Weights and Measures Act 1963

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1963 c. 31


Weights and Measures Act 1963

1963 CHAPTER 31

An Act to make amended provision with respect to weights and measures, and for connected purposes.

[31st July 1963]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Units and Standards of Measurement

Part I

Units and Standards of Measurement

S-1 Units of measurement.

1 Units of measurement.

(1) The yard or the metre shall be the unit of measurement of length and the pound or the kilogramme shall be the unit of measurement of mass by reference to which any measurement involving a measurement of length or mass shall be made in the United Kingdom; and—

(a ) the yard shall be 0.9144 metre exactly;

(b ) the pound shall be 0.453 592 37 kilogramme exactly.

(2) Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect for defining for the purposes of measurements falling to be made in the United Kingdom the units of measurement set out in that Schedule; and for the purposes of any measurement of weight falling to be so made, the weight of any thing may be expressed, by reference to the units of measurement set out in Part V of that Schedule, in the same terms as its mass.

S-2 United Kingdom primary standards and authorised copies thereof.

2 United Kingdom primary standards and authorised copies thereof.

(1) The Board of Trade (in this Act referred to as ‘the Board’) shall cause to be maintained standards of the yard, pound, metre and kilogramme which shall be the standards (in this Act referred to as ‘United Kingdom primary standards’) by reference to which, in the United Kingdom, all other standards of those units and of any other unit of measurement derived wholly or partly from any of those units shall be maintained.

(2) The Board shall from time to time as may appear to them expedient cause—

(a ) the value of each of the United Kingdom primary standards to be determined or redetermined, and

(b ) any authorised copy of any of those standards to be compared with, and its value determined or redetermined by reference to, that standard,

in such manner as the Board may direct.

(3) Until other provision is made by an order under section 8 of this Act—

(a ) the United Kingdom primary standards shall be—

(i) in the case of the yard, the bar described in Part I of Schedule 2 to this Act;

(ii) in the case of the pound, the cylinder described in Part II of the said Schedule 2;

(iii) in the case of the metre, the bar described in Part III of the said Schedule 2;

(iv) in the case of the kilogramme, the cylinder described in Part IV of the said Schedule 2; and

(b ) the copies of the aforesaid standards of the yard and pound which are described in Part V of the said Schedule 2 and deposited as mentioned in the said Part V shall for the purposes of this Act be authorised copies of those standards.

S-3 Board of Trade secondary, tertiary and coinage standards.

3 Board of Trade secondary, tertiary and coinage standards.

(1) The Board shall maintain secondary, tertiary and coinage standards in accordance with the provisions of this section, which shall be known collectively as the Board of Trade standards.

(2) The secondary standards shall consist of standards of all the measures set out in Parts I and IV and all the weights set out in Part V of Schedule 3 to this Act other than capacity measures of more than one gallon or ten litres; and any such standard shall be constructed, and, while it remains in use, from time to time at intervals not exceeding five years have its value or values redetermined, by reference to such one or more of the United Kingdom primary standards or any authorised copies thereof as may appear to the Board to be appropriate.

(3) The tertiary standards shall consist of such standards of such of the measures or weights set out in the said Parts I, IV and V as may from time to time appear to the Board to be necessary or expedient; and any such standard shall be constructed, and, while it remains in use, from time to time at intervals not exceeding two years have its value or values redetermined, by reference to such one or more of the secondary standards as may appear to the Board to be appropriate.

(4) The coinage standards shall consist of such standards of the weight of each coin of the realm for the time being authorised by or under the enactments relating to the coinage as may from time to time appear to the Board to be necessary or expedient; and any such standard shall be constructed, and, while it remains in use, from time to time at intervals not exceeding two years have its value redetermined, by reference to such one or more of the secondary standards as may appear to the Board to be appropriate.

(5) Board of Trade standards shall be provided or replaced by the Board from time to time as may appear to them necessary or expedient and shall be in such form and of such material, and be kept under the control of the Board at such place or places, as the Board may think fit; and a secondary or tertiary standard of any linear or capacity measure may—

(a ) be provided either as a separate standard or by means of divisions marked on a standard of a larger measure, and

(b ) either be marked in whole or in part with subdivisions representing any smaller unit of measurement or multiples or fractions of such a unit or have no such markings,

as the Board think fit.

(6) Any standard of any such measure, weight or coin as aforesaid provided under section 8 of the Weights and Measures Act 1878 and in use as a Board of Trade standard immediately before the date of commencement of this section shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be a secondary or, as the case may be, coinage standard provided under this section; and any other standard of any such measure or weight as aforesaid in use by the Board immediately before the said date constructed, and with its value or values determined, by reference to a Board of Trade standard provided under the said section 8 shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be a tertiary standard provided under this section.

S-4 Local standards.

4 Local standards.

(1) Subject to section 37 of this Act, there shall be maintained by each local weights and measures authority such standards (in this Act referred to as ‘local standards’) of such of the measures and weights set out in Schedule 3 to this Act as the Board may from time to time approve or require in the case of that authority as being proper and sufficient for the purposes of this Act.

(2) Local standards shall be provided and replaced by the local weights and measures authority from time to time as may appear to the authority to be necessary or expedient or as the Board may require, shall be of material and form approved by the Board, shall be kept at premises provided by the authority and approved for the purpose by the Board, and shall not be used elsewhere than at those premises or at other premises approved in that behalf by the Board; and a local standard of any linear or capacity measure shall—

(a ) be provided either as a separate standard or by means of divisions marked on a standard of a larger measure, and

(b ) either be marked in whole or in part with subdivisions representing any smaller unit of measurement or multiples or fractions of such a unit or have no such markings,

as the Board may from time to time direct.

(3) No article shall be used as a local standard unless there is for the time being in force a certificate of its fitness for the purpose issued by the Board.

(4) The Board shall cause any article submitted to them for certification under this section to be compared with such one or more of the tertiary standards as may appear to the Board to be appropriate and, if it falls within the prescribed limits of error and satisfies any other requirements of the Board, shall issue a certificate of its fitness for use as a local standard which, if the authority so request, shall include a statement of the amount of any error therein.

(5) A certificate issued under the last foregoing subsection shall not be valid unless it is signed by an officer of the Board authorised in that behalf by the Board, and shall cease to be in force at the expiration of the following period from the date of issue, that is to say—

(a ) if the certificate contains a statement of an error in the standard, two years;

(b ) in the case of any other standard of a weight, five years;

(c ) in the case of any other standard of a measure, ten years;

and the Board shall keep a record of all certificates issued under that subsection.

(6) Any comparison of an article with the tertiary standards in pursuance of subsection (4) of this section shall be carried out—

(a ) if the article is not for the time being a local standard, at such place as the Board may direct; or

(b ) if the article is for the time being a Local standard, at the premises where it is kept or at other premises approved in that behalf by the Board.

(7) The Board may demand and take on any occasion on which an article is submitted to them for certification under this section such fee as they may from time to time with the approval of the Treasury determine.

(8) Any standard of a measure or weight included in Schedule 3 to this Act and lawfully in use immediately before the date of commencement of this section as a local standard within the meaning of the Weights and Measures Act 1878 shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be a local standard provided under this section; and an indenture under the said Act of 1878 evidencing the verification or reverification of that standard on a day falling before the date aforesaid shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be a certificate under this section issued on that day.

S-5 Working standards and testing and...

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