Does my Weighbridge Need Certification, Calibration or Verification?
You’d be right in thinking that it’s not just as simple as buying a weighbridge and you’re done with it. There are special checks, certifications and validations that often need to be done before you can use your weighbridge for the purpose you need it for. However, what certification, calibration or verification you may need is not often clear. Finding out your requirements and responsibilities is absolutely key to ensuring that your business is operating legally and in compliance. So, what are the potential certifications, calibrations or verifications you may need in order to be compliant with your vehicle weighing?
In this article we explain everything you need to know about certification, calibration and verification for your weighbridge.
Where weighing and measuring instruments are intended to be used in the UK and Europe in legally controlled applications, the instrument must be “conformity assessed” to meet national regulations by an NMO certification body.
This requirement covers any and all instruments which measure something. It spans from weighbridges and supermarket scales, all the way through to parking meters, utility meters, fuel dispensers and taximeters. It’s this certification body which ensures everything is measuring precisely as it should be.
Weighbridges must be certified to Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments directive 2014/31/EU (NAWI). You can read more on this directive here.
Another required certification of a weighbridge is not necessarily to do with the weighbridge specifically, so much as the weighbridge operator.
To operate a chargeable weighbridge, i.e. a weighbridge which you charge people to use, your weighbridge operator must hold the relevant certificate and adhere to its conditions. The conditions include, weighing on demand and fairly, providing a statements of weight and keeping a record of 2 years of weighing information, including date, time, name, address, vehicle ID and load type.
Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to £5,000 and imprisonment for 6 months.
Whilst this is not a requirement for all weighbridge operators, it’s worth researching if your use case requires this certification further.
Whilst weighbridge calibration is not a legal requirement (unless you’re using it for trade, see below), however it’s a no-brainer.
Weighbridge calibration is, exactly that, a calibration to ensure the weighbridge is accurately measuring the weight which is placed on it. Without a calibration (and accompanying certificate), you have no way of knowing that your weighbridge is measuring correctly, or if you can rely on the measurements your weighbridge is producing.
If you’re relying on your weighbridge to ensure that your business vehicles remain compliant on the roads, you’d be risking multiple fines by not having it calibrated regularly. A DVSA officer who pulls over your vehicle doesn’t care that your weighbridge or axle pads weighed the vehicle as compliant; they care what their scales measure your vehicle as. It only makes sense to have your weighing apparatus calibrated to avoid any potential problems.
Click here to speak to us about our weighbridge maintenance and calibration services.
Legal for Trade Verification
As mentioned before, there are no requirements to have your weighbridge calibrated, unless you’re using your vehicle for trade. This is where you are using the weighbridge to measure the weight of vehicles, which is then used for some kind of trade application. This is predominantly where the price of goods is dependent on the weight of the vehicle in some way or another.
In these applications, it’s obvious why trade verification is important. You can’t charge someone £X based on weight, when you’re not 100% certain that they have received that weight of goods.
Legal for Trade verification is handled by Trading Standards to enforce the Weights and Measures Act 1985. Your local council is able to offer an Inspector of Weights and Measures to provide you with a verification, testing and calibration service for a small fee. This will legally make your weighbridge Legal for Trade.
For more information read our blog What is a Weighing Scales Calibration and Service?