Weights and measures

Many common consumer goods that are priced and sold by reference to units of measurement (weight, capacity measure, volume, area or length) are regulated by the Weights and Measures Act 1985 and its subordinate legislation. Regulated goods include most groceries (foods and non-foods), and many DIY goods and related products.

Metric and imperial marking

Traders displaying goods for sale have the option of continuing to use imperial units as a supplementary indication of quantity alongside the primary metric indication. In other words the metric unit must be displayed but a supplementary indication in imperial units may also be displayed. The supplementary indication must not be more prominent or larger, than the primary metric indication.

Customers may still ask for goods in imperial units and traders will still be able to serve them, however the amount given will be in an equivalent of metric units.

Some imperial units remain available as the primary system of measurement for certain specific uses as follows:

  • pint for sales of draught beer or cider and for milk sold in returnable containers.
  • mile, yard, foot and inch for road traffic signs and for related distance and speed measurements.
  • foot in aircraft heights and other units used in the field of air and sea transport and rail traffic, which have been laid down in international conventions.
  • nautical mile and knot for sea and air traffic.
  • troy ounce for transactions in precious metals.
  • acre for land registration.

Calibration Laboratory

Our mass laboratory enables precise and accurate calibration of weights, weighing machines and capacity measures. It is equipped with a full range of sophisticated balances of precision and comparators to enable us to calibrate your weights up to the OIML (International Organisation of Legal Metrology) accuracy of M1 [Working Standards] level.

All calibration work is accompanied by a comprehensive Certificate of Calibration, bearing the Fife Council logo, which are fully traceable to National Standards.

Other facilities

  • We are able to offer our customers a calibration service in the fields of capacity measurement, measures of length and for weighing machines. 
  • Our service is open to all customers throughout the UK.


The Hallmarking Act 1973 created a legal requirement for dealers in precious metals to display a notice on their premises. This notice explains the approved hallmarks and is produced by the British Hallmarking Council.

In addition, all articles sold or described as Palladium need to have a statutory hallmark.

Dealers notices are available from The Birmingham Assay Office. Further information can be found online at (takes you to an external website), where a version is also available to download.


Trading Standards
Tel: 01592 583141 Fax: 01592 583318 Contact Trading Standards online
By Post: Kingdom House Kingdom Avenue Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LY

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