Published: 10 June 2022  (Updated: 20 July 2022)

Consultation on the UK Government Review of Units of Measurement

The UK Government seeks views on units of measurement for consumer transactions.

On 3 June 2022, the UK Government has announced the launch of a consultation to review how measurements are used in trade and consumer transactions, and the potential amendment of the options from metric to imperial measuring systems.  

Currently, UK legislation requires metric units to be used for all trade purposes with only limited exceptions.  The legal framework reflects the requirements the UK adopted as part of its membership of the EU by the requirements set out in EU Directive 80/181/EC (as amended) which concerns units of measurement.  The Directive was intended to ensure consistency in the use of units of measurement used for all purposes across member states of the EU. This was transposed in the UK through the Weights and Measures Act 1985.  Whilst imperial units can be used alongside metric units, the imperial markings must be no larger or no more prominent than the metric ones.  There are sanctions for non-compliance.

Having now left the EU, the UK Government is considering how the measurement system can work for British businesses and consumers.  The Government’s commitment to review the current law on units of measurement was announced as part of its plans to capitalise on the benefits of Brexit. The government is committed to review the current law to identify how choice can be given to businesses and consumers over the units of measurement they use for trade, while ensuring that measurement information remains accurate.  The evidence gathered from this consultation will inform the Government’s plans to provide a choice on weights and measures for consumer transactions.

The Public Consultation was launched on 3 June 2022 and will run until 26 August 2022.

For more information and to access the consultation, please see here.

Find us on...