Skip Ribbon Commands
Australian Government: National Measurement InstituteAustralian Government: National Measurement Institute
National Measurement Institute

What is trade measurement licensing?


The National Measurement Act 1960 provides for the licensing of servicing licensees and public weighbridge licensees.

Servicing licensees test and verify measuring instruments used for trade. Servicing licensees employ verifiers who are nominated to verify trade measuring instruments under the servicing licence. Each servicing licence identifies the class of instrument that the licensee and their verifiers will be verifying.

About 40 per cent of licensees verify weighing instruments such as retail scales and trade weighbridges (including public weighbridges) and another 40 per cent of licensees verify fuel dispensers such as petrol and LPG bowsers at service stations. The remaining 20 per cent of licensees verify instruments such as liquor dispensers used in hotels, various point of sale systems that are involved in retail scales or at service stations, Servicing licensees can also verify quality measurement instruments for grain, cane sugar and wine grapes.

Servicing licensees provide a valuable service to Australian industry, businesses and consumers in making sure there is trust and confidence in the accuracy of measurements used to determine the trade value of goods.

Public weighbridge licensees operate weighbridges so that parties other than the weighbridge operator can weigh goods for the purposes of a transaction. Weighing for purposes such as for motor vehicle registration or for transport and road safety are not public weighings.

Public weighbridges are used to determine the trade value of a wide range of goods such as farm produce, agricultural products, scrap metal and landscape materials.

Public weighbridge licensees therefore provide a valuable service to the community in making sure industry, business and the community have access to weighbridges to support their trading activities.

The Trade Measurement Licensing team is responsible for administration of regulatory requirements that relates to servicing licences and public weighbridge licences.

Inquiries about trade measurement licensing can be made to   


Requirements for servicing licensees

The National Measurement Institute (NMI) and businesses across Australia rely on the capability of servicing licensees to comply with the requirements of the National Measurement Act 1960 in maintaining the metrological infrastructure for trade measurement. 
NMI’s approach is therefore to ensure Australia’s servicing licensee workforce is maintained at an appropriate level of competency, that verifications are being performed correctly and that verifiers have access to the necessary procedures, systems and equipment to perform their duties correctly and in accordance with the Act.     

Competency requirements for verifiers

Measuring instruments can be verified by a servicing licensee or an employee of a servicing licensee (section18GH of the National Measurement Act 1960). Such individuals are known as verifiers.
A servicing licensee should:
  • ensure any contractors performing verifications for their business hold a servicing licence
  • ensure their verifiers are competent to verify measuring instruments
  • ensure verifiers hold the relevant statement of attainment for any measuring instrument they verify(regulation 2.43 (9A) of the National Trade Regulations 2009)
  • inform NMI of any change in circumstances with their verifiers (regulation 2.43 (7) of the National Trade Measurement regulations 2009).

Sealing measuring instruments

  • Sealing is only required if it is detailed in the certificate of approval for the measuring instrument. All seals must be tamper evident.
  • Some examples of physical seals include lead plug, sealing wire with crimp seal (lead or plastic) and adhesive label or foil. An example of an electronic seal is an access counter.
  • Verifiers who seal a measuring instrument should only put their servicing licensee mark (three upper-case letters) on the seal.
  • Some measuring instruments have multiple sealing points. If a verifier breaks one of the seals only to make a repair then only that point needs to be resealed and marked with the servicing licensee mark.
  • NMI-supplied verification labels cannot be used as a seal as seals should not give the impression of being a verification mark.