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Trading Standards: Weights and Measures

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the timetable is for the next issue of revised guidance to local authority trading standards departments on weights and measures legislation. (258060)

Weights and measures legislation is the responsibility of the Department for Innovation, Universities and skills, acting through its executive agency, the National Weights and Measures Laboratory.

Neither the Department nor NWML publish comprehensive guidance to local authority trading standards departments on weights and measures legislation. Rather, the practice is to publish draft guidance on any new or amended weights and measures legislation in advance of the legislation coming into force to ensure both business and local authority trading standards departments have an opportunity to familiarise themselves with any changes before they take effect. Final guidance is then normally published when the new or amended regulations come into effect.

Most recently, the National Weights and Measures Laboratory has published draft guidance on changes to specified quantities for pre-packages. Those changes are expected to come into effect in April. NWML will also shortly publish revised guidance on non-automatic weighing instruments.

The following list shows the changes to weights and measures legislation which are expected to be made over the next year, and which will be accompanied by corresponding guidance, with an estimate of the likely timescale:

(i) Changes to specified quantities for non pre-packaged alcohol and unwrapped bread in October 2009;

(ii) Changes to the Measuring Instruments (Intoxicating Liquor) Regulations to allow statistical testing of fixed capacity spirit measuring instruments in October 2009;

(iii) Changes to UK legislation to update it as a result of the changes to the Units of Measurement Directive 80/181/EEC as amended, by December 2009.