Approved Scales - What are they and why should you use them?
Updated: Jun 11, 2019
WHAT IS A TRADE APPROVED SCALE?
A trade approved scale is a scale that has undergone a series of tests performed by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) to ensure that the scales conform to national standards and regulations as set out in the Legal Metrology Act, 2014. All weighing equipment that has gone through the above mentioned approval process and complies to all the relevant standards and requirements will be furnished with an 'SA' number.
Only designated verification laboratories that meet the prescribed criteria, to verify measuring instruments in accordance with the act, may perform initial and subsequent verification's on weighing equipment. Only weighing equipment that has conformed to the verification requirements and tolerances will be issued with a verification certificate that is valid for 24 months from the date of issue.
WHAT IS A 'NON' TRADE APPROVED SCALE AND WHEN TO USE IT?
A non-trade approved scale is a scale that has not undergone any of the above mentioned tests or verifications. These scales are intended to be used for general weighing. Quality checks, verifying internal quantities and internal weighing are some uses for non-approved scales. All weighing equipment not intended to be used for a prescribed purpose need to be marked with a notice 'not to be used for any prescribed purpose'.
WHEN MUST A SCALE BE TRADE APPROVED?
Any weighing equipment that is used during a transaction needs to be type approved by the NRCS and verified by an accredited verification laboratory before it is allowed to be used during the transaction.
- the making, effecting or concluding of any contract, bargain, sale, purchase or transaction or any payment in connection therewith;
-any payment for services rendered;
-any measurement of a legal nature in connection with which any measuring instrument is used.
WHO APPROVES TRADE APPROVED SCALES?
The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) approves these scales.
IS THERE A WAY TO PROVE THAT THE SCALES ARE TRADE APPROVED?
A scale that has been approved by the NRCS will be issued with a SA number. You can visit the NRCS website (www.nrcs.org.za) and obtain a list of approved weighing equipment and a list of approved verification laboratories accredited to perform verification's on trade approved scales.
You can also request a pattern description from your accredited verification laboratory.
WHAT ARE TYPICAL USES FOR TRADE APPROVED SCALES?
- When fruit and vegetables are weighed for the price / kg
- When a business buys or sells goods based on weight (scrap metal business, recycling & waste management, laundry business)
- Food / beverage packaging (where the weight is displayed on the package)
There are many uses for trade approved scales, we have only mentioned a few.