Weights and Measures Act 1985

Publication Date:January 01, 1985
 
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Weights and MeasuresAct 1985

1985 CHAPTER 72

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to weights and measures.

[30th October 1985]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Units and Standards of Measurement

Part I

Units and Standards of Measurement

S-1 Units of measurement.

1 Units of measurement.

(1) The yard or the metre shall be the unit of measurement of length and the pound or the kilogram shall be the unit of measurement of mass by reference to which any measurement involving a measurement of length or mass shall be made in the United Kingdom; and—

(a ) the yard shall be 0.9144 metre exactly

(b ) the pound shall be 0.453 592 37 kilogram exactly.

(2) Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect for defining for the purposes of measurements falling to be made in the United Kingdom the units of measurement set out in that Schedule; and for the purposes of any measurement of weight falling to be so made, the weight of any thing may be expressed by reference to the units of measurement set out in Part V of that Schedule, in the same terms as its mass.

(3) Subject to subsection (4) below, the Secretary of State may by order amend Schedule 1 to this Act by adding to or removing from Parts I to VI of that Schedule any unit of measurement of length, of area, of volume, of capacity, or of mass or weight, as the case may be.

(4) An order under subsection (3) above shall not remove—

(a ) from Part I of Schedule 1, the mile, foot or inch, or

(b ) from Part IV of that Schedule, the gallon or pint

but this subsection is without prejudice to section 8(6)(b ) below.

(5) An order under subsection (3) above may contain such transitional or other supplemental or incidental provisions as appear to the Secretary of State expedient.

S-2 United Kingdom primary standards and authorised copies of the primary standards.

2 United Kingdom primary standards and authorised copies of the primary standards.

(1) The Secretary of State shall cause to be maintained standards of the yard, pound, metre and kilogram which shall be the standards (in this Act referred to as ‘United Kingdom primary standards’) by reference to which, in the United Kingdom, all other standards of those units and of any other unit of measurement derived wholly or partly from any of those units shall be maintained.

(2) The Secretary of State shall from time to time as may appear to him expedient cause—

(a ) the value of each of the United Kingdom primary standards to be determined or redetermined, and

(b ) any authorised copy of any of those standards to be compared with, and its value determined or redetermined by reference to, that standard

in such manner as he may direct.

(3) The United Kingdom primary standards shall be—

(a ) in the case of the yard, the bar described in Part I of Schedule 2 to this Act

(b ) in the case of the pound, the cylinder described in Part II of that Schedule;

(c ) in the case of the metre, the bar described in Part III of that Schedule;

(d ) in the case of the kilogram, the cylinder described in Part IV of that Schedule.

(4) The copies of the United Kingdom primary standards of the yard and pound which are described in Part V of Schedule 2 to this Act and deposited as mentioned in that Part shall for the purposes of this Act be authorised copies of those standards.

S-3 Department of Trade and Industry secondary, tertiary and coinage standards.

3 Department of Trade and Industry secondary, tertiary and coinage standards.

(1) The Secretary of State shall maintain secondary, tertiary and coinage standards in accordance with the provisions of this section, which shall be known collectively as the Department of Trade and Industry standards.

(2) The secondary standards shall consist of standards of all the measures set out in Parts I and IV and all the weights set out in Part V or Schedule 3 to this Act other than capacity measures of more than one gallon or ten litres; and any such standard shall be constructed and, while it remains in use, from time to time at intervals not exceeding five years have its value or values redetermined, by reference to such one or more of the United Kingdom primary standards or any authorised copies of those standards as may appear to the Secretary of State to be appropriate.

(3) The tertiary standards shall consist of such standards of such of the measures or weights set out in Parts I, IV and V of Schedule 3 to this Act as may from time to time appear to the Secretary of State to be necessary or expedient; and any such standard shall be constructed and, while it remains in use, from time to time at intervals not exceeding two years have its value or values redetermined, by reference to such one or more of the secondary standards as may appear to the Secretary of State to be appropriate.

(4) The coinage standards shall consist of such standards of the weight of each coin of the realm for the time being authorised by or under the enactments relating to the coinage as may from time to time appear to the Secretary of State to be necessary or expedient; and any such standard shall be constructed and, while it remains in use, from time to time at intervals not exceeding two years have its value redetermined, by reference to such one or more of the secondary standards as may appear to the Secretary of State to be appropriate.

(5) Department of Trade and Industry standards shall be provided or replaced by the Secretary of State from time to time as may appear to him necessary or expedient and shall be in such form and of such material, and be kept under his control at such place or places, as he may think fit.

(6) A secondary or tertiary standard of any linear or capacity measure may—

(a ) be provided either as a separate standard or by means of divisions marked on a standard of a larger measure, and

(b ) either be marked in whole or in part with subdivisions representing any smaller unit of measurement or multiples or fractions of such a unit or have no such markings,

as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

S-4 Local standards.

4 Local standards.

(1) There shall be maintained by each local weights and measures authority such standards (in this Act referred to as ‘local standards’) of such of the measures and weights set out in Schedule 3 to this Act as the Secretary of State may from time to time approve or require in the case of that authority as being proper and sufficient for the purposes of this Act.

(2) Local standards—

(a ) shall be provided and replaced by the local weights and measures authority from time to time as may appear to the authority to be necessary or expedient or as the Secretary of State may require

(b ) shall be of material and form approved by the Secretary of State,

(c ) shall be kept in such manner and under such conditions as the Secretary of State may direct at premises provided by the authority, and

(d ) shall not be used elsewhere than at those premises or at other premises which appear to the authority to be appropriate.

(3) A local standard of any linear or capacity measure—

(a ) shall be provided either as a separate standard or by means of divisions marked on a standard of a larger measure, and

(b ) shall either be marked in whole or in part with sub-divisions representing any smaller unit of measurement or multiples or fractions of such a unit or have no such markings,

as the Secretary of State may from time to time direct.

(4) No article shall be used as a local standard unless there is for the time being in force a certificate of its fitness for the purpose issued by the Secretary of State.

(5) The Secretary of State shall cause any article submitted to him for certification under this section to be compared with such one or more of the tertiary standards as may appear to him to be appropriate and, if it falls within the prescribed limits of error and satisfies any other requirements of the Secretary of State, shall issue a certificate of its fitness for use as a local standard which, if the authority so request, shall include a statement of the amount of any error in it.

(6) Subject to paragraph 9 of Schedule 11 to this Act, a certificate issued under subsection (5) above shall cease to be in force at the end of the prescribed period.

(7) The Secretary of State shall keep a record of all certificates issued under subsection (5) above.

(8) Any comparison of an article with the tertiary standards in pursuance of subsection (5) above shall be carried out—

(a ) if the article is not for the time being a local standard, at such place as the Secretary of State may direct; or

(b ) if the article is for the time being a local standard, at the premises where it is kept or at other premises approved in that behalf by the Secretary of State.

(9) The Secretary of State may charge on any occasion on which an article is submitted to him for certification under this section such fee as he may from time to time with the approval of the Treasury determine.

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