Licensed premises on notice to pour correct measures

The National Measurement Institute has announced a one week blitz on the accuracy of alcohol measurements in licensed premises.
Photo of an inspector examining a measure of alcohol in a hotel bar.

NMI inspectors are visiting licensed premises to ensure alcohol is measured correctly.

The National Measurement Institute (NMI) has today announced a one week blitz on the accuracy of alcohol measurements in licensed premises.

General Manager for Legal Metrology at NMI Bill Loizides said Australia’s trade measurement laws ensure consumers get what they pay for when they buy products by weight, volume or number.

‘We have put hotels, bars and clubs on notice, and they can expect a rigorous but fair approach during the inspections conducted by the National Measurement Institute,’ Mr Loizides said.

NMI’s latest compliance report showed that spirit dispensers used in licensed premises are consistently among the measuring instruments most likely to be found inaccurate to consumer disadvantage. These ranged from 4%of inspected dispensers in 2015-16 to 6.6%in 2016-17 and 3.1%in 2017-18.

There are also concerns that licensed premises using non-standard glassware, such as mason jars, to serve beer may not be complying with requirements to use and advertise accurate volume measurements.

‘Australians should be able to feel confident that they are getting what they pay for when buying drinks during a night out or Sunday lunch at the club. As a result NMI has included a focused national audit of licensed premises as part of its 2019-20 compliance activities.

‘While we recognise that most businesses want to do the right thing, there are penalties for businesses that breach the law,’ Mr Loizides said.

NMI can issue infringement notices with fines of $1,050 per offence. If the case is serious enough for a prosecution, the maximum fines are $210,000 per offence as a company or $42,000 per offence as an individual.

NMI’s intensive, week-long, national audit program will run from 19 to 24 August and include audits of 650 licensed premises across Australia.

For more information or to report a suspected breach of the rules, contact the national trade measurement helpline on 1300 686 664 or

Media contact

Phone 02 6213 6308


Read more

Read how NMI is ensuring retailers and wholesalers measure goods accurately.