Wales Heads of Trading Standards

Improving Trading Standards in Wales

Penaethiaid Safonau Masnach Cymru Yn Gwella Safonau Masnach Yng Nghymru

Weights & measures

The oldest form of consumer protection is the accurate use of weights and measures. Each year checks are carried out, by Trading Standards in Wales, on a wide range of instruments used to weigh and measure goods, everything from weighbridges to jewellers balances. Tests are also carried out on the quantity of goods sold, from coal to beer, from bread to petrol. Due to the high price of petrol, the inspection of petrol pumps is a high priority; the slightest deficiency at the point of delivery can make a big difference to the price when motorists fill up their tanks.

Frequently asked questions

Can I sell my goods in pounds and ounces?

No, the law requires all goods, whether loose or pre-packed, to be sold by metric weights and measures, but the equivalent in the ‘old’ system can be shown as additional information.

Can public houses sell beer with a head of froth?

A reasonable head is permitted in certain circumstances. A head of froth should not be so large that the customer receives less than 95% of liquid when the head has settled

Do some goods have to be sold in fixed quantities?

Yes, many basic foodstuffs such as bread, flour, butter etc, as well as some non food items such as coal, are required to be pre-packed in certain prescribed quantities. This ensures that customers know what they are getting and can make easy comparisons between different traders' products and prices. Retailers and packers can find specific guidance on the Trading Standards Institute website  or can discuss enquiries with their local Trading Standards Service. 

Who do I contact if I want some equipment checked or need to make a complaint?

If you are a consumer wishing to complain about short measure you should contact Consumer Direct Wales on 08454 04 05 06. If you need advice on weights and measures or want to arrange equipment testing you should contact your local Trading Standards Service 


Further useful information and assistance can be obtained from the following organisations:
Trading Standards Business Companion (Business Information)
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills 
Trading Standards Institute website
National Measurement Office
Stanton Avenue
TW11 0JZ
Call: +44 (0)20 8943 7272
Fax: +44(0) 20 8943 7270
Email :
Contact your local Trading Standards Department for Business Advice