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Weights and measures

Goods sold by weight or measure must normally be sold in metric quantities. For example:

  • if you sell by weight, you use kilograms and grams instead of pounds and ounces
  • if you sell by volume, you use litres instead of pints, or cubic metres instead of cubic feet
  • if you sell by length, you use metres instead of feet and inches

There are only a few exceptions. For example, draught beer and milk in returnable containers can still be sold in pints.

You must mark packaged goods with the metric measure. If you want, you can also show the imperial measure as well. But it must not be more prominent than the metric measure.

Local Trading Standards officers can advise you. They also make occasional checks to make sure you're following the rules. If you break the rules you could face a large fine or even a prison sentence.

Restrictions which limited the range of sizes pre-packaged goods could be packed in (with the exception of wines and spirits) have been removed. Aerosol products can also now be packed by weight or volume. Although goods can now be packed in any size, you may continue using traditional standard pack sizes if you wish. Find information on the deregulation of pre-packed products on the National Measurement Office (NMO) website - Opens in a new window.

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Sales and marketing

Selling and the law


Weights and measures




Current section

Use metric weights and measures


Fixed-weight packaged goods: what you must do


Rules for bakers


Rules for butchers


Rules for greengrocers


Rules for pubs, restaurants and cafes