You’ll see the word “approved” on websites selling weighing scales and balances (also called legal for trade or trade approved scales), particularly if you’re looking for a retail scale. What exactly does ‘approved’ mean? Is it really mandatory? Which industries require it? What do all these acronyms mean? We’ll explore the world of trade approved scales, whether or not you need one, and which acronyms you should look for.
What is a Trade Approved Scale?
Broadly speaking, it means that the weighing scale was tested and proved that it meets the standards outlined by the organisation that oversees said requirements in your location or industry (NMI, EU, NRCS, OIML, NTEP, Trade Stamped, Verified, Class III or Class II, EC Stamped, M Class Approved and Trading Standards Approved are some of the most common organisations you’ll see online). This is meant to ensure that customers get what they pay for.
Which sort of products require trade approval?
You will require approved scales for most commercial buying or selling by weight, including the following products:
- Livestock feed
- Firewood or logs
- Liquid fuel
- Landscaping materials
- Precious metals and stones (including gold)
- Mechanical and construction parts
- Prepackaged products that specify weight
It can also apply to the medical and pharmaceutical sectors (to ensure medication and chemical compounds are sold in the right quantity, for example).
Is it mandatory?
If you work in an industry where weight affects the price of what you’re selling, yes, it is likely required by law. For example, grocery stores need trade approved scales to ensure produce is sold according to the correct weight. Sweet shops or ice cream stores also sell their goods by weight. The law and regulations vary slightly depending on the country or state you live in, but usually, any weighing instrument that is used to sell by weight or calculate using the weight as a factor is required to be trade approved.
Source: Adam Equipment