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Making sure you get correct weight

The National Measurement Institute (NMI) has published its annual plan to ensure Australian consumers and businesses have ‘correct weight’ (and volume, length and number) whenever they buy or sell goods by measurement.

Article date:
10/07/2018 6:30 AM

The National Measurement Institute (NMI) has published its annual plan to ensure Australian consumers and businesses have ‘correct weight’ (and volume, length and number) whenever they buy or sell goods by measurement.

As the national regulator of trade measurement, NMI’s 2018-19 National Compliance Plan outlines a program of compliance activities across the economy, covering both wholesale and retail sales.

These include visits to 8000 businesses, testing 10,000 measuring instruments, inspecting 60,000 lines of packaged goods, and making 1000 ‘secret shopper’ trial purchases.

The areas that NMI will be giving special attention as part of its compliance program in 2018-19 include:

  • A two-week ‘blitz’ of the major supermarket chains. This concentrated national audit program will focus on trading practices and the accuracy of equipment.
  • A review of sales of grain and grain products, from the farm gate through to the shop front. This will include a focus on the methods used to determine how farmers are paid based on quality measurements such as protein and moisture content.
  • Checks to ensure that the declared weight of pre-packaged frozen seafood does not include any ice or glaze. This inspection program will cover the whole distribution chain, including packers, importers, wholesalers and retailers.
  • Auditing systems at manufacturers and importers to help prevent any non-compliant products entering the supply chain before they reach the ultimate consumer.
  • A focus on the accuracy of fuel dispensers.

The Plan also outlines the work NMI’s national network of trade measurement inspectors undertakes on behalf of other Commonwealth agencies, including:

  • Tobacco Plain Packaging compliance investigations for the Department of Health
  • Country of Origin Food Labelling market surveillance for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.