ARCHIVED — Vol. 146, No. 6 — March 14, 2012

Registration

SOR/2012-28 March 2, 2012

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT

Regulations Amending the Weights and Measures Regulations

P.C. 2012-221 March 1, 2012

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Industry, pursuant to paragraph 10(1)(i) (see footnote a) of the Weights and Measures Act (see footnote b), hereby makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Weights and Measures Regulations.

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE WEIGHTS
AND MEASURES REGULATIONS

AMENDMENTS

1. The portion of section 82 of the Weights and Measures Regulations (see footnote 1) before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

82. When a weight that has a marked weight set out in column I of an item in a table to sections 84 to 88 is tested for acceptance limits of error in relation to a local standard weight, the weight is considered to be within the acceptance limits of error if its actual weight determined by the test

2. The portion of section 83 of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

83. When a weight that has a marked weight set out in column I of an item in a table to sections 84 to 88 is tested for in-service limits of error in relation to a local standard weight, the weight is considered to be within the in-service limits of error if its actual weight determined by the test

3. Section 143 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

143. A machine, other than a scale used for prepackaging or a device described in subsection 4(2), shall be installed so that the indications of the primary means of indication can be clearly read by any party to the transaction for which the machine is being used, but, if such an installation is not practicable, a secondary means of indication shall be provided to allow the parties to the transaction to read the indications.

4. (1) The headings before section 150 of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

DIVISION VI

AUTOMATIC WEIGHING MACHINES

Interpretation

(2) The portion of section 150 of the Regulations before the definitions is replaced by the following:

150. The following definitions apply in this Division.

(3) The definition “machine” in section 150 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

“machine” means an automatic weighing machine for use in trade that weighs without the intervention of an operator and follows a predetermined program of automatic processes characteristic of the machine. (appareil)

(4) Section 150 of the Regulations is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

“continuous totalizing weighing machine” means a machine used for continuously weighing a bulk product on a conveyor belt, without systematic subdivision of the mass and without interruption of the movement of the conveyor belt. (appareil de pesage totalisateur en continu)

“electronic machine” means a machine, other than a continuous totalizing weighing machine, for use in trade that operates with electronic components and is equipped with a digital means of indication. (appareil électronique)

“tare function” in respect of a machine, means a process, mechanism or feature that allows it to utilize tare. (fonction tare)

5. Section 151 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

151. (1) If the accuracy of registration, including the zero weight indication, of a portable machine is affected when it is off level, the machine shall be equipped with a self-locking or lockable means of levelling and a level indicator.

(2) An electronic computing machine shall be equipped with a level indicator that is easily visible or with the tools that are necessary to expose the level indicator if it is not easily visible.

152. (1) An electronic machine shall be equipped with an automatic motion detector to prevent the registration of weight values until the weight indication is stable within

  1. (a) plus or minus one times the value of the minimum increment of registration, if the electronic machine has a capacity of 2000 kg or less; or

  2. (b) plus or minus three times the value of the minimum increment of registration, if the electronic machine has a capacity of more than 2000 kg.

(2) An electronic computing machine shall be equipped with an automatic motion detector to prevent the registration of weight values until the weight indication is stable within plus or minus one times the value of the minimum increment of registration.

(3) The weight indication of an electronic machine shall be stable, in accordance with subsections (1) and (2), for at least 0.4 of a second before registering a weight value.

(4) The zero-setting mechanism and the zero-tracking mechanism circuits of an electronic machine shall be interlocked with the motion detector so that these mechanisms are inoperative while motion is being detected.

153. The registration of monetary value determined by an electronic computing machine shall equal the product of the weight indication multiplied by the unit price. It is to be rounded to the nearest cent as follows:

  1. (a) when the digit next beyond the second decimal is less than 5, the second decimal is to be kept unchanged;

  2. (b) when the digit next beyond the second decimal is greater than 5, or is 5 followed by one or more digits other than zeros, the second decimal is to be increased by one; and

  3. (c) when the digit next beyond the second decimal is 5 and is followed by no other digits or by one or more zeros, the second decimal is to be kept unchanged if it is even and be increased by one if it is odd.

154. (1) The tare function of an electronic machine shall operate only in a negative direction in relation to zero.

(2) The tare function control mechanism of an electronic machine shall be identified with the word “TARE”, the letters “TR”, or with words or letters that convey the same meaning.

(3) An electronic machine may be equipped with full-scale tare; however, the gross weight shall not exceed the rated capacity of the machine in accordance with the limits set out in section 170.

(4) The value of the minimum increment of tare of an electronic machine shall be the same as the value of the minimum increment of registration.

(5) The use of any mechanism to convert units of measurement (for example, a pound/kg switch) shall be inhibited when the tare is entered into the memory of an electronic machine, unless the mechanism converts all values of weight registration when activated.

(6) The tare function of an electronic computing machine shall be self-cancelling so that when any net weight is added to the tare, the total is computed, and when the gross weight is removed from the machine, the weight indication returns to zero in accordance with section 183, unless the machine is in prepackaging mode.

(7) A tare entry shall be automatically erased from an electronic computing machine’s memory only after the completion of the weighing operation. The entry of another price per unit of weight, the use of a “clear” mechanism or any other keying sequence shall not affect the tare entry.

(8) An electronic computing machine with a tare function shall be equipped with a power failure interlock mechanism that prevents the continuation of the weighing operation when there is a temporary loss of power. When there is a loss of power to an electronic computing machine, all visual indications of the tare function shall extinguish and remain extinguished even when power is restored.

(9) A negative weight value shall continue to be displayed on an electronic computing machine when the load-receiving element is empty and the tare function is in operation.

(10) There shall be a visual indication on or adjacent to the weight display of an electronic computing machine when the tare function is in operation.

(11) If an electronic machine, other than an electronic computing machine, displays only one weight value at a time, there shall be visual indication on or adjacent to the weight display that indicates that the tare function is in operation.

(12) If an electronic machine, other than an electronic computing machine, is capable of registering gross, net or tare weight, the weight values shall be clearly identified.

6. The Regulations are amended by adding the following after section 158:

159. (1) The overall range of the zero-setting mechanism of an electronic machine that may be adjusted externally shall not exceed four per cent of the machine’s rated capacity unless the adjustment is made using a tool that is not permanently affixed to the adjustment mechanism. When activated, that adjustment mechanism shall return the weight indication to zero.

(2) The overall range of the zero-tracking mechanism of an electronic machine shall not exceed four per cent of the machine’s rated capacity.

(3) The zero-tracking mechanism of an electronic machine shall not be operator-controlled and the maximum weight value corrected at any one time by the zero-tracking mechanism shall not exceed 0.6 times the value of the minimum increment of registration.

160. When an electronic computing machine displays a weight value less than zero, the total price indicator shall not display any value and the other registration elements, excluding the indicating elements, shall be interlocked to inhibit the registration of negative weight values.

161. The luminosity contrast between the visual indications and the background of the indicator of an electronic machine shall have a ratio equal to or greater than 4 to 1.

162. In order to allow for the adjustment of the weight of a commodity, the weight signal of an electronic computing machine must be free-floating until the final weight of the commodity is obtained.

163. An electronic machine shall be equipped with the means to seal the coarse zero and span adjustment controls so that all other components and adjustments are readily accessible without breaking the seal. The means shall be readily observable upon inspection without having to disassemble any part using tools that are not supplied with the machine.

164. An electronic machine shall be equipped with a test system for verifying that each display segment is not continuously on or off. The test system shall permit verification of display segments without any tools or by a self-verifying automatic system that indicates the occurrence of any failure.

7. The Regulations are amended by adding the following after section 169:

170. (1) An electronic machine, other than an electronic computing machine, shall not register or print any value when the load exceeds 105 per cent of the rated capacity of the machine.

(2) An electronic computing machine shall not register or print any value when the load exceeds the rated capacity of the machine by more than 10 times the value of the minimum increment of registration.

8. (1) Subsection 172(1) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

172. (1) The value of the minimum increment of registration on a machine shall not be greater than 10 kg or 20 pounds unless the capacity of the machine exceeds 100 000 kg or 200,000 pounds, in which case the value of the minimum increment of registration shall not be greater than 20 kg or 50 pounds.

(2) The portion of subsection 172(2) of the French version of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

(2) La valeur du plus petit échelon du dispositif enregistreur d’une balance-réservoir conçue pour le pesage de l’alcool ou d’une bascule à trémie conçue pour peser le grain dans une installation terminale ou de transbordement ne peut dépasser :

(3) Subsection 172(3) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(3) The value of the minimum increment of registration on a continuous totalizing weighing machine shall not be greater than 100 kg or 200 pounds.

(4) The value of the minimum increment of registration on an electronic computing machine shall not be greater than 10 grams or 0.01 pound.

(5) The maximum value of the minimum increment of registration that is permissible on an electronic machine, other than an electronic computing machine, is set out in the following tables:

TABLE 1

Item

Column 1


Capacity of Machine
Kilograms

Column 2

Maximum Value of
Minimum Increment
Kilogram(s)

1.

over 100 000

20

2.

over 20 000 to 100 000

10

3.

over 10 000 to 20 000

5

4.

over 5 000 to 10 000

2

5.

over 2 000 to 5 000

1

6.

over 1 000 to 2 000

0.5

7.

over 500 to 1 000

0.2

8.

over 200 to 500

0.1

9.

over 100 to 200

0.05

10.

over 50 to 100

0.02

11.

over 20 to 50

0.01

12.

20 and under

0.005

TABLE 2

Item

Column 1


Capacity of Machine
Pounds

Column 2

Maximum Value of
Minimum Increment
Pound(s)

1.

over 200,000

50

2.

over 40,000 to 200,000

20

3.

over 20,000 to 40,000

10

4.

over 10,000 to 20,000

5

5.

over 5,000 to 10,000

2

6.

over 2,000 to 5,000

1

7.

over 1,000 to 2,000

0.5

8.

over 500 to 1,000

0.2

9.

over 200 to 500

0.1

10.

over 100 to 200

0.05

11.

over 50 to 100

0.02

12.

50 and under

0.01

(6) The value of the minimum increment of registration on an electronic machine, other than an electronic computing machine, that is converted from the Canadian system of units to the International System of Units shall not exceed the converted value set out in the following table:

TABLE

Item

Column 1

Present Value
(Minimum Increment)

Column 2

Converted Value
(Minimum Increment)

Pound(s)

Ounce(s)

Kilogram(s)

1.

50

20

2.

20

10

3.

10

5

4.

5

2

5.

2

1

6.

1

0.5

7.

0.5

8

0.2

8.

0.2

4

0.1

9.

0.1

2

0.05

10.

0.05

1

0.02

11.

0.02

0.25

0.01

12.

0.01

0.125

0.005

(7) The value of the minimum increment of registration of an electronic machine shall be equal to the number of kilograms or pounds obtained by using one of the following formulas:

1 × 10n, 2 × 10n or 5 × 10n,

where “n” represents a whole number, whether positive, negative or equal to zero.

9. The Regulations are amended by adding the following after section 177:

178. (1) An electronic machine shall perform within the applicable limits of error, when tested after being calibrated and zeroed, under relative humidity conditions between 10 per cent and 95 per cent, and under one of the following operating conditions:

  1. (a) the ambient temperature range is -10°C to +40°C, unless expressly specified otherwise on the approval application and marked on the machine;

  2. (b) if the specified minimum temperature is lower than -10°C or the specified maximum temperature is more than +40°C, the machine shall bear markings specifying the minimum and maximum temperatures and shall be approved for use within this expanded temperature range, if Measurement Canada laboratories are equipped to test at those temperatures;

  3. (c) when a machine meets the conditions described in paragraphs (a) and (b), it may be used beyond the approved minimum and maximum temperatures if it continues to perform within allowable limits of error; or

  4. (d) if the specified minimum temperature is higher than -10°C or the specified maximum temperature is less than +40°C, the machine shall bear markings specifying the minimum and maximum temperatures and shall only be approved for use within this reduced temperature range.

(2) The difference between the specified minimum and maximum temperatures for an electronic machine shall not be less than

  1. (a) 5°C for machines with more than 50,000 increments of registration;

  2. (b) 15°C for machines used to weigh precious metals and other commodities of comparable value; and

  3. (c) 30°C for machines used to weigh commodities other than precious metals or commodities of comparable value.

(3) An electronic machine shall perform within the applicable limits of error when tested at a constant ambient temperature that does not vary more than 5°C.

179. (1) When a load remains on an electronic machine, the difference between the indication that is obtained at the moment that the load is applied and the indication that is obtained eight hours after its application shall not exceed the permissible acceptance limit of error for the applied load.

(2) The variation on returning to zero after the removal of a load which has remained on an electronic machine for half an hour may not exceed one half the value of the minimum increment of registration.

(3) The weight indication at zero or near zero on an electronic machine shall not vary by more than the value of the minimum increment of registration for a difference in ambient temperature of 5°C.

180. An electronic machine shall perform within the applicable limits of error when scanned at a distance of 2 metres with

  1. (a) a 460-MHz (commercial) 4-watt hand-held communicator; and

  2. (b) a 27-MHz (citizens’ band) 4-watt hand-held communicator.

10. The Regulations are amended by adding the following after section 185:

186. An electronic machine shall be able to withstand vertical forces up to 150 per cent of its rated capacity without affecting its calibration.

187. An electronic machine shall be able to operate within plus or minus 10 per cent of its voltage rating and within plus or minus 2 per cent of its frequency rating.

11. The portion of section 193 of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

193. The acceptance limits of error and the in-service limits of error applicable to a continuous totalizing weighing machine shall be 0.5 per cent of the known weight of the material used to test the machine if the machine

12. The Regulations are amended by adding the following after section 196:

197. An electronic computing machine, other than one for prepackaging use, shall clear all digital indications of total price and price per unit of weight and shall extinguish the tare indication either when the commodity is removed from the load-receiving element or before another commodity is weighed and its price is computed.

198. When an electronic computing machine is in prepackaging mode there shall be a visual indication on both the operator and customer sides of the machine, whether by the words “for prepackaging use” or words that convey the same meaning.

199. The junction boxes of an electronic machine, other than an electronic computing machine, shall be equipped with a sealing mechanism when they contain calibration adjustments.

200. When the indicator of an electronic machine, other than an electronic computing machine, is connected to two or more weighing locations, each of which may consist of one or more load-receiving elements,

  1. (a) the indicator shall be equipped with a separate calibrating circuit for each weighing location, so that the adjustment of one circuit will not affect the calibration of any other;

  2. (b) each calibrating circuit shall be marked to identify which weighing location it controls and that indication shall be clearly visible by any party to the transaction for which the machine is being used;

  3. (c) the indicator shall be equipped with an automatic means to clearly identify any weighing location that is in use; and

  4. (d) any interconnecting cable that may affect the calibration shall be identified to indicate the weighing location to which it is connected.

13. The French version of the Regulations is amended by replacing “marges de tolérance à la réception” with “marges de tolérance à l’acceptation” in the following provisions:

  1. (a) section 99; and

  2. (b) section 115.

COMING INTO FORCE

14. These Regulations come into force 60 days after the day on which they are registered.

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issue and objectives

These amendments to the Weights and Measures Regulations (the Regulations) are technical in nature and are being made to address concerns expressed by the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations (SJCSR) regarding clarity, coherence between the French and English versions, and minor editorial revisions.

The Weights and Measures Specifications SGM-1 (SGM-1) and the Weights and Measures Specifications SGM-3 (SGM-3), which govern the electronic requirements for automatic weighing machines, are to be incorporated in division VI, part V of the Regulations. Thus, the regulatory requirements for all automatic weighing machines will now be consolidated in a single document. This consolidation will facilitate the application and enforcement of the regulatory requirements. The amendments are in keeping with the federal government initiative to streamline regulations for small businesses.

Integration of SGM-1 and SGM-3 specifications into the Regulations also provides the opportunity to standardize and update the wording of the requirements to clarify the purpose and to address the concerns expressed by the SJCSR.

Description and rationale

The amendments of the Regulations are of three types:

  1. Editorial amendments to the Regulations;
  2. Amendments addressing concerns raised by the SJCSR on section 143 of the Regulations pertaining to the difference between the English and French versions; and
  3. Inclusion in the Regulations of requirements previously listed in the SGM-1 and SGM-3 specifications. These amendments also consider concerns raised by the SJCSR relating to these specifications.

1. Editorial amendments to the Regulations

Sections 82, 99 and 115 of the French-language version of the Regulations were amended because they included the term “marges de tolérance à la réception,” whereas the term “marges de tolérance à l’acceptation (acceptance limits of error) should have been used. Other editorial changes were made, in both the English and French versions, to improve readability of section 82. Section 83 was amended to reflect the editorial changes made to section 82 and to ensure concurrence.

2. Amendments addressing concerns raised by the SJCSR on section 143 of the Regulations

Section 143 of the Regulations was revised following a suggestion by the SJCSR. The amended version improves the clarity of the purpose of the section by emphasizing the need to use a second means of measurement indication in some cases. The purpose of the section is to ensure all parties, including the client, have open access to measurement indications.

3. Inclusion in the Regulations of requirements previously listed in the SGM-1 and SGM-3 specifications

The title of division VI of part V of the Regulations was amended to reinforce the distinction between automatic weighing machines and those governed by the Specifications Relating to Non-automatic Weighing Devices (1998).

The requirements set out in the SGM-1 and SGM-3 specifications were integrated into other requirements for automatic weighing machines in division VI of part V of the Regulations. Whenever appropriate, the requirements were integrated into existing sections.

The phrase “Except as may be otherwise allowed by a Notice of Approval” was removed from certain sections of the SGM-1 and SGM-3 specifications. This deletion standardizes the Regulations and ensures possible exemptions to the approval process are set out only in one place, i.e. subsection 13(3) of the Regulations, thus minimizing confusion.

The definition of “machine” and “continuous totalizing weighing machine” in section 150 of the Regulations were harmonized with the terminology used by our international counterparts: the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML: Organisation internationale de métrologie légale), and the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The harmonization ensures consistency with the wording used in the Regulations. The definition of “electronic machine” helps establish a distinction between strictly mechanical machines and those that use electronic components. The definition of “tare function” was added to add clarity to the requirements.

The rules for rounding numbers set out in section 153 of the Regulations repeat those described in section 18 of the SGM-1 specifications. Regulatory amendments made to the rules also clarify instances where the value to be rounded ends in 5. The amendments align Canadian requirements with those used in the United States for rounding monetary values.

In addition to including the maximum values of the minimum increments of registration for electronic weighing machines, (see footnote 2) editorial changes were also made to subsections (1), (2) and (3) of section 172 of the Regulations, to ensure consistency of terminology. The section now includes the terms “dispositif enregistreur,” in the French version, and “continuous totalizing weighing machine” in both versions. That last term was also integrated in section 193.

With the addition of subsection 172(7), the allowable values of the minimum increments of registration will now be the same for all electronic weighing machines. Previously, it was not specified these values applied to electronic computing machines, though this is the common practice in Canada for all electronic weighing machines.

Section 178 of the Regulations, which addresses temperature and humidity conditions, reiterates the requirements of both SGM specifications and adds acceptable temperature ranges. These ranges have been in effect since May 1, 1995, and were established in consultation with interested stakeholders.

Section 186 of the Regulations reduces the overload requirement under which an electronic weighing machine must be able to withstand vertical forces of up to 300% of its rated capacity. The regulatory amendment formalizes a policy that has been in effect since January 1, 1995, which states that vertical forces of up to 150% must be withstood. This change does not reduce the effectiveness of the approval requirement, and ensures additional consistency with international standards established by the OIML, or the NIST Handbook 44 in the United States.

Section 9 of the SGM-1 specifications and section 6 of the SGM-3 specifications have been removed, as these requirements are already set out in section 136 of the Regulations. The requirement set out in section 11 of the SGM-1 specifications has also been removed, as it corresponds to section 143 of the Regulations. Finally, section 15.5 of the SGM-3 specifications has been removed, as the requirement was established to allow for the use of old weighing machines during conversion to the metric system in the early 1980s and is thus no longer required.

As the platter locking system referred to in section 6 of the SGM-1 specifications is no longer used in trade, this reference was not added to the Regulations.

SGM-1 and SGM-3 specifications are repealed as their content has now been integrated into the Weights and Measures Regulations.

Consultation

No public consultation was held given the administrative nature of these amendments and their low impact on interested parties.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

The Regulations and the order repealing specifications SGM-1 and SGM-3 will come into force 60 days after the date of their registration. This delay will ensure that applicants who have submitted machines for approval will not be disadvantaged, due to slightly modified requirements. It will also allow for the revision of approval and inspection procedures, and their dissemination to staff performing examinations of automatic weighing machines.

It will not be necessary to introduce new implementation and enforcement mechanisms since these amendments are administrative in nature and do not grant any additional authority to inspection personnel. The current implementation mechanisms of the Weights and Measures Act and its regulations continue to apply.

Contact

Gilles Vinet
Vice-President
Program Development Directorate
Measurement Canada
Small Business, Tourism and Marketplace Services Sector
Industry Canada
151 Tunney’s Pasture Driveway
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C9
Telephone: 613-941-8918
Fax: 613-952-1736
Email: gilles.vinet@ic.gc.ca

Footnote a
S.C. 1993, c. 34 s. 136

Footnote b
R.S., c. W-6

Footnote 1
C.R.C., c. 1605

Footnote 2
The minimum increment of registration for an electronic weighing machine is the smallest value the machine can register.