Measurement Canada monitors the accuracy of measuring devices, such as gas pumps, meters and scales, through a variety of inspections and compliance improvement strategies. The agency also investigates complaints of suspected inaccurate measurement and institutes corrective action where necessary.
Inspections are part of a thorough process of measuring device evaluation, approval, and monitoring to ensure consumer and business confidence in the fairness and accuracy of measurement-based financial transactions.
Learn about Measurement Canada's inspection sticker.
Before being placed into service, measuring devices such as gas pumps or scales must be inspected and certified to be measuring accurately. Electricity or natural gas meters are subject to individual initial inspection or a sampling program designed by Measurement Canada.
Initial inspections of measuring devices used in any trade sectors must be performed by a Measurement Canada authorized service provider (ASP). A list of authorized service providers (accredited or registered) is maintained by Measurement Canada.
Measuring devices in eight sectors are required to be inspected at set intervals. The eight sectors affected by these mandatory inspection frequencies are: retail petroleum, wholesale petroleum, dairy, retail food, fishing, logging, grain and field crops, and mining.
Electricity and gas meters are also subject to mandatory inspection frequencies, most of which are re-inspected on the basis of sampling.
The majority of these inspections are performed by authorized service providers.
Marketplace monitoring program
The Marketplace Monitoring Program is designed to monitor industry compliance with laws and requirements through the analysis of inspection results of measurement devices used in measurement-based financial transactions. This allows Measurement Canada to evaluate the overall status of accuracy and equity in the marketplace, to detect problems and take appropriate action, and to maintain an independent presence in the marketplace in order to contribute to a level of confidence for businesses and consumers.
Net quantity inspections
The Net Quantity Inspections program ensures that the quantity of a product provided to a customer is stated and meets the accuracy requirements outlined in the Weights and Measures Act and Regulations.
Examples of products inspected by Measurement Canada for accurate quantity are:
- clerk-served products such as meats sold at deli counters, bulk firewood and propane cylinder refills;
- bulk or non-packaged retail products, such as loose fruits and vegetables, bulk candies sold from bins, bulk purchases of gravel or topsoil; and
- bulk and prepackaged non-retail products for commercial or institutional use.
Retail, packaged products are not subject to the Weights and Measures Act but are subject to the requirements of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (CPLA).
Responsibility for enforcement of the CPLA is shared by:
- Competition Bureau (packaged, non-food products)
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency (packaged food products)