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Selling cane sugar and grain

Growers, handlers and buyers of grain and cane sugar must follow trade measurement laws in business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions.

Cane sugar and grain are traded based on quantity and quality.

Quality measuring instruments

You measure the quality of cane sugar and grain using specific instruments.

For grain

Chondrometers measure density. Refer to the General Certificate of Approval 4/10/0A [63KB PDF] for pattern approval requirements and test procedures.

Grain protein measuring instruments measure protein. Refer to the:

For cane sugar

Density hydrometers measure density. Refer to the:

Polarimeters (saccharimeters) measure sugar concentration. Refer to the:

Pattern approval

Pattern approval assesses the instrument design to ensure it is:

  • fit for purpose
  • able to operate in the environment in which it is expected to be used

Review the pattern approval requirements and the pattern approval guidelines and procedures relevant to your instrument.

Using measuring instruments

If you use instruments to measure mass and quality for trade, you must ensure that:

  • the National Measurement Institute (NMI) has approved your type of measuring instrument 
  • a servicing licensee has verified your measuring instrument 
  • you use the measuring instrument in the correct manner 
  • you position the instrument so the customer can easily see the measuring process (if not, you must provide a written statement of the measurement)
  • you keep the measuring instrument clean and in good working order
  • a servicing licensee verifies the measuring instrument after each repair or adjustment

You are responsible for making sure your measuring instruments are correct at all times.

We recommend you have all your measuring instruments checked regularly by a servicing licensee. Contact the licensing team at to find out more.

Regulating the sale of grain and cane sugar

NMI employs trade measurement inspectors throughout Australia. We regularly inspect measuring instruments to ensure sellers are following the correct process.

If we find you are short-measuring your customers, you could be fined up to $222,000 per offence.

Read more 

Find out more about selling goods by weights and measures.

Contact us

To find out more about trade measurement laws or report a suspected breach contact the trade measurement helpline:

Last updated: 8 December 2020

Content ID: 53992