What is a Trade Approved scale?

As an industrial weighing scale manufacturer and supplier, one question that comes up from time to time is ‘what is a Trade Approved scale?’

Many of the industrial and retail scales within the Marsden range are Trade Approved (or Class III Approved, as it's also known). A Trade Approved scale is one that has been tested and approved for legal use in the process of selling goods.

The best way to think of it is: If money is going to change hands as a direct result of the reading on a weighing scale, legally, the weighing scale must be Trade Approved.

However, you may notice that not all weighing scales used in retail are Trade Approved. It is acceptable for non-approved scales to be used to check weigh, say, meat in a butcher shop - as long as the scales aren’t being used front-of-shop as part of the selling process, that is acceptable.

A good example is our stainless steel, IP68 rated B-100 Bench Scale. As you’ll see in the video on the B-100 product page, our Dez is demonstrating how a fishmonger could weigh a lobster, using a non-approved scale, before the lobster is weighed during the selling process.

For a Trade Approved equivalent of the B-100 Bench Scale that can be used front-of-shop, our forthcoming IP68-rated DS-781SS is a good solution - or, if you want to choose a Marsden scale that’s already available, there’s the JPL or the DS-673SS.

The JPL is the low-cost option. It’s Trade Approved and allows pricing to be included - so, you can programme in prices of the items you’re selling, with the scale displaying the price when an item is weighed.

The DS673SS is a premium Trade Approved product - robust and cased in stainless steel, meaning it’s waterproof. With an IP68 rating, it can handle harsh environments and is highly accurate. However, it doesn’t have the pricing feature of the JPL.

So how does a scale become Trade Approved?

The verification of Trade Approved can only be given by a weights and measures inspector or an approved qualifier. As part of the verification process, an appropriate approved body must evaluate the scale in terms of the design and its operation. They have strict guidelines that the scale will need to conform to - this will include everything from accuracy of the reading to whether interference from other devices causes the display to show an incorrect reading.

All the Trade Approved scales that Marsden sell have been through this stringent testing process and have been certified before we’ve been able to legally sell them for Trade Approved applications.

Once tested and verified, the scale will then be issued with a Declaration of Conformity. If you buy a Trade Approved scale, it should come with a Declaration of Conformity as evidence of it having gone through this testing process.

The Trade Approved law is governed in different ways and by different bodies around the world. But in Europe, all countries use Trade Approved scales for the buying and selling of goods, and the testing and verification of scales for retail use falls within the legal metrology 2009/23/EC directive.

If you have any questions about Trade Approved digital weighing scales, get in touch with us here. Or, view our list of Trade Approved scales here.