A Guide to Average Weight Legislation in the UK

As a business producing pre-packaged goods, ensuring accurate weight is crucial for maintaining customer trust and complying with regulations. The UK’s Average Weight Legislation dictates the rules for products sold by weight, from food items to household essentials. Understanding these guidelines is essential for efficient production and avoiding penalties.

average weight legislation

The Power of Averages: Balancing Efficiency and Compliance

The legislation allows companies to utilise the “average system” for filling packages. This means individual packages may have slight weight variations, but the overall average weight of a batch must meet or exceed the declared weight on the label. This approach offers production flexibility while guaranteeing consumers receive the advertised quantity.

The Three Pillars of Compliance: The Packer’s Rules

Three key rules, known as the Packer’s Rules, govern average weight compliance:

  1. The Average Rule: The total weight of all packages in a batch, divided by the number of packages, must be equal to or greater than the labelled weight.
  2. The Tolerable Negative Error (TNE): A small percentage of packages (usually no more than 2.5%) can fall below the declared weight by a specific amount, the TNE.
  3. No Individual Package Underweight by More Than Twice the TNE: This ensures no single package significantly deviates from the labelled weight.

Choosing the Right Weighing Equipment: Accuracy is Key

Accurate and reliable weighing equipment is vital for adhering to Average Weight Legislation. Here’s what to consider when choosing the right tools:

  • Accuracy Requirements: Select scales with a precision level that meets your product tolerances and TNE allowances.
  • Speed and Throughput: Consider the speed of your production line and choose scales that can keep pace without compromising accuracy.
  • Integration with Filling Systems: Ensure your weighing equipment integrates seamlessly with your existing filling machinery for efficient production flow.
  • Durability and Compliance: Invest in durable scales certified to meet relevant legal requirements.

By implementing the Average Weight Legislation and using appropriate weighing equipment, you can maintain customer trust, optimise production processes, and avoid potential sanctions from Trading Standards.

MWS manufactures a range of high quality, British-made weighing scales used by some of the largest pre-packaged goods companies in the UK. If you are unsure about which weighing solution is best for your average weight requirements, speak to one of our weighing specialists today.

For an in-depth look at the regulations, refer to the UK government’s guidance on Packaged Goods: Weights and Measures Regulations.