Weights and Measures

Weights and Measures

Traders must weigh and measure goods accurately. There are many legal controls covering all aspects of weighing and measuring; all equipment used for determining the quantity of goods in a transaction must be legally approved, and this includes shop scales, petrol pumps, pub optics and measuring tapes. 

EU Exit Guidance

New and updated guidance continues to be produced advising on both the Great Britain and Northern Ireland regulatory regimes that now apply from the 1 January 2021.  A range of guides on specific product safety regulations, including cosmetics, PPE, toys, and electrical equipment, for businesses placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland have been published. Also, packaged goods and PPE have been added to the guides for businesses placing goods on the market in Great Britain.

These guides (and further guides as they are produced) can be found at: Gov.uk

The City Council's Trading Standards Service as the weights and measures authority in the city regularly provides advice and guidance to businesses in Newcastle upon Tyne in respect of weights and measures legislation. The Service conducts visits and inspections to businesses to test and verify weighing and measuring equipment used in serving or packing goods.

  • It is illegal to use weighing and measuring equipment in an incorrect or fraudulent way

  • It is illegal to give short weight or measure

  • It is illegal, when determining the quantity of non-prepacked goods, to use any equipment which does not carry a mark of approval

If you have weighing and measuring equipment which the public pay to use, e.g. a weighbridge, it can only be operated by a person holding a certificate of competence issued by a Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures. Records of all such public weighing and measuring must be retained for inspection for not less than two years. These requirements do not apply to person weighing machines. Go to Business Companion for more detailed information. 

Weighbridge Operators Licence

To operate a public weighbridge, you require a Certificate of Competence issued by the Chief Inspector for Weights and Measures for your local authority.

Operators of public weighing equipment have a responsibility to ensure that they can perform their duties competently and honestly. No-one may operate public weighing equipment unless he/she holds a certificate from a Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures. To operate a public weighbridge the operator must have sufficient knowledge for the proper performance of his/her duties including basic numeracy skills.  

Once your completed application is received, the City Council will send an Inspector of Weights and Measures to carry out the verbal test.  We will endeavour to issue a Certificate of Competency for a Public Weighbridge Operator within a period of 28 days, however if we have been unable to determine your application in this time a Certificate will not be automatically granted due to weights and measures and road traffic implications. Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a Public Weighbridge Operators Certificate by a Chief Inspector of Weights may appeal against the refusal to the Secretary of State, who may if he/she thinks fit direct the Chief Inspector to grant the Certificate.

Please complete and submit an application form for a Public Weighbridge Operators Certificate directly to us via email.

Calibration Laboratory and Weight Hire

In general, most types of weighing or measuring equipment must be tested and verified as correct before it can be used for trade purposes, either for the first time when new or after repair. Our joint metrology laboratory which is hosted by Gateshead Council on behalf of the five former Tyne and Wear authorities plus Northumberland County Council and Durham County Council, acts as an Approved Body under the Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments Regulations 2016 and the Measuring Instruments Regulations 2016. The Tyne and Wear Metrology Laboratory's website can be found at legalmetrology.info

Section 70 Reports

From time to time the Secretary of State will publish annual reports on the work of local weights and measures authorities here.


Trading Standards service, Directorate of Operations and Regulatory Services, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH.  Email: tradingstandards@newcastle.gov.uk