Since 1965 the United Kingdom has been adopting metric
weights and measures in response to the adoption of metric units as
the international system of measurement.
Metric units of measurement are now used for most
transactions regulated by the Weights and Measures Act 1985. In
addition, it is Government policy to encourage the adoption of the
metric system for other purposes, including public administration.
Goods sold loose by weight (mainly fresh foods) from 1
January 2000 were required to be sold in grams and kilograms.
• Retailers can continue to display the price per imperial
unit alongside the price per metric unit.
• Consumers can continue to express in ounces and pounds
the quantity they wish to buy. Retailers will weigh out the
equivalent quantity in grams and kilograms.
for businesses on
the Use of Metric Units of Measurement and the EC units of
the use of Metric Units of
Measurement by the Public Sector.
System of Units
This DTI Report on the UK Adoption
of SI Units reviews the UK's adoption of the International
System of Units - the modern version of the metric system.
You can read more about the
International System of Units, including the names and definitions
of individual units and its history, by clicking
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These other websites may have
For further information please
DTI Enquiry Unit
Weights and Measures Laboratory
United Kingdom Weighing
Back to Weights and Measures page