurement labelling

The 2017-18 report shows that Australian consumers can be confident they are getting what they pay for when making measurement based transactions. More than 94% of business inspected were found to be complying with measurement requirements after any necessary follow-up audits.

While much non-compliance is relatively minor and usually quickly addressed when identified by trade measurement inspectors, trader types with the greatest proportion of non-compliant businesses in 2017-18 included:

  • fruit and vegetables retail
  • seafood retail
  • meat retail
  • importer
  • supermarket

Where non-compliance was identified during trade measurement inspections, NMI:

  • issued 3620 non-compliance notices
  • sent 222 warning letters
  • issued 58 infringement notices with fines totalling $65,250
  • made 1 referral to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

More details on trade measurement compliance activity and outcomes are available in the report.

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Read more about trade measurement.

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