Weights and Measures (Metrology) 

At Cheshire East Trading Standards we aim to protect consumers and assist Cheshire-based businesses by carrying out a variety of Weights and Measures (also known as Legal Metrology) activities. We are responsible for the enforcement of the Weights and Measures Act 1985 (as amended) and other associated legislation, and our Weights and Measures Inspectors (Trading Standards Officers) regularly check the measurement of goods for sale by weight or measure, along with the accuracy of associated equipment, being used for trade purposes within our area.

All goods sold by weight or measure in the UK must be sold in metric units (grams and kilograms, centimetres and metres), however imperial units (pounds and ounces, feet and inches) can still be used as supplementary indications as long as the metric unit is indicated more prominently. Milk and beer are an exception to this rule and can still be sold in 1/2,1/3, and pint measures.

When using weighing or measuring equipment for trade purposes the scales, weights and capacity measures etc must be accurate and legally approved (stamped with a crown stamp on a lead plug or an officially approved label).

Weighing and measuring equipment in use for trade has to be within defined tolerance limits of error, and will in most cases be a lot more accurate than the equipment we use in our homes. This could therefore give the impression that consumers are being given short weight or measure goods, if goods are tested at home. Equally some products maybe packed to pre-determined constant quantities under an average weight system, and this allows permitted limits of error against the declared quantity.

If you feel you have a justified complaint in relation to Weights and Measures, please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 4040506 or via the Citizens Advice online complaint form, who will forward it to us so that we can take the appropriate action, if necessary.

What we do

We carry out a planned programme of interventions, such as inspections, at a variety of premises in Cheshire East to check compliance with weights measures legislation.

These include food businesses such as bakers, butchers, grocers, fish mongers, food manufacturers, supermarkets, cafés, restaurants and public houses, local markets, shows and events.  Also a range of non-food businesses such as petrol stations, bulk liquid depots, weigh bridges, and other manufacturers or retailers of goods who declare a statement of quantity on their goods.

Verification, testing and calibration services

Cheshire East Council is able to offer a variety of verification, testing and calibration services for businesses. Our qualified officers can test a range of equipment for you including petrol pumps, scales, weights, length measures, or spirit measures. We are able to provide certification or test reports and our equipment is traceable to national standards.

The current fee for an Inspector of Weights and Measures is £62.00/hour and there is a minimum charge of 1 Hour. This will include the duration of visit, journey time and relevant administration. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Public weighbridges 

Public weighbridges are available for use by businesses or the general public for the weighing of vehicles and objects where determination of a specific weight/load is important, including ensuring that vehicles are not overloaded. They are operated by local businesses and are generally sited at premises such as quarries, feed mills and docks. A fee is often charged for each weighing carried out, which normally ranges from £5 to £10. The capacity is usually 50,000kg x 20kg.

  • Stuart Shentons - Birtles Mill Farm, Chelford Road, Henbury, Macclesfield, SK10 4RS
    Phone 01625 861315
    Monday to Friday 7.30am to 5pm, Saturday 8am to 12 midday
  • FCC Environment - Maw Green Landfill Site, Maw Green Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 5NG
    Phone 01270 587944
    Monday to Friday 8am to 5.15pm
  • Lees Growers Supplies - Chelford Road, Ollerton, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 8TA
    Phone 01565 650437
    Monday to Friday 7.30am to 5pm, Saturday 8.30am to 12 midday

To operate a public weighbridge, as an employee, you will require a certificate of competence issued by The Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures.

Further advice and guidance