ARCHIVED—Grain and Field Crop Trade Sector Review Trade Sector Review — Discussion Paper
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Table of Contents
- A Message from the President
- 1.0 Introduction
- 2.0 Scope
- 3.0 Summary of Proposals
- 4.0 Methodology
- 5.0 Industry Overview
- 6.0 Details of Proposals
- 7.0 Criteria for Final Decisions
- Appendix I – TSR Team Contacts
- Appendix II – Current Measurement Canada Services
- Appendix III – Comparison of the Accreditation and the Registration Programs for Scale (Device) Inspections Pursuant to the Weights and Measures Act
- Appendix IV – Other Countries’ Measurement Services
- Appendix V – Grain and Field Crop Sector Compliance Reports for the Period 2002-2007
- Appendix VI – Glossary of Terms
All documents published by the review team are intended to generate discussion. All efforts are made to ensure that no “errors in fact” are published in this discussion paper. In the case that this has inadvertently happened, any such error will be corrected in an updated version of this document which will be posted/published on Measurement Canada’s Web site. No formal redistribution of this document will occur solely for this reason.
In order to best accomplish our mission of ensuring equitable and accurate measurement of goods and services, Measurement Canada is conducting trade sector reviews. Through these reviews, Measurement Canada hopes to identify trade sectors where direct intervention is necessary to ensure the accurate measurement of goods and services and other sectors where less intervention is possible with reasonable risk to the parties involved in the measurement transaction. This will allow us to focus our resources on those areas which provide the greatest return for Canadians.
Client, business and consumer views, opinions and perspectives will be used to determine the level of intervention in any particular trade sector. Levels of intervention may range from direct inspection through organizations recognized by Measurement Canada to industry self regulation. Measurement Canada will maintain oversight of measurement accuracy and equity through regular monitoring of the sectors to ensure the intervention levels are appropriate and operating effectively.
The Grain and Field Crop Sector Review Team has been created to establish, in consultation with clients, business and consumers, the appropriate level of intervention for this sector and to explore possible alternative service delivery mechanisms. Grain and Field Crop marketplace participants are invited to inform themselves of the issues in this discussion paper.
As a participant in the Grain and Field Crop Trade Sector, you are encouraged to actively participate in these consultations. This is your opportunity to have your views heard and to influence the manner in which the accurate measurement of goods and services is achieved in your sector.
Alan E. Johnston
President, Measurement Canada
In trade sectors such as the Grain and Field Crop sector, where Measurement Canada is actively involved, its mission is currently accomplished through several key programs, described in detail in Appendix II.
Historically, these programs have been implemented exclusively by Measurement Canada in an attempt to establish and maintain fairness and measurement accuracy. However, with device numbers increasing, measurement technology constantly evolving and resource levels decreasing, Measurement Canada is increasingly challenged to fulfill its stated mission in these trade sectors.
Consequently, Measurement Canada has established a strategic direction that is designed to optimize the use of its resources in fulfilling its mission and to be responsive to the needs of the stakeholders in all trade sectors.
As part of its strategic direction, Measurement Canada will continue to:
- Establish rules and requirements for trade measurement;
- Investigate measurement complaints;
- Monitor the marketplace; and
- Where necessary, take action to ensure appropriate levels of compliance.
Measurement Canada will also assess the use of alternative means such as accreditation or registration, etc., to perform measurement services determined to be necessary to the sector. The services for which alternative delivery is sought include:
- Calibration of measurement standards;
- Device approvals;
- Initial inspection and certification of devices;
- Subsequent inspection or periodic certification of devices.
The primary purpose of the Grain and Field Crop Trade Sector Review (GFCTSR) is to determine, based on stakeholders’ informed views, the needed level of involvement by Measurement Canada to ensure fairness and accuracy in trade measurement. This will be an opportunity for stakeholders, especially vulnerable parties, (i.e., individuals, organizations or businesses that purchase or sell goods or services based on measurement, but do not control the measuring device) to express their views and to provide input into the final recommendations.
This report explains the Grain and Field Crop Trade Sector Review project, summarizes the initial comments obtained to date from clients on this project and proposes a level of involvement for Measurement Canada in the sector. It will serve as a platform for further discussion during the multi-stakeholder consensus meetings which are expected to take place in February 2008.
The recommendations from previous sector reviews can be found on Measurement Canada’s Web site.
The Grain and Field Crop Trade Sector Review included the activities associated with quantity measurement for the sale or purchase of products or services by the following establishments and their trading partners:
- Field crop farms
Producers of cereal grains, oil seeds, grain corn, wheat, forage, seed, hay, dry field peas and beans.
- Grain elevators
Operators of country or terminal elevators used for the storage of grains.
- Grains Wholesale
Wholesale dealers of grain.
Manufacturers of balanced feeds and pre-mixes;
Establishments involved in the custom grinding of grains;
Wholesale dealers of hay, processed feeds and grain used as fodder.
Wholesale dealers of field crop seeds;
The review also included the following devices used for commercial measurement and grading of grain and field crop:
- Platform scales, dockage scales;
- Hopper scales, bulkweighing systems, bagging or packaging scales;
- Truck scales, railway track scales;
- Moisture testers and protein analyzers.
The review did not deal with devices that are not used in trade, nor with marketing, safety, environment or any other non trade measurement issues.
The stakeholders in the sector include:
- Grain and field crop producers;
- Grain elevator operators;
- Feed and seed processors;
- Wholesale dealers and bulk consumers of grains, seeds and feed products;
- Any person or company who is paid or pays, based on measurement, for products or services in the grain and field crop sector;
- Associations representing groups of stakeholders;
- Applicable federal and provincial government departments or organizations;
- Scale manufacturers and service and repair companies including organizations accredited or registered to perform inspections on Measurement Canada’s behalf.
Over the past several months, the trade sector review team has contacted various stakeholders and associations in the Grain and Field Crop industry to inform them about Measurement Canada and its measurement programs. The team also introduced stakeholders to the trade sector review and obtained their views on the state of the industry and its measurement needs.
Stakeholders have indicated that Measurement Canada should remain involved in the Grain and Field Crop industry and maintain the programs that have been used to maintain measurement accuracy and fairness. The stakeholders support the use of alternative service delivery, such as the accreditation and registration programs, as long as there is no excessive cost to the industry.
The following is a brief summary of the key proposals obtained from this feedback. More details are available in this document under the Details of Proposals section. These proposals will be discussed further and finalized during the multi-stakeholder consensus meetings in February 2008. Stakeholders are encouraged to continue to send any measurement related comments or concerns to the review team before February 28, 2008 so that they may be considered for inclusion in the final recommendations.
- All scales used for trade measurement must be approved;
- Moisture testers, protein analyzers and scales used for packaging (bagging) standard sized packages (bags) should continue to be exempted from approval;
- The industry should develop guidelines or best practices with Measurement Canada’s assistance, if needed to ensure that the moisture testers and protein analyzers used for grading are consistently calibrated and measuring at an acceptable level of accuracy;
- Measurement Canada should harmonize its approval requirements with international standards such as the International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML) recommendations (see Appendix IV for a description of OIML);
- Measurement Canada should accept other countries’ approvals provided that Measurement Canada sets the conditions under which these approvals would be accepted.
- All scales which are to be used in trade must be initially inspected before use;
- Moisture testers, protein analyzers and scales used exclusively for packaging (bagging) standard sized packages (bagging) should continue to be exempt from the requirement for initial inspection;
- Initial inspections should be provided by either accredited or registered companies.
- All scales which are to be used should be inspected and certified every two years;
- Measurement Canada should establish conditions under which scales used in trade will be exempt from this requirement. Such exemptions could include scales which are part of a quality management system and/or which are calibrated with certified test standards by a recognized company at least once per year;
- Inspections should be provided by either accredited or registered companies;
- Measurement Canada implement a Voluntary Periodic Certification Program in this sector, until the legislation can be changed to make periodic inspections mandatory;
- Measurement Canada should review the procedure used for subsequent inspection of bulk weighers in order to ensure that the inspections are practical, and not too onerous, costly or time consuming.
- All test weights (standards) carried by Measurement Canada inspectors and authorized service providers, which are used for inspections should be certified every year according to the schedule in the Weights and Measures Regulations;
- The five-year certification period for test weights, kept in the same location and used exclusively for inspection of bulk weighers, should be reviewed by Measurement Canada to determine if a longer certification period is appropriate;
- Test weights (standards) should be certified either by Measurement Canada or by an outside laboratory that meets Measurement Canada’s alternative service delivery requirements.
- Measurement Canada should continue, where necessary, to conduct random net quantity inspections of seeds and feed products packaged for bulk or wholesale use;
- Measurement Canada should explore the feasibility of using self verification of net quantity for companies that already have a quality assurance or quality management system in place.
- For measurement complaints related to trade measurement, i.e., to Weights and Measures legislation and which cannot be settled between the trade participants (buyer and seller). Measurement Canada should:
- Conduct an investigation and if necessary, perform inspections;
- Make the results of the investigation and inspections available to the participants who would use the results to settle the dispute themselves;
- Use fines along with other forms of enforcement if the investigations and the inspections indicate that the requirements of the Weights and Measures Act are not met.
- Measurement Canada should monitor the sector by using the following criteria:
- Compliance rate of scales (devices) and commodities;
- Number of complaints received;
- Stakeholder feedback/input;
- Measurement Canada should review the tolerances used for inspections to determine if they are at an appropriate level to achieve the 90% level of compliance desired by stakeholders.
- Measurement Canada should review the tolerances used for inspections to determine if they are at an appropriate level to achieve the 90% level of compliance desired by stakeholders.
- Measurement Canada may conduct future reviews in this industry if any of the following conditions occur:
- There is a significant reduction in scale (device) and (net quantity) commodities compliance rate;
- Measurement Canada’s monitoring program indicates measurement problems;
- Stakeholders indicate there is a lack of confidence in measurement accuracy and fairness;
- Major changes in the industry that can have an impact on measurement accuracy.
Since May 2007, the Grain and Field Crop sector review (GFCSR) team has contacted a large number of industry stakeholders across the country to familiarize them with Measurement Canada’s programs and the trade sector review process. Stakeholders were contacted through:
- One-on-one meetings;
- Stakeholder information sessions;
- Presentations at industry conferences and policy forums;
- Telephone calls;
- Posting information on Measurement Canada’s Web site;
- Posting information in industry newsletters; and
- Hard copy mail outs.
The GFCSR team has been investigating the current trade measurement practices in this trade sector as well as actively soliciting views and comments from the stakeholders regarding the measurement programs they would like to see in the industry and how these programs could be best provided. The information obtained from these meetings and stakeholder responses form the basis of this discussion paper and will be used to identify the future role of Measurement Canada within the industry.
In February 2008, two multi-stakeholder consultation meetings will be held across the country. These meetings will be used to reach a consensus among the stakeholders on the proposals in this discussion paper. Recommendations from these meetings will be presented to Measurement Canada’s Senior Management for review and acceptance.
Stakeholders are encouraged to continue to send any measurement related comments or concerns to the review team before February 28, 2008 so that they may be considered for inclusion in the final recommendations.
It is important that the review team obtain adequate representation from all stakeholders in the industry. Especially important, is adequate representation from the vulnerable parties.
Figure 1 – Trade Sector Review Flow Chart
The Canadian Grain and Field Crop sector is one of the largest sectors of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food economy and is made up of three major sub-sectors.
5.1.1 Grains and Oil Seeds Sub-sector
Canada produces a wide variety of grains and oilseeds, which are used in breads, pasta, breakfast cereals, cooking oils and other food products. In addition, innovative technology has created new products and markets, such as ethanol and biofuels, for many grain and oilseed by-products. The main grain export crops produced in Canada are wheat, barley and oats. Corn and rye are also produced, but mostly for domestic consumption. In 2004-2005, grain and oilseed production was at 63.6 million tonnes.
In 2004-2005, Canada produced 25.9 million tonnes of wheat and 13.2 million tonnes of barley. Wheat exports totalled 14.5 million tonnes valued at $3.0 billion, while barley exports totalled 1.2 million tonnes valued at $227 million consisting mostly of malting barley. The main export destinations for Canadian wheat and barley are China, U.S. and Japan.
The main Canadian oilseed export crops are canola, soybean and flaxseed. Canada has a large oilseed processing industry and exports not only the oilseeds but also the vegetable oils and feed meals resulting from their crush. In 2004-2005, Canada produced 7.7 million tonnes of soybeans and 500 000 tonnes of flax with the main export destinations for these products being Japan and Mexico for canola, Japan and Iran for soybean, and Belgium and the U.S. for flax. During this same period, the Canadian oilseed processing industry exported 900 000 tonnes of canola oil worldwide, with 500 000 tonnes going to the U.S. Canada also exported 1.4 million tonnes of canola meal mostly to the North West United States where it is used mainly for dairy production.
5.1.2 Seed Sub-sector
The Canadian seed industry generates $750 million in combined domestic and export sales every year. According to the Canadian Seed Trade Association, nearly three quarters of the seeds produced in Canada is used for domestic purposes. Canada currently exports seed to more than 100 countries and territories including the United States, many European countries (notably Belgium, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands), Japan and China. In 2005, seed export volumes reached 358.9 thousand tonnes, valued at $252.7 million.
Canadian seed producers and companies produce and market both “certified” and “common” seeds to meet the diverse needs of growers and buyers. Certified seeds are verified for their genetic identity and purity by an external field inspector and are used by farmers who want additional assurance on seed quality, varietal purity and performance.
Each year, 1.2 million acres of certified field crops are produced in Canada. Common seeds are mainly found in forage crops. About one third of the forage seed production is sold as common seed, mainly in the U.S. and Canada.
5.1.3 Feed and Forage Sub-sector
The feed industry in Canada, with total sales representing more than $3.5 billion, is concentrated in the Prairies, Ontario and Quebec, with the majority of forage processing being done in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
The Animal Nutrition Association of Canada estimated that in 2005, there were approximately 9 000 people employed in the feed industry and that the total estimated commercial production of complete feeds, supplements and premixes in Canada was 15 million tonnes. There were approximately 450 commercial feed manufacturing establishments, producing approximately 50 percent of the overall complete feed volume in Canada. The remainder was manufactured by non-commercial on-farm mixing establishments.
Forages, which are any plants consumed by livestock, include pasture and browse plants, baled hay, silage, alfalfa pellets and cubes, immature cereals as well as grain residues, are the basis of Canada’s livestock industry. In 2005, Canadian farm cash receipts for forage and turf seed totalled $68.9 million, while receipts for hay totalled $140 million.
5.2.1 Scales used for bulk measurement, dockage and grading
These automatic weighing systems are located at primary, process, transfer and terminal grain elevators. They are used to receive grain from growers/farmers and to load trucks and rail cars at primary elevators and to receive grain, and load railcars and boats at transfer and terminal elevators. These scales are “legal for use in trade”, are approved by Measurement Canada and usually inspected and certified by either Measurement Canada inspectors, authorized service providers or the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). Certification of the bulkweighers at primary grain elevators includes product tests as well as a test of the system interlocks.
Most elevators have quality management systems in place and the scales are serviced and calibrated at least once per year by scale service/repair companies. The scales are also “checked” by comparing the loads weighed on the scales with other scales. These tests typically do not include any product test or test of the system interlocks.
The CGC requires that scales at transfer and terminal elevators are certified every three months.
- Truck scales/Railway Track Scales/Platform scales/Hopper Scales
These scales, located in grain elevators, farms, seed plants and feed plants are “legal for use in trade” and are therefore approved and initially inspected by Measurement Canada or accredited organizations. The weights from these scales are used to determine payment for grains, seeds, feeds as well as for determining storage, cleaning and transportation costs. Subsequent inspections of these scales are usually done randomly at Measurement Canada’s discretion or by a Measurement Canada accredited company at the request of the device owner.
The scales have no mandatory calibration periods and are usually calibrated by service/repair companies at the discretion of each scale owner, usually depending on the volume of products weighed throughout the year.
- Dockage Scales
These are low capacity platform scales located in grain elevators and seed plants and some feed plants. They are used to determine the “dockage” or the unusable portion in a sample of grain or seeds. They are “legal for use in trade” and are therefore approved and initially inspected by Measurement Canada or accredited organizations.
Subsequent inspections are usually done randomly at Measurement Canada’s discretion or by a Measurement Canada accredited company at the request of the device owner.
The scales have no mandatory calibration periods and are usually calibrated by service/repair companies at the discretion of each scale owner.
- Packaging (bagging) scales (“Standard” sized packages)
These scales are used exclusively to measure the quantity of each standard sized package (i.e., 20 kg, 25 kg or 40kg bags and 500 kg or 1000 kg tote bags). These packaging scales are exempt from the requirement for approval and initial inspection and are usually not inspected and certified by Measurement Canada or authorized service providers.
A large number of these scales are located in feed plants that are part of the Feed Assure Program or HACCP program and in “certified” seed plants and therefore have quality systems in place. These programs are administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). As a requirement of the quality systems, the packaging scales in these plants are required to be calibrated and monitored on a regular basis; this is usually done by scale service companies, on average every six months or once per year. In addition, the scales’ accuracy is monitored by the plant.
Although not required by the Weights and Measures Act, many plants have chosen to use packaging scales that are “legal for use in trade”. This gives them the option of having the scales inspected and having a visible inspection sticker on the scale.
5.2.2 Moisture Testers and Protein Analyzers
These devices, located at grain elevators and seed plants are used to determine the moisture content and protein content of a sample of grain or seed. Only the moisture testers and protein analyzers in the grain elevators are used for grading and are usually checked for accuracy with a reference sample of known moisture or protein content furnished by the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). The reference samples are made up at the CGC labs using procedures based on international standards. Moisture testers located at seed or feed plants are used to check the moisture levels to ensure that they meet operational requirements.
The moisture testers and protein analyzers located at the terminal and transfer elevators are usually calibrated and checked for accuracy on a regular basis by the CGC and those located at primary elevators are checked for accuracy on a regular basis against the CGC reference standard by the major grain companies. The CGC has developed standard procedures for use and calibration of the moisture testers and protein analyzers.
Farmers and growers who are not satisfied with the grading of their grain or seed samples are able to use the CGC’s dispute resolution process called “Subject to Inspector’s Grade and Dockage” where the sample is sent to the CGC lab for retesting. If they are still not satisfied with the grade then they can file an appeal which is heard by an independent tribunal.
5.2.3 Net Quantity (Commodities)/Pre-packaged Products
These products are all standard sized packages, typically 25 kg or 40 kg bags, 20 kg or 25 kg mineral blocks and 500 kg or 1000 kg tote bags. The net quantity of these packages falls under the Weights and Measures Act and are therefore checked on a random basis by Measurement Canada inspectors.
Feed plants that are part of the HACCP program and certified seed plants are required to establish and maintain a quality management system. These plants which make up the major part of the feed and seed sector are audited annually to ensure they meet the requirements of the HACCP program or to maintain their “certified” status.
The Animal Nutrition Association of Canada estimates that at least 70% of the commercial feed produced in Canada are done at plants that are part of the HACCP program.
The vast majority of stakeholders indicate that they are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the level of measurement accuracy and fairness in the industry. Measurement disputes do not occur very often, but when they do they are usually settled between the trade participants.
Some of the stakeholders were not familiar with the CGC’s “Subject to Inspector’s Grade and Dockage” dispute mechanism and had no means to determine if the moisture testers and protein analyzers were accurate other than by comparison with readings from other testers and analyzers in other establishments. Some were concerned that there was a difference in the grade of a sample of grain from one location to another.
5.2.5 Inspection versus Calibration or "Check"
During meetings with stakeholders there was some confusion with the use of the terms “calibration”, “check” and “inspection”. Several stakeholders also mentioned that their scales were inspected every six months or every year by an accredited company or by their own personnel. Others mentioned that they checked their scales regularly.
For the purposes of this review:
In-depth examination of a scale, using Measurement Canada accepted procedures, by either a Measurement Canada inspector or by an authorized service provider (accredited or registered company), to verify that it meets all the requirements of the Weights and Measures Act and Regulations. During this examination, the following are checked:
- The scale’s accuracy is checked with certified test weights, using prescribed limits of error (tolerances) over the working range of the scale;
- Product test where necessary and practical;
- The required markings;
- The scale settings that can affect accuracy (i.e. zero, tare, installation , etc.); and
- The accurate functioning of attached equipment such as printers, electronic read outs (indicators), or computers.
If the scale passes the inspection, the scale is sealed to prevent tampering (electronic scales), an inspection sticker is affixed to the scale and an inspection certificate is issued. Examples of stickers and seals that are used after a scale passes an inspection are shown in Figure 2.
Stakeholders sometimes refer to "calibration" as a test and adjustment (if necessary) of the accuracy of the scale, and can be done with any amount of certified or non-certified test weights. Measurement Canada inspectors are not authorized to calibrate scales. A calibration can be done by any service/repair company or any employee as long as Measurement Canada is notified if the seals are broken during the calibration of the scale.
There is no standard test procedure.
- Scale check
Ususually done by many scale owners to identify possible measurement problems. The weight of a load is compared between different scales or a load of “roughly known” weight is weighed on different sections of the scale and compared with previous readings. This may help to identify some major weighing problems but is not a reliable indicator of the scale’s accuracy.
Certification Stickers applied to an inspected device meeting all the requirements of the Weights and Measures Legislation.
The vast majority of stakeholders felt that Measurement Canada should remain involved in the grain and field crop industry and maintain the programs that have been used to maintain measurement accuracy and fairness. The stakeholders support the use of alternative service delivery, such as the accreditation and registration programs, as long as there is no excessive cost to the industry. Appendix III outlines the basic requirements as well as the methods of monitoring used by Measurement Canada for the accreditation and registration programs.
This section describes some of the issues related to the different topics, the proposals that were derived from stakeholder feedback, some considerations either supporting or opposing the proposals and a summary of the different positions taken by stakeholders.
The term approval is used to define a formal process where a scale (device) is evaluated for compliance with legislated requirements to ensure that they are capable of measuring accurately under normal conditions of use and throughout their service lifetime. Usually, this process must be undertaken before a device can be used in trade. This process may also be referred to as “type approval” or “pattern approval”.
Measurement Canada currently conducts approvals testing and issuing of type approvals. However for a few scale types, Measurement Canada has signed a mutual recognition arrangement with the U.S. for the recognition of type approval evaluations done in the U.S.
Along with most of the industrialized countries, Canada is a member of the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML), an organization created to promote the global harmonization of legal metrology standards. Measurement Canada participates on some of OIML’s technical committees to develop international requirements for measuring devices.
In September 2006, Measurement Canada entered into a Mutual Acceptance Arrangement with member countries of the OIML for recognition of test results in the approval of non-automatic weighing devices and related modules. Mutual Acceptance Arrangements allow for participating countries to utilize test reports from other countries in their own approval process.
- Do scales, used in trade in Canada, need to be a type/model that is approved?
- Should packaging scales, used exclusively to package standard sized packages, continue to be exempt from approval? Should moisture testers and protein analyzers be approved or should they be exempted?
- Should Measurement Canada harmonize its approval requirements with international standards (e.g. OIML Recommendations)? What will be the benefits?
- Should Measurement Canada accept device type approvals from other countries? Under what conditions? What will be the benefits?
1.01 All scales used for trade measurement must be approved.
1.02 Moisture testers, protein analyzers and scales used for packaging (bagging) standard sized packages (bags) should continue to be exempted from Measurement Canada approval.
1.03 The industry should develop guidelines or “best practices”, with Measurement Canada’s assistance if needed, for calibration and testing of moisture meters and protein analyzers to ensure that all moisture testers and protein analyzers used for grading are consistently calibrated and measuring at an acceptable level of accuracy.
1.04 Measurement Canada should harmonize its approval requirements with international standards such as the International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML) recommendations (see Appendix IV for a description of OIML).
1.05 Measurement Canada should accept other countries’ approvals provided that Measurement Canada sets the conditions under which these approvals would be accepted.
- No mandatory device approvals required. Device manufacturers can provide evidence of required testing then Measurement Canada can use the initial inspection as a means of ensuring that the device meets the requirements of the Weights and Measures Act, Regulations and Specifications;
- Maintain the mandatory approval requirements but only accept Canadian approval.
- Type approval ensures scales of certain types are capable of measuring accurately throughout their service life and under varying conditions;
- Initial inspections only ensures that the scale measures accurately under the particular conditions and location at the time of testing;
- Measurement Canada has adopted a policy outlining conditions under which the OIML recommendations will be adopted in Canada;
- There are several benefits to the Mutual Acceptance Arrangement program, for instance, they allow OIML member countries to rely on the facilities and competencies of other member countries for test results, thus reducing barriers to trade and competitiveness. The Mutual Acceptance Arrangement works to reduce duplication in testing and allows for a quicker turnaround on measuring device approvals;
- Many of the scales used in the industry are manufactured in other countries such as the U.S., Germany, Japan, etc. Even though they are approved in these countries, they currently still have to go through the approval testing in Canada before they can be used in trade;
- Harmonizing approval requirements and accepting other countries’ approvals may reduce the amount of control that Measurement Canada has on type approval evaluation.
- Most stakeholders would like to maintain the mandatory approval requirement and support the idea of harmonizing the approval requirements so that they are in line with international standards;
- Some stakeholders believe that approvals are not necessary and that the initial inspection should be used to determine if the device meets specifications in the user environment and performs the selected application correctly. They feel that initial inspection is preferable method of performance confirmation.;
- The majority of stakeholders would accept other countries’ approvals providing the approvals meet Measurement Canada requirements. These requirements should account for the environmental conditions in Canada;
- There were a few stakeholders who felt that Measurement Canada should maintain its own approval requirements and furthermore should only accept Canadian approvals.
An initial inspection is the first inspection or certification of each scale (device) before it may be placed into trade service. This inspection is currently mandatory and ensures that the device is approved, is installed correctly and is measuring accurately within the limits of error (tolerance) set out in the Weights and Measures legislation.
- Should all devices be initially inspected prior to use in trade?
- Should the scales used for packaging standard sized packages have to be initially inspected? Should moisture testers and protein analyzers be required to be initially inspected or should they be exempted?
- If initial inspections are required for scales, how should this service be provided?:
- Both accreditation and registration (see Appendix III for comparison)?
- Other methods?
2.01 All scales which are to be used in trade must be initially inspected before use.
2.02 Moisture testers, protein analyzers and scales used exclusively for packaging (bagging) standard sized packages (bags) should continue to be exempt from the requirement for initial inspection.
2.03 Initial inspections should be provided by either accredited or registered companies.
- No initial inspections. The manufacturer or installer should be responsible to ensure that the scale is installed properly and is measuring accurately.
- Initial inspections ensure that the scales are the same as the model that was approved, the installation is correct and the scale meets the requirements of the Weights and Measures legislation;
- Measurement Canada believes that, because of the way packaging (bagging) scales are used, inspection of the packaged product would have a more significant impact on the accuracy of the net contents of the packages than inspection of the scales;
- Accredited or registered companies are able to install, calibrate, inspect and certify the scales. The companies must qualify for these programs and their recognized technicians are monitored on an ongoing basis by Measurement Canada. They are therefore able to reduce the amount of time and costs needed for initial inspections (see Appendix III for the qualification requirements and the monitoring for the accreditation and registration programs).
- The vast majority of stakeholders feel that mandatory initial inspections are needed to ensure accuracy in the industry. There are a few who feel that the owner of the scale should be responsible to maintain the accuracy of the scale and that initial inspections are not needed.
Subsequent inspections are performed on a scale (device) after it has been initially inspected and used in trade. These inspections ensure that the scale (device) continues to measure accurately within the applicable limits of error (tolerance).
- Are mandatory periodic inspections and certifications required?
- If yes, what should be the frequency of inspections?
- Should there be situations where the scales should be exempt from this requirement?
- What type of alternative service delivery should be used to perform the subsequent inspections?
- Accreditation? Registration? Both accreditation and registration? (See Appendix III for comparison of Accreditation and Registration Programs)
- Other methods?
- Would a mandatory periodic inspection create significant additional cost to the industry?
- Would the benefits of mandatory periodic inspections (certifications) justify the additional cost to the stakeholders in the industry?
- In order to have a mandatory periodic inspection period, the Weights and Measures Act would have to be amended. This process could take 5 years or more.
- In the interim, would a voluntary periodic certification (subsequent inspection) program be acceptable? What could be done to make this program successful? (See Appendix II for a description of the Voluntary Periodic Certification Program).
3.01 All scales which are used for trade measurement should be inspected every two years.
3.02 Measurement Canada should establish conditions under which scales used in trade will be exempt from this requirement. Such exemptions could include scales which are part of a quality assurance system and/or which are calibrated with certified test standards by a recognized company at least once per year.
3.03 Inspections should be provided by either accredited or registered companies.
3.04 Measurement Canada should implement a voluntary periodic certification program until the legislation can be changed to make periodic inspections mandatory in this sector.
3.05 Measurement Canada should review the procedure used for subsequent inspection of bulk weighers in order to ensure that the inspections are practical, and not too onerous, costly and time consuming.
- No mandatory periodic inspections. Measurement Canada and authorized service providers should continue to conduct random and requested subsequent inspections;
- Mandatory inspection every year.
- Inspections involve more in depth testing than calibrations or checks, therefore they are more likely to detect measurement problems and incorrect scale settings or usage;
- Scale errors over a long period of time could be costly for one of the trading parties and could damage the reputation of companies as well as the sector;
- Measurement Canada does not have the resources to conduct the periodic inspections therefore there will be additional costs to the scale owners for certifying the scales through authorized service providers. Stakeholders will have to decide if the benefits of having the scales certified periodically is worth the additional costs;
- Measurement Canada inspectors do not have the authority to calibrate or repair scales therefore use of authorized service providers will allow the scales to be adjusted if there are any measuring problems found during the inspection.
Having the inspections done by authorized service providers will free up Measurement Canada’s resources to focus on inspections to monitor the performance of the grain and field crop sector.
- The majority of stakeholders feel that mandatory subsequent inspections are required and prefer a 1 or 2 year period. Other stakeholders feel that a 3 year period or even longer may be more reasonable to reduce the cost to the stakeholders;
- Many of the vulnerable parties, such as producers or growers who rely on the scales but do not own them feel that in order to protect their interests Measurement Canada should require mandatory 1 year periodic inspections and less for establishments that process higher volumes;
- Many of the major companies feel that they already have quality systems in place, have calibrations done at least once per year by scale service/repair companies and therefore do not feel that mandatory periodic inspections provide any additional benefits to them or their clients.
All test weights used for scale inspections are certified by Measurement Canada according to the schedule shown in the table below. The test weights are referenced to a national physical standard which is held by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).
Measurement Canada has established and implemented an alternative service delivery program where test weights (standards) used for inspections can be certified by Measurement Canada based on test results from recognized calibration laboratories.
|Type of Standard||Calibration Period|
|A weight that is used by an inspector in inspecting devices for use in trade||1 year|
|A weight that is retained in one location and that is used exclusively in inspecting discontinuous totalizing weighing systems (bulkweighing systems) at that location||5 years|
- Should all physical test standards used for inspections be certified and traceable to national or international standards?
- Is the 5 year period for the certification of measurement standards (test weights) used exclusively for inspection of bulkweighers adequate?
- Should Measurement Canada be responsible to certify all standards used for inspections?
- Could other calibration organizations or labs be used to certify test standards? Under what conditions?
4.01 All test weights (standards) carried by Measurement Canada inspectors and authorized service providers, which are used for inspections should be certified every year according to the schedule in the Weights and Measures Regulations.
4.02 The five year certification period for test weights kept in the same location and that are used exclusively for inspection of bulk weighers should be reviewed by Measurement Canada in consultation with industry stakeholders to ensure that the certification period is adequate and does not create unnecessary costs.
4.03 Test weights (standards) should be certified either by Measurement Canada or by an outside laboratory that meets Measurement Canada’s alternative service delivery requirements.
- Maintain the status quo, i.e have the test weights used exclusively for inspection of bulk weighers certified every 5 years by Measurement Canada.
- Certified test weights provide traceability to national and international standards and provide a reference against which the scale is compared;
- Test weights used for bulk weigher inspections are usually located at the top of grain elevators in enclosed areas therefore removing them for certification and returning them requires expensive equipment and takes a lot of time. They could also be damaged in the process;
- Increasing the length of time between calibrations of test weights could increase the level of uncertainty in their accuracy;
- Use of other calibration organizations could provide some alternatives for inspectors and alternative service providers and may reduce the time needed to certify test weights;
- Use of other calibration organizations, even under an alternative service delivery program, could reduce some of Measurement Canada’s control of test standards.
- Almost all stakeholders have indicated that they want test standards that are used for inspections to be certified;
- The companies that own bulkweighing systems and are responsible for removing and replacing the test weights feel that the test weights used for inspecting bulkweighers are in a protected environment and therefore are not likely to change their weight in five years. They feel that there is more likelihood of changes due to “banging” during removal and replacement and would therefore like to see a longer calibration period;
- Most stakeholders would accept an alternative service delivery program that allows other organizations to certify test weights (standards), as long as there are sufficient controls to ensure the weights are correctly certified at the same level as Measurement Canada labs.
The net quantity of products that are packaged in seed and feed plants for wholesale use fall under the Weights and Measures Act. These products are usually randomly tested for net quantity by Measurement Canada inspectors.
- Is there any need for monitoring of the net quantity of products by Measurement Canada?
- Should Measurement Canada give special consideration to companies that have a quality management system in place? What should be the nature of the consideration? Under what conditions should they apply?
5.01 Measurement Canada should continue to conduct random net quantity inspections of seeds and feed products packaged for bulk or wholesale use.
5.02 Measurement Canada should explore the feasibility of using self verification of net quantity for companies that already have a quality assurance or quality management system in place.
- Mandatory inspection period for net quantity inspection of packaged products.
- Self verification of net quantity will allow companies that have the capability, to verify the net quantity of packaged products. This would free up Measurement Canada’s resources to monitor those companies and focus their net quantity inspection programs on problem areas or on companies that have no means of controlling their packaging process.
- Most stakeholders believe that Measurement Canada should continue to conduct random net quantity inspections of products. A few feel that Measurement Canada should conduct net quantity inspections every year;
- A significant number of stakeholders feel that the packaging companies should have quality management systems in place and should be responsible for ensuring that the net contents of the packages are accurate.
Buyers and sellers of goods and services who suspect they have received inaccurate measurement and who have been unable to resolve their concern with the other party to the transaction may contact the nearest Measurement Canada office and request that their complaint be investigated.
Measurement complaints received by Measurement Canada are investigated by its inspectors and if necessary scales (devices) or commodities are inspected for net quantity. The complainant is then informed as to whether the device, product or service meets the requirements of the Weights and Measures Act and if necessary the inspectors provide trader education so that the trader is aware of how they may avoid a similar problem in the future. If an inspection indicates that the scale (device) or the commodity does not meet legislated requirements, then enforcement actions such as rejection, seizure, warnings, etc., may be taken.
Measurement Canada does not have the authority to compel the device owner or the complainant to provide compensation even if the complaint is justified.
In 2006, 475 weights and measures complaints were made and were investigated by Measurement Canada. Of these 170 (36%) were found to be valid, 242 (51%) had no basis and the remaining 63 (13%) were still under investigation at the end of 2006. Only two of the complaints came from the grain and field crop sector.
- Are customer complaints currently being resolved satisfactorily in this sector?
- How should Measurement Canada handle complaints in the sector?
- Are stakeholders aware that Measurement Canada is required to investigate measurement complaints and that Measurement Canada is available as an independent party to conduct an investigation that may help resolve the complaint?
- Should Measurement Canada provide details of the results of an investigation or inspections to the complainant?
6.01 For measurement complaints, related to Weights and Measures legislation, which cannot be settled between the trade participants, Measurement Canada should:
- Conduct an investigation and if necessary perform inspections;
- make the results of the investigation and inspections available to the participants who would use the results to settle the dispute themselves;
- Use fines along with other forms of enforcement if the investigations and the inspections indicate that the requirements of the Weights and Measures Act are not met.
- Current access to information legislation prohibits Measurement Canada from providing details of the results of the inspection to the complainant without the permission of the device owner. Legislative changes would be required to give Measurement Canada the authority to provide details of inspection results;
- Measurement Canada has received very few measurement complaints in the grain and field crop sector.
- The majority of stakeholders have indicated that any measurement complaints should be resolved between the parties involved;
- The majority of stakeholders indicated Measurement Canada should continue to be available as an independent third party in cases where a resolution cannot be reached between the two parties involved. Measurement Canada should provide measurement related information that will help the parties to resolve the complaint on their own;
- Some stakeholders feel that Measurement Canada should act as a mediator to help resolve complaints.
Measurement Canada monitors different sectors through random device inspections and net quantity inspections, and compiling measurement related data on the trade measuring devices and establishments. This information allows Measurement Canada to determine the level of measurement accuracy in each sector and to plan their inspection programs.
- What monitoring programs should be established?
- What performance indicators should be required for monitoring programs?
- What is a reasonable compliance rate to use as a bench mark (refer to Appendix V, Compliance Rates)?
- Should compliance rates, used for monitoring, be based on all subsequent inspections?
7.01 Measurement Canada should monitor the sector by using the following criteria:
- Compliance rate of scales (devices) and commodities;
- Number of complaints received;
- Stakeholder feedback/input.
7.02 Measurement Canada should review the tolerances used for inspections to determine if they are at an appropriate level to achieve the 90% level of compliance desired by stakeholders.
- Ongoing monitoring will be needed to determine the effectiveness of the implemented recommendations;
- The level of compliance shown in Appendix V could suggest that there are measurement problems in the industry, however these compliance rates are based on a tolerance of approximately 0.1% or 1 graduation. Significantly higher compliance rates may not be achievable with the current tolerances. These compliance rates may create a misleading picture of measurement accuracy in the sector.
- Many stakeholders were surprised at how low the compliance rates were for subsequent inspections conducted over the past 5 years and felt that compliance rates should be about 90%. Some felt that these compliance rates could be achieved by either conducting more frequent inspections, trader education on proper usage and maintenance of the scales or by increasing the tolerance;
- A few stakeholders feel that it would be better to use the results of random Measurement Canada inspections to monitor measurement accuracy in the sector.
Measurement Canada has identified 39 different sectors and is conducting reviews in each sector. Once the initial review is completed in each sector, additional reviews will be conducted only as needed.
- What criteria should trigger another trade sector review?
8.01 Measurement Canada may conduct future reviews in this industry if any of the following conditions occur:
- There is a significant reduction in device (scale) and (net quantity) commodities compliance rate;
- Measurement Canada’s monitoring program indicate measurement problems;
- Stakeholders indicate there is a lack of confidence in measurement accuracy and fairness;
- Major changes in the industry that can have an impact on measurement accuracy.
- The majority of stakeholders feel that a review should be conducted if there is a significant decrease in the device compliance rate, if Measurement Canada’s monitoring indicates that there are measurement problems in the industry or if stakeholders express a loss of confidence in measurement accuracy.
- Most stakeholders in the sector who own scales or rely on scale measurements are familiar with the term “Weights and Measures” and have had contact with Measurement Canada mainly through inspections;
- They agreed that the following proposals would help Measurement Canada to be more visible and to be more accessible to stakeholders. Measurement Canada should:
- Be more easily accessible through the phone book and the Web site, i.e. with better links from related government Web sites and industry association Web sites;
- Maintain a direct presence through random inspections and monitoring, etc.;
- Use industry newsletters to provide information about Measurement Canada and its services;
- Participate in industry association meetings;
- Promote Measurement Canada’s services and their importance to Canadians.
During the consultation process, Measurement Canada will strive to reach consensus among the stakeholders in determining the appropriate level of involvement for Measurement Canada in the sector. Decisions regarding the appropriate level of involvement must be determined based on the input from all parties to the trade transaction.
The following criteria will be used to formulate decisions during the consultation process:
- Stakeholder Support – All stakeholders involved in the consultation are encouraged to actively participate to the degree possible, however, certain conditions must be established:
- All stakeholders must be informed of the issues for discussion;
- There must be general agreement from all stakeholders on all recommendations;
- Preferred weighting will be given to stakeholders in trade transactions, especially the vulnerable parties;
- General support from third party (those who are not directly involved in the trade transaction);
- Those stakeholders who express dissenting opinions during the consultation will have their opinions recorded for future reference.
- Stakeholder Representation – Measurement Canada will seek to ensure that the stakeholders who participate in the consultation are representative of the sector. All affected parties must be adequately represented during discussions and all informed comments will be considered.
- Consistent with Measurement Canada’s Mission and Strategic Direction – All decisions reached during the consultation must agree with Measurement Canada’s mission and strategic direction. The use of viable alternative service delivery options are to be actively explored and implemented in areas where the sector stakeholders believe it is appropriate.
- Sustainable – The recommendations must be able to be implemented and sustainable on an ongoing basis. All recommendations must be cost effective for both Measurement Canada and industry and should not unnecessarily suppress the emergence of new technology.
- International Competitiveness – The recommendations must be both practical and consistent with international metrology (measurement) standards and practices and must not adversely impact Canada’s image and competitiveness in international markets.
- Measurement Canada Acceptance:
- The final recommendations will be determined by consensus among all sector stakeholders;
- All recommendations from the Grain and Field Crop Trade Sector Review are subject to review and acceptance by Measurement Canada’s Senior Management Committee (SMC).
- Time table:
- The recommendations are scheduled to be presented to the SMC by March 2008.
The members of the Grain and Field Crop Trade Sector Review Team are:
- Lance Robertson
- Standards Building
- 151 Tunney’s Pasture Driveway
- Ottawa, Ontario
- K1A 0C9
- Phone: (613) 952-0661
- Fax: (613) 952-1736
- Email: Lance Robertson
- Denis Painchaud, Eastern Region
- 1141 route de l’Église
- Sainte-Foy, Quebec
- G1V 3W5
- Phone: (418) 648-3882
- Fax: (418) 648-4815
- Al Davlut, Ontario Region
- 78 Meg Drive
- London, Ontario
- N6E 3T6
- Phone: (519) 680-7365
- Fax: (519) 680-7759
- Email: Al Davlut
- Brad Pavlove, Western Region
- 123 - 2nd Avenue South
- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- S7K 7E6
- Phone: (306) 983-3804
- Fax : (306) 983-3159
- Email: Brad Pavlove
Measurement Canada fulfills its mission through the following programs related to administration of the Weights and Measures Act:
- Establishment of measurement specifications – Measurement Canada is responsible for the development of specifications, regulatory amendments, policies and testing procedures for weighing and measuring devices. When a new measurement technology emerges on to the marketplace, it will be approved and inspected against regulatory specifications and test procedures. Specifications are developed in consultation with industry representatives;
- Maintenance and calibration of measurement standards – Measurement Canada owns and maintains measurement standards (reference) that are traceable to national standards. Standards of mass or test weights are calibrated and certified in relation to the reference. These test weights are used by government inspectors and accredited and registered service providers to inspect and certify scales;
- Approval of new measurement device models – Measurement Canada, through its Approval Services Laboratory, must approve all weighing and measuring device models which are intended for trade use in Canada1. All new and modified device models are examined and tested with respect to legislative requirements for design, composition, construction, and performance. This service is intended to ensure a population of measuring devices which are reasonably accurate throughout their lifetime and to minimize the possibility of fraudulent use. For some device types, Measurement Canada is a partner in a Mutual Recognition Program with our United States counterparts where all the approval evaluation tests are performed either by a Canadian or U.S. government laboratory and the results recognized by both countries. More recently, Measurement Canada entered into a Mutual Acceptance Arrangement with member countries of the International Organization for Legal Metrology (OIML) for recognition of test results in the approval of non-automatic weighing devices and related modules. Mutual Acceptance Arrangements allow for participating countries to utilize test reports from other countries in their own approval process;
- Initial inspection of new devices (Certification) – Measurement Canada, through its field inspection staff, or accredited or registered service providers must inspect (initial inspection) all weighing and measuring devices, before they are used in trade, unless they are exempted by the Act and Regulations. The intent is to ensure the devices meet approval requirements, are installed correctly and operate within the appropriate limits of error (tolerance) before their service lives begin. Since January 1, 2007 all initial inspections are done by authorized service providers. Where there are less than two authorized service providers available, Measurement Canada inspectors will continue to provide initial inspection services;
- Subsequent inspection of in-service devices – Scales used in trade to measure quantities of mass, pursuant to the requirements of the Weights and Measures Act are inspected, on a random basis, throughout their lifetime to ensure that they are properly maintained, continue to measure accurately, and are not used in a fraudulent manner. Scale owners can also request an inspection by an authorized service provider. At present, there is no mandatory periodic certification;
- Commodity inspection – Goods and services traded on the basis of measure are inspected on a random basis or as needed to ensure that they are measured within prescribed tolerances. Commodities are generally inspected on a product/industry specific basis with emphasis placed on problem product/industries;
- Complaint investigation – Measurement Canada, through its field inspection staff, investigates complaints related to Weights and Measures legislation and advise affected parties of the result of the investigation, including where warranted, any corrective action instituted. However, any compensation is normally left up to the action of the parties involved;
- Accreditation of qualified organizations to inspect approved devices – An organization may be granted the authority to inspect and certify trade weighing and measuring devices on behalf of Measurement Canada provided that it meets the requirements of the accreditation standard, S-A-01 which is administered by Measurement Canada. Accredited organizations are periodically audited by Measurement Canada to ensure that the program is being carried out according to the standard. Their technicians are evaluated by Measurement Canada, are required to follow Measurement Canada accepted inspection procedures and their competence is monitored by Measurement Canada;
- Registration of qualified organizations to inspect approved devices – An organization may be granted the authority to inspect and certify trade weighing and measuring devices on behalf of Measurement Canada provided that it meets the requirements of Measurement Canada’s Registration Program. Registered organizations are not required to have a Quality Management System, but their recognized technicians are trained and evaluated by Measurement Canada, are required to follow Measurement Canada accepted inspection procedures and their competence is monitored by Measurement Canada. These organizations can only conduct inspections in specific sectors where the trade sector review led to the acceptance of registration as an alternative service delivery program;
- Voluntary Periodic Certification Program – An interim program where device owners would voluntarily have their trade measurement devices inspected and certified at specified periods until the Weights and Measures Act can be changed to make the program mandatory. This program can apply only to industry sectors where as a result of a trade sector review, the stakeholders have agreed to a mandatory periodic certification program for measuring devices used in trade.
Appendix III – Comparison of the Accreditation and the Registration Programs for Scale (Device) Inspections Pursuant to the Weights and Measures Act
|Accreditation Program||Registration Program|
|Designation as Authorized Service Provider||The organization is accredited. Technicians within the organization are recognized.||The organization is registered. Technicians within the organization are recognized.|
|Scope||Open to all trade sectors where inspections will be conducted on behalf of Measurement Canada.||Limited by recommendations resulting from trade sector reviews. Program has to be acceptable to a consensus of stakeholders in a given sector, particularly vulnerable parties.|
|Requirements||A quality management system must be implemented. Additional Measurement Canada technical requirements must be met. Standards must be calibrated and certified. Technicians must be trained and pass theoretical and practical assessments before being recognized. Organization enters into a legal agreement with Measurement Canada. Requirements stipulated in Accreditation Standard S-A-01.||Measurement Canada technical requirements must be met. Standards must be calibrated and certified. Technicians must be trained and pass theoretical and practical assessment before being recognized. Organization enters into a legal agreement with Measurement Canada. Requirements stipulated in Registration Program Terms and Conditions.|
|Training||At least one technician must receive the applicable technical training from Measurement Canada. Every technician must pass (with 70% or more) the theoretical and practical assessment by Measurement Canada in order to be recognized.||Every technician must receive the applicable technical from Measurement Canada and pass (with 70% or more) the theoretical and practical assessment by Measurement Canada in order to be recognized.|
|Cost||$1000 per initial and surveillance audit. Training: $100 per day per person.||$1000 per year. Training: $100 per day per person.|
|Monitoring (these are minimum requirements; additional monitoring may occur as necessary)||A surveillance audit of the quality management system is conducted annually. In addition, every 3 years, each technician is monitored through a product audit on at least one of the device types for which he or she is recognized, and over a 3 year period, product audits are performed on all device types under an accredited organization’s scope.||For each recognized technician, at least one follow-up inspection per device type is conducted every 12 months. In addition, annual meetings are held with registered organizations’ management to review monitoring findings and any necessary corrective action.|
The International Organization for Legal Metrology (OIML)
The International Organization of Legal Metrology (Organisation Internationale de Métrologie Légale) is a worldwide, intergovernmental organization whose primary aim is to harmonize the regulations and metrological controls applied by the national metrological services, or related organizations, of its Member States. The two main categories of International Organization for Legal Metrology publications are:
- International recommendations (International Organization for Legal Metrology - R)
Model regulations that establish the metrological characteristics required of certain measuring instruments and which specify methods and equipment for checking their conformity; the International Organization for Legal Metrology Member States shall implement these draft recommendations to the greatest possible extent.
- International Documents (International Organization for Legal Metrology - D)
Informative in nature and intended to improve the work of the metrological services.
International Organization for Legal Metrology recommendations and documents are developed by technical committees or subcommittees which are formed by the member states. Certain international and regional institutions also participate on a consultation basis. Cooperative agreements are established between International Organization for Legal Metrology and certain institutions, such as ISO and IEC, with the objective of avoiding contradictory requirements; consequently, manufacturers and users of measuring instruments, test laboratories, etc., may apply simultaneously International Organization for Legal Metrology publications and those of other institutions.
International recommendations and international documents are published in French (F) and English (E) and are subject to periodic revision.
International Organization for Legal Metrology publications may be obtained from the Organization’s headquarters:
- Bureau International de Métrologie Légale
- 11, rue Turgot – 75009 Paris – France
- Telephone: 33 (0)1 48 78 12 82
- Fax: 33 (0)1 42 82 17 27
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Internet: www.oiml.org/
|Service||Requirements and Method of Delivery|
|United States||United Kingdom||Germany||Japan|
|Approval||Type approval is required for scales which are to be used in trade||All instruments subject to legal metrology control (scales used in trade) require type approval prior to initial certification||Instruments are subject to type approval, unless otherwise stated before use in trade||Scales are required to pass the type approval tests before they are put into commercial production|
|The National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) oversees the approval program in the U.S.A. The basic requirements are set out in Handbook 44||Type approval is a principal function of the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML)||Type approval responsibility for all instruments rests with the PTB, the highest technical metrology authority in Germany, which is accountable to the Federal Ministry of Economics. It has comprehensive test facilities, but may use other test laboratories, normally the state verification offices and the accredited test laboratories, to perform routine type examination measurements.||Testing is conducted by the government|
|Mutual acceptance of approval evaluation with Measurement Canada for a few device types||Where facilities are not available on the NWML site, testing of a type may be contracted to a specialist laboratory. NWML also offers consultancy and testing services for a wide range of equipment||European Directives now require European countries to accept type approval evaluation of other European countries||Mutual recognition of test approval type data with some countries such as Germany and the Netherlands|
|Working towards expansion of mutual agreements with other countries as well||European Directives now require European countries to accept type approval evaluation of other European countries|
|Initial Inspection||No national requirements exist that require devices to be initially inspected by a government inspector or authorized service provider before they are used in trade||All instruments subject to legal metrology control (scales used in trade) require initial verification||Instruments are generally subject to initial verification unless otherwise stated||All specified measuring instruments are subject to a verification conducted by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), a prefectural government or a designated instrument certification organization, to check their conformity to set technical standards|
|Individual state weights and measures agencies decide whether or not initial inspections are required before use in trade||Initial verification performed by local weights and measures authorities in England, Scotland and Wales and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland. A self verification system has been introduced for manufacturers, installers and repairers||The general initial verification role is performed by 79 local verification offices||A measurement certification inspection can be substituted by a commissioned inspection, conducted by a certified measurer or a self-inspection, in the case of a proper metrological control establishment|
|Initial inspections are done in most states but not necessarily before the first use in trade||Manufacturers declaration of conformity is already a well established part of the German legal metrology system for specified instruments|
|Subsequent Inspection||There is currently no national legislation in the United States which requires mandatory re-verifications for devices. Many state regulatory bodies specify intervals between device tests and perform the inspections||Periodic random inspection is performed by using statutory powers given to Trading Standards Officers. There are no statutory periods of inspection provided in current legislation||Instruments are generally subject to mandatory re-verification unless otherwise stated||Prefectural governments, specified municipal governments and designated periodic inspection bodies conduct periodic inspections every other year for nonautomatic scales|
|Most states’ Weights and Measures authority carry out periodic inspections and set fees for this service in certain sectors||Statutory re-verification is only required after repair or modification. Generally, it is an offence to use such equipment until it has been re-verified||There is a mandatory re-verification period of 2 years. There is a fee for each re-verification|
|The UK has a national quality assurance accreditation scheme operated by the National Accreditation Council for Certification Bodies||Repairers are not permitted to re-verify instruments|
|Calibration of Test Standards||Individual states have no set practice for calibrating and certifying test standards and test equipment used to inspect or test scales. It is left to the individual state’s Weights and Measures authority to determine if and when the test standards and test equipment is calibrated and/or certified||The National Weights and Measures Laboratory is accredited to ISO-9001-2000 by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS)||The Eichgesetz (Verification Act) provides traceability of the reference standards used by the federal states verification authorities to PTB national standards||Under the Measurement Law, measuring instruments used for verification, periodic inspection and other instrument inspection purposes are subject to an inspection of verification standards. The instruments that pass the inspection are named verification standards|
|Traceability is established through NIST and each state’s metrology laboratories for Weights and Measures standards||The National Weights and Measures Laboratory National requests that measuring equipment be sent for periodic re-calibration to laboratories who are IEC/ISO 17025 registered|
|Complaints||No set national protocol exists for the handling of device complaints in the United States. Complaints are generally handled by state or local weights and measures authorities||A government inspector shall test the device if so requested (in writing) by the customer. The owner is required to adjust the customer’s account, if it is found that the device is outside the applicable limit of error. There is no charge for the inspection||N/A||N/A|
- Inspection Types
Subsequent Inspections by Measurement Canada Inspectors and Accredited Organizations.
Compliance rate = (Number of devices that pass inspection / Number of devices inspected) × 100%
The compliance rates are based on a tolerance of approximately 0.1% of certified test standards (i.e. ˜ 10 kg on 10000 kg of certified test standards) or one scale graduation.
|Devices||# of Devices Inspected||# that Passed Inspection measurement error: (within 0.1% or 1 graduation)||Compliance Rate % (measurement)||# that Failed Inspection measurement error: (> 0.1% to 0.3%) or (> 1 to 3 graduations)||# that Failed Inspection error: (> 0.3%) or (> 3 graduations)|
|Platform Scales (0 - 5 kg) Primarily dockage scales||678||614||90.6||42||22|
|Platform Scales (5 - 125 kg)||220||182||82.7||29||9|
|Platform Scales (125 - 1000 kg)||206||172||83.5||25||9|
|Platform Scales (> 1000 kg)||138||100||72.5||26||12|
|Hopper Scales (0 - 0000 kg)||127||58||45.7||59||10|
|Hopper Scales (> 10000 kg)||260||109||41.9||147||4|
|Bulkweigher (Automatic hopper scales)||97||70||72.2||25||2|
|Railway Track Scales||26||25||96.2||1||0|
Compliance rate = (Number of lots of product that pass inspection / Number of lots inspected) × 100%
The commodity table shows the compliance rate for Measurement Canada net quantity inspections of feeds and seed products packaged in feed and seed plants. It shows the number of lots of different types of prepackaged product selected, the total number of packages that made up the lots, the cumulative sample size, the compliance rate for net content and labelling and the overall compliance rate.
|(2002-2007) Measurement Canada Net Quantity Inspections – Grain and Field Crop Sector|
|Products||Number of Lots||Total Lot Size||Sample Size||Lot Compliance Rate|
The following is a list of terms used in this discussion paper, and their meanings.
- Alternative Service Delivery (ASD) Mechanisms
Provision of public services through arrangements other than the traditional departmental structure. Under these programs, qualified organizations are authorized to deliver services on Measurement Canada’s behalf.
Examples of Measurement Canada’s ASD mechanisms:
- Measurement Canada’s Accreditation Program – Allows organizations to be granted the authority to inspect and certify weighing and measuring trade devices, provided that they implement a quality assurance program based on Measurement Canada’s S-A-01 standard and comply with all aspects of the program. These arrangements are subject to audit by Measurement Canada auditors;
- Measurement Canada’s Registration Program – Allows organizations to be granted the authority to inspect and certify weighing and measuring trade devices without the requirement to implement a quality assurance program. The organization however must comply with the requirements of the Registration Program and Measurement Canada legislation. Measurement Canada monitors registered organizations and recognized technicians, on a regular basis, through meetings, follow-up inspections and witness inspections;
- Delegation of Authorities Program – This program authorizes organizations to calibrate and certify certain measurement standards, measuring apparatus and test equipment on behalf of Measurement Canada. The program scope is presently limited to the calibration and re-certification of electricity meter calibration consoles and the calibration and certification of pressure, temperature and dimensional standards used in the natural gas sector;
- Recognition of Calibration Results from CLAS Type I Laboratories Program – This program allows Measurement Canada to consider CLAS certified Type I Laboratories calibration results in order for the Minister to designate as a local standard any standard that has been calibrated and certified in relation to a reference standard as accurate within prescribed tolerances. The program’s scope is presently limited to mass standards.
Mandatory evaluation, before a device design or model may be sold as “Legal for Trade” in Canada.
Prototype measuring instruments intended for trade use are evaluated for compliance with legislated requirements to ensure they are capable of measuring accurately, under normal conditions of use, throughout their service lifetime. Once approved, an approval number is issued authorizing the use of the device type for “Legal for Trade” use in Canada.
Weights and Measures approval numbers may be found on the device and will generally be in the format of SWA-XXXX or AM-XXXX. Once approved, the device may be initially inspected before used in trade (see Initial Inspection).
Also known as a discontinuous automatic totalizing weighing system; is an automatic hopper scale that weighs a bulk product by dividing it into discrete loads, determining the mass of each discrete load in sequence, summing the weighing results and delivering the discrete loads to bulk storage.
- CGC – The Canadian Grain Commission
Federal government agency which operates under the authority of the Canada Grain Act and is mandated to regulate grain handling and ensure the quality of grain in the grain sector.
Comparison between a measuring device of unknown accuracy to a known measuring standard in order to detect or eliminate by adjustment any variation from the required performance limits of the measuring device.
To attest and document the acceptability of a device or measuring standard compared to specified requirements. This is usually done by Measurement Canada inspectors or organizations authorized to certify devices on behalf of Measurement Canada.
General agreement among stakeholders with the proposed recommendation(s). Unanimous agreement is not required.
Material that must be removed from grain by the use of approved cleaning equipment so that the grain can be assigned a grade.
- Grade (grading factor)
Physical condition of grain, the result of growing conditions, handling procedures or storage practices. It is a visual characteristic that indicates a reduction in quality; for example, frost damage, sprouted kernels, or heated kernels. Only relevant grading factors are shown as reasons for a grade.
- HACCP – Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point
System that identifies, evaluates and controls hazards significant to food safety. It requires that a quality management system is developed and implemented. The program is administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
- Initial Inspection
Mandatory first inspection of an individual device before it may be placed into trade service. This inspection ensures that the device is installed and measuring correctly.
- Legal Metrology
Science of measurement in legal trade transactions.
- Level of Intervention
Amount of government involvement in regulating an industry sector, to ensure fair and equitable trade measurement.
- Moisture Tester (Meter)
Device used to determine the moisture content of a sample of grain.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (U.S.)
National Research Council (Canada)
National Type Evaluation Program (U.S.)
- Packaging Device (Scale)
Device that is used exclusively to package a predetermined fixed quantity of a commodity that is part of a lot, made up of packages of the same commodity with identical net quantity statements.
- Periodic Certification
Subsequent inspection program, instituted as a result of a trade sector review, where devices in a sector are inspected and certified at specified periods.
- Prepackaged Commodities
Commodities that are packaged and labelled with the net quantity statement before being offered for sale.
- Primary elevators
Grain elevators that receive grain directly from producers or growers.
- Process elevators
Grain elevators that process grain and oilseeds for human consumption. They include flour mills, oilseed crushing plants and malt houses.
- Protein Analyzer
Device that determines the protein content in a sample of grain.
Criteria for the Accreditation of Organizations to Perform Inspections Pursuant to the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and the Weights and Measures Act.
- Standard Package Commodity
Commodity that is prepackaged as a predetermined fixed quantity and is part of a lot, made up of packages of the same commodity with identical net quantity statements (e.g. 25 kg bags).
- Standards (Physical)
Actual test equipment, i.e. test weights, usually calibrated or referenced to a national physical standard that is used to test trade measurement devices.
- Standards (Written)
Refers to written technical specifications, procedures and policies.
- Subject to Inspector’s Grade and Dockage
Provision under the Canada Grain Act and Regulations where the producer or the person delivering the grain has the right to ask for a binding decision from the CGC if the producer or the person delivering the grain disagrees with the grade and dockage received at a licensed primary elevator.
- Subsequent Inspection
Inspection of a trade measuring device after the initial inspection and usually after the device is used in trade. This inspection could be random, periodic or requested by the device owner.
- Terminal elevators
Grain elevators located at Thunder Bay, Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Churchill where grain is stored until it is moved for domestic or export use.
Step by step accountability of a calibration of a standard or device back to a reference standard. Test weights may be traceable to the international prototype kilogram held in Sèvres, France. Metric weights in Canada are traceable to the Canadian one kilogram standard MR-1, which in turn is traceable to the international prototype.
Selling, purchasing, exchanging, consigning, leasing or providing of any commodity, right, facility or service on the basis of measure and includes the business of providing facilities for measuring.
- Trade Sector Review (TSR)
Process whereby Measurement Canada reviews and assesses its services provided to the marketplace to ensure their relevancy to the needs of the sector stakeholders.
- Transfer elevators
Grain elevators located on Georgian Bay, on the shores of lakes Huron, Erie and Ontario, along the St. Lawrence River, and at Halifax. They handle western and eastern grain destined for export.
- Vulnerable Party
Party who is the purchaser or seller of a product and who does not own or control the measurement equipment used in the transaction. The degree of vulnerability may vary from nil to high depending upon the capacity and ability of the vulnerable party to detect measurement errors, to re-measure the product and to have corrective measures taken where appropriate.
Organizations that buy products from processors and sell them without repackaging the products.
- Wholesale Products
Products manufactured, packaged, or distributed and offered for sale to industrial or commercial end users.
1 Packaging scales used for packaging standard sized packages are exempt from approval and initial inspection under the Weights and Measures Regulations. Measurement Canada has not approved devices in sectors where it does not currently have enforcement programs.
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