There are essentially three ways products and services are purchased in our system of weights and measures. All three involve a weighing or measuring device that is required by law to be examined and certified on a regular basis.
The first type of product or service delivery involves the customer being present, where he or she makes a purchase through a legal-for-trade commercial device. Some examples would be gasoline or kerosene at a fuel dispenser, deli items, meats, cheese or produce over a scale, L P Gas by weight for your 20 pound tank, a laundry dryer, an air dispenser or vacuum at a car wash or a parking meter in a local city or borough.
A second type of commercial transaction is where the consumer arranges to purchase some type of “bulk” commodity such as coal, mulch, top soil, animal feed, fertilizer, grain, etc. These products may be ordered by phone and delivered to the consumer’s location or the consumer may be present during purchase and measurement. The majority of these products are required to be weighed by a licensed public weighmaster and accompanied by a certified invoice or receipt.
The third type of transaction is when a consumer purchases some type of pre-packaged product. The vast majority of commodities found in the modern grocery store, hardware, drug store, department store, office supply store, farm and garden store or automotive store would fall into this category. An essential element of this type of transaction is the proper labeling of the product. The specific requirements for package labeling are found in NIST Handbook-130 as well as in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. Needless to say, nearly all commodities are required to display the product identity, the net contents and the packager or distributors name and address. Their content accuracy is determined through routine inspections by weights and measures officials in the retail store or at the point of fill.
All commercial devices are required to be inspected and tested on a schedule established by the Department of Agriculture. Each commercial device you encounter in the marketplace should bear a current seal or decal indicating the date of inspection.
The Department will inspect all types of commercially used weighing and measuring devices not specifically assigned a 12 month inspection interval as noted above, at intervals of “no greater than 36 months”. The following is a list of the most commonly found commercial devices assigned to the 36 month category.
Regulations for the Sale of Firewood in Northampton County
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