Measurements at open-air marketplaces

In sales at open-air marketplaces in Finland, the quantity of products is measured for
price-setting purposes e.g. with scales and solid volume measures, such as the traditional cylinder (mug-shaped) vegetable measure or the wooden cube-shaped potato measure called "kappa" in Finnish (as shown beside). Only measuring instruments complying with the Finnish Measuring Instruments Act may be used for measuring the quantity of a product in order to set its price. This ensures fair and reliable measurements. The reliability of scales used in sales at open-air marketplaces shall be regularly verified every three years.

 

Sales of solid products by volume 

 

Unlike in ordinary sales, the use of volume measures, e.g. the potato measure for potatoes and the cylinder measure for berries, are allowed for solid products at open-air market places. This applies to solid products at the lower end of the production chain, such as berries or root vegetables. However, this exception does not apply to industrially-made products, such as sweets, which must not be sold by volume at open-air marketplaces. Sales by volume have a long tradition in marketplace sales, even if the measurement method is much more inaccurate than weighing the product on a scales.

Disposable boxes commonly used in the sales of berries do not meet the requirements of the Finnish Measuring Instruments Act, unless they bear the appropriate conformity marking. If berries are packed into such boxes prior to sales, their quantity must be measured with a legal measuring instrument, such as a cylinder measure or a scale.

 

Measuring instruments for trade purposes can be identified from their markings 

 

Scales 

Scales intended for trade purposes must meet the related legal requirements and be equipped with a manufacturer's declaration of conformity. Approved scales must be equipped with a marking shown in Figure 1. Markings indicating the conformity of scales include the CE marking with the last two digits of the manufacturing year (in this case, 07), the identification number of the Notified Body (in this case, 0000) and a black letter M on a green background. Should any of these are missing, it means that the scale does not meet the requirements of the EU Directive on Non-automatic Weighing Instruments.

 

 

Figure 1. Set of markings indicating the conformity of a scale.

 

Old scales marked with the Finnish type-approval indication 'VJ' can still be used if they are in working order and have been duly verified when in service. A scale must be verified once three years have passed from the year of manufacture indicated on it. Such verification must be carried out by an inspection body approved by Tukes. A duly verified scale has a verification mark as shown in Figure 2. The year and month of the last verification is indicated on the mark.

 

 

Figure 2. Verification mark.
In this example, the verification was
performed in January 2012.

Figure 3. Finnish seal mark.

 


The mark shall be visible on all measuring instruments after in-service verification.

 

At the time of verification, it is possible to use a seal (Figure 3) to close the parts of the measuring instrument that must not be tampered with after verification; for example, parts using which the display can be adjusted and the measuring result changed, must be sealed. If the seal is broken, the verification is no longer valid.

 

In addition to the verification mark, it is possible to affix an informative sticker to the measuring instrument, indicating the due date of the next verification (Figure 4).

 



Figure 4. Indication of the next verification date.

In this example, the due date is in April 2012.

 

Cylinder measures 

In addition to a volume mark, an approved cylinder measure has either a verification mark as shown in Figure 5, or a mark as shown in Figure 6, indicating that the measuring instrument is in conformity with the EU Measuring Instruments Directive (MID). A conformity marking consists of the CE marking, a supplementary metrology marking (M) , the last two digits of the year of its affixing (such as 07) and the identification number of the Notified Body (such as 0000).

 

 

Figure 5. Verification mark
of solid measure.

Figure 6. Marking indicating conformity with MID.

 

For cylinder measures, no in-service verification is required, provided that the measure and its markings remain in good working order.


Wooden potato measures

In addition to a volume mark, an approved potato measure carries a verification mark as shown in Figure 5. For potato measures, no in-service verification is required, provided that the measure and its markings remain in good working order.

 

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