Legally, Trade Approved scales must be used when weighing in commercial transactions – when the purpose of weighing items is to determine the price.
A failure to use Trade Approved scales for this purpose can result in a fine in excess of £1000, according to Trading Standards.
However there is more to a Trade Approved scale than simply being legal for trade use. This blog post explains why a Trade Approved scale, even when you’re not buying or selling based on weight, will benefit your business.
What is a Trade Approved scale used for?
An industrial Trade Approved scale is a weighing scale that by law must be used for these four applications determined in the NAWI directive:
- Determination of mass for commercial transactions.
- Determination of mass for the calculation of a toll, tariff, tax, bonus, penalty, remuneration, indemnity or similar type of payment.
- Determination of mass for the application of laws or regulations; expert opinion given in court proceedings.
- Determination of price on the basis of mass for the purposes of direct sales to the public and the making-up of pre-packages.
Trade Approved scales undergo far more testing than standard scales
As a result, Trade Approved scales are subject to far more testing than non-approved scales. This is in order to provide highly accurate weight readings; and the intensive testing ensures that two different Trade Approved scales that are weighing the same item, provide the same weight.
Ian Turner from the UK Weighing Federation told Marsden, “Accredited laboratories, known as Notified Bodies, carry out all of the tests that the scale is subject to when undergoing approval. They will all be accredited to the same international standards to ensure that there is a consistency of results.
“Once the design of the scale is approved, and it has been put into production, an approved verifier must then check each one.
“These tests will cover both the accuracy and the repeatability (providing consistently accurate weight readings) of the instruments. All of these detailed checks ensure that both consumers and traders can be assured that the basis of the transaction is fair and just.”
Meeting these standards is a complicated process that Marsden undertakes to ensure the levels of accuracy and reliability are met.
Buying Trade Approved scales gives you flexibility later
Choosing an approved scale gives you the option to use it for another purpose further down the line. It is not uncommon for scales to moved around and be used for things that wasn’t the original intention.
Many of the industries that Marsden supplies to use both non-approved and Trade Approved scales. In breweries, a non-approved scale - like the AGT-C - is used for internal weighing, such as checking kegs are fully filled. However, breweries can also use an Approved scale for selling based on weight, like the HSS Bench Scale with the I-100SS-APP indicator. You can find out more about choosing the right scale for your brewery in brewery buyer's guide.
Using a non-approved scale may cost less, but is it cost effective in the long-run? In some cases, instead of buying two scales, could one Trade Approved scale be a better option?
Marsden Trade Approved scales
For some businesses, like scrap metal dealers, shops and market stalls using Trade Approved scales is essential. Although all types of businesses could be visited by Trading Standards at any time, it is those businesses weighing for trading purposes on a daily basis that could be subject to the most scrutiny when it comes to use the right weighing scales.
Here are just a few options from the Marsden Trade Approved scales range.
HSS with JIK-APP: This Trade Approved scale is perfect for worktop use. It has a choice of capacities up to 150kg, is IP67 stainless steel so can be washed down after use and the JIK indicator can be connected to a printer or PC to improve recordkeeping. We’ve recently sold this model to breweries (for weighing kegs prior to despatch), a fertiliser company (for filling containers prior to selling) and a food factory for packaging weight checks.
Mild Steel Platform with DI-620P-APP: This platform scale is Trade Approved and fitted with a built-in printer for a hard copy of weight readings. With a 3000kg capacity it is commonly used to weigh large, bulky items - particularly palletised goods. We’ve recently sold this model to a waste management company (for accurate weighing of incoming waste, as per regulations) and to a shipping company required to meet SOLAS container weighing regulations.
Weigh Beams with I-100-APP: These Trade Approved weigh beams are capable of weighing goods that are awkward in shape, as the beams are portable and can be situated the desired distance apart. Weight readings are accurate to 200g. It is perfect for use in warehouses and freight depots, and as it is Trade Approved can be used for internal weight checks, or to weigh packaged goods prior to shipping. We’ve recently sold these beam scales to a recycled plastics company for weighing incoming waste plastic, and to a small distillery for weighing outgoing shipments.