Trade measurement laws regulate the retail and wholesale sale of alcohol.
If you sell beer, stout, ale, brandy, gin, rum, vodka, and whisky (or whiskey), you must sell at a price determined by volume.
If you sell alcohol in bottles, cans or casks, you must meet the pre-packaged goods requirements.
If you sell beer on tap, this usually involves serving it in an approved batch-tested glass or jug:
All batch-tested products have been approved by the National Measurement Institute (NMI) under category 4/1/0D and:
If you sell beer in non-verified or non-standard vessels or containers—such as mason jars, growlers or squealers—you must still sell it using accurate volume measurements.
If you’re not using batch approved glassware, you must advertise the actual capacity of the glass or container. You can do this using a:
You must sell brandy (including cognac and armagnac), gin, rum, vodka or whisky (or whiskey) by reference to volume. This usually involves using an NMI-approved spirit measure.
Spirit measures include:
Simple spirit measures must be:
Spirit dispensers must:
You must sell specified spirits by volume when you serve them with a mixer such as soft drink, milk or water.
If you sell alcohol using spirit dispensers, you must ensure that:
We recommend that you have all your dispensers checked regularly by a technician licensed by NMI (servicing licensee). For a list of servicing licensees, email email@example.com.
You can use non-approved bottle-top or wall-mounted pourers for non-specified spirits, provided you do not state the volume served.
Spirits not specified in the regulations, including liqueurs, do not have to be sold by volume.
You do not need to use spirit measures when you mix these spirits with other spirits or alcoholic liquors to produce cocktails.
If you sell wine (unless pre-packaged), you do not have to sell it by volume. You may sell wine in an unmarked glass or carafe. If you do sell wine by volume, then that volume must be accurate.
Pre-packaged wine must adhere to all standard packaging requirements, except in relation to the position of the measurement marking.
Ginger beer does not have to be sold by volume and can be sold in unmarked glassware.
If you serve ginger beer in a batch-tested glass marked with a volume, or mention the volume in a menu, the quantity must match this amount.
If ginger beer is served with ice, avoid confusion by letting customers know through the menu description or while serving it.
NMI employs trade measurement inspectors throughout Australia. We regularly inspect alcohol being sold to ensure that sellers are following the correct process.
If an inspector finds that you are short-measuring your customers, you could be fined up to $222,000 per offence.
To find out more about trade measurement laws or report a suspected breach contact the trade measurement helpline:
Last updated: 20 April 2022
Content ID: 52550