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BWMA Guide to the Trading Standards Metrication Concordat


Click on image to download copy of BWMA Guide in Word
Introduction

In 2004, Trading Standards Officers were issued with a newly updated "Metrication Concordat Advice & Enforcement Pack". This pack is designed to assist Trading Standard Officers in their enforcement of metric measures, and is issued by LACORS, the national co-ordinating body for Trading Standards Officers.

While the LACORS Metrication Concordat is to be welcomed for clarifying enforcement procedures, BWMA is concerned that some of the information offered is mistaken and even mischievous. We are further concerned that Trading Standard Officers will clamp-down without traders having any knowledge of the Metrication Concordat, or the obligations it imposes on Trading Standard Officers.

To help traders, BWMA has produced an 8-page Guide on the Metrication Concordat. This explains the Concordat in layman's terms, describes the powers of Trading Standard Officers and offers guidance and advice on the application of metric law.

What are the key points in BWMA's Guide to the LACORS Metrication Concordat?

i The BWMA Guide reproduces the LACORS Metrication Concordat in full, with comments and analysis on a point-by-point basis
ii While the Metrication Concordat states that Local Authorities must ensure that "action is taken over high profile traders who refuse as a point of principle to comply", it adds Local Authorities "…enjoy discretion whether or not to prosecute in an individual case"
iii LACORS appears to be unaware of the legal uncertainty surrounding the metric regulations, and suggests that metric law is now certain. The BWMA Guide explains why there are still legal doubts regarding the metric regulations.
iv The Metrication Concordat seeks to justify enforcement of metric by linking the use of pounds and ounces to "crime" and "deception".
v LACORS does not endorse the claims of some Trading Standards Authorities that dual "switchable" lb/oz-metric machines are no longer legal; it confirms that such machines are lawful, and may be supplied to traders.
vi The Concordat provides "specimen" metric offences to guide Trading Standards Officers in their understanding of metric law
vii The BWMA Guide explains the support that can be offered to local traders facing enforcement action for using British units. For example, we can attend meetings that Trading Standards Officers request with traders, and make complaints to the Ombudsman about breaches in procedure
viii The BWMA Guide includes information on the powers of enforcement officials, for instance, their powers to test equipment, and the time limits on enforcement action

Download a copy of the BWMA Guide in the form of a Word document by clicking the above image or by clicking here.

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