Vol. 151, No. 20 — October 4, 2017
SOR/2017-198 September 22, 2017
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Regulations Amending the Weights and Measures Regulations
P.C. 2017-1174 September 22, 2017
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Industry, pursuant to paragraphs 10(1)(e.1) (see footnote a) and (v) of the Weights and Measures Act (see footnote b), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Weights and Measures Regulations.
Regulations Amending the Weights and Measures Regulations
1 The long title of the Weights and Measures Regulations (see footnote 1) is replaced by the following:
Weights and Measures Regulations
2 Section 1 of the Regulations and the heading before it are repealed.
3 Section 29 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
29 (1) For the purpose of subsection 15(1) of the Act, a trader who uses or possesses for use a device set out in column I of Part I of Schedule I, in the category of trade set out in column II, shall cause the device to be examined within the period set out in column III, counting from the day on which the most recent certificate showing that the device meets the requirements of the Act and these Regulations was issued following the examination referred to in
- (a) paragraph 8(b) of the Act, before the first use in trade of the device; or
- (b) section 15 or 15.1 of the Act.
(2) If a device falls under more than one item of Part I of Schedule I, the shortest period set out in column III for those items applies for the purposes of subsection (1).
4 The portion of section 29.1 of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
29.1 For the purpose of subsection 15(2) of the Act, the Minister may grant to a trader an extension of a period established under subsection 29(1) if
5 Part II of Schedule I to the Regulations is repealed.
Coming into Force
6 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
Amendments to the Weights and Measures Regulations (the Regulations) came into force on August 1, 2014. These amendments were required to prescribe provisions in the newly enacted Fairness at the Pumps Act. The amendments to the Act introduced periodic examination requirements for traders using weighing and measuring devices in certain categories of trade. The Regulations set out the period in which traders must cause their device to be examined and the due date of the first periodic examination. They also set out which types of examinations count toward the determination of the due date.
The regulatory text pertaining to periodic examination requirements has proven extremely difficult to understand and interpret. This new requirement that was introduced in 2014 was drafted in such a way as to ensure the smoothest possible implementation. The aim was to make it easier for traders to determine the date by which they had to cause the first periodic examination of their weighing and measuring devices. With this emphasis on the first periodic examination, the provision included a number of scenarios to help traders determine this date, but consequently, it made it difficult to determine the dates of subsequent periodic examinations.
Since the implementation period ended on August 1, 2017, the Regulations only need to address the periodic examination requirement moving forward. Corrections to the Regulations are also needed in order to remove text that was specific to the implementation. At the same time, a portion of the text outlining the types of examinations that count toward the determination of the next periodic examinations also needed to be clarified.
The implementation period for mandatory examinations was gradually carried out over a 24-month period for most categories of trade, except for the retail food trade category, where the period was 36 months. The implementation period was from August 1, 2014, to August 1, 2016, with the exception of the retail food category, where the implementation period was extended by a year and ran from August 1, 2014, to August 1, 2017.
The implementation of periodic examinations was phased in based on the geographic location of the trader’s device so as to avoid all devices becoming due for examination at the same time, which would have created pressure on the availability of examination services and could have affected the price of examinations.
Prior to these amendments, the Regulations set out scenarios for situations that could arise during the implementation period. This includes dealing with a device that was moved to a new region prior to the expiry of the implementation period. Another provision was added so that traders who had recently had their devices examined prior to the coming into force of this new requirement were not penalized. Under this provision, a device used in trade prior to August 1, 2014, had to be examined within whichever of the following periods ended later: the implementation period for the geographic location of the device determined by postal code or the period counting from the last examination carried out prior to implementation. With the implementation period over, these provisions are no longer required and could be repealed.
These amendments to the Regulations aim to make the regulatory text that prescribes the period in which traders must cause their device to be examined more coherent and easier to understand. They will also prevent any confusion that implementation-specific dates and scenarios would have caused if kept in the text.
These amended Regulations are important to traders who use or possess for use in trade weighing and measuring devices in the categories of trade subject to periodic examination requirements. The changes include the repealing of two subsections that had been part of the Regulations to facilitate the introduction and implementation of periodic examinations, such as the scenarios mentioned above. They also included removing all occurrences of the implementation date (August 1, 2014) as they would have added to the confusion had they remained after the implementation period had ended.
Along with the changes mentioned above, the amended Regulations also more clearly outline the types of examinations (e.g. examination before the first use in trade, examination at the request of the owner or person in possession of the device) that count toward the determination of the due date of the next periodic examination. This was done by setting the two types of examinations apart from the main body of the subsection to improve readability and clarity.
The periodic examination requirements have not changed in any way; the amendments aim to enhance the readability and clarity of this requirement. It should now be much easier for traders to understand that they must have any new or existing devices subject to periodic examinations examined at the prescribed interval on a continuing basis.
The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal, as there is no change in administrative costs for business.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as there are no costs (or insignificant costs) for small business.
The periodic examination requirements have not changed in any way. This means that the amendments do not have an impact on the general public, device owners and stakeholders, or on device examinations activities in general. As a result, no consultations were held as part of this regulatory change.
All of these clarifications contribute to a better comprehension of periodic examination requirements and help departmental personnel, device owners and the general public better understand the actions Measurement Canada takes in order to ensure a fair and equitable marketplace.
The implementation period is over and traders have now caused the first periodic examination of their device. The regulatory text has been shortened to focus on the continuing requirement for periodic examinations of existing devices and the examination frequency that applies to new devices that are examined and certified for the first time. At the same time, the types of examination that count toward the determination of periodic examinations dates were more clearly outlined in the text.
Keeping the text that was implementation specific would have continued to cause confusion, especially since it included dates and scenarios that no longer apply post-implementation. It would have made it extremely difficult to figure out the due date of subsequent periodic examinations following the initial one performed during implementation.
The amended Regulations more accurately present the requirements relating to periodic examinations moving forward and help traders better understand the frequency at which they must have their device examined and the date on which their device will be due for examination. They also allow Measurement Canada to more efficiently enforce the requirements, as the text is now clearer for departmental personnel, device owners and the general public.
The issues that have been resolved by amending the Regulations are administrative and housekeeping in nature and the periodic examination requirements remain the same. There are therefore no expected costs for device owners or any other stakeholders.
In fact, owners and stakeholders will benefit from a greater understanding of the regulatory requirements, which should facilitate compliance and reduce any confusion.