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Legal-For-Trade - Click here to see all the LFT models we offer

Precision Weighing Balances offers a large selection of "Legal-for-Trade"  National Type Evaluation Programbalances.  You can see all the legal for trade scales we offer HERE. Our most popular "Legal-for-Trade" scales are the Sartorius GD503, A&D EK1200i, EK6000i, EK12Ki, EW1500i, AND FX120iN, A&D FX200iN, A&D FX-300iN, AND FX1200iN, A&D FX2000iN, A&D FX-3000iN, Mettler-Toledo JB703-C/AF , JL602-GLA01, JL6001-GLA01, JB3002-G/A-F, JB8001-G/A-F, SB32001-G/A, used by EK1200jewelers, tobacco, coffee or candy stores.  "Legal for Trade" scales are generally considered those scales which are intended by the manufacturer for use in "commercial" applications where product is sold by weight.  While the definition of commercial applications may vary slightly among different weights and measures jurisdictions, NIST Handbook 44 (General Code paragraph G-A.1.) and NIST Handbook 130 (Uniform Weights and Measures Law, Section 1.13.) define Commercial Weighing and Measuring Equipment as follows:

".....weights and measures and weighing and measuring devices commercially used or employed in establishing the size, quantity, extent, area, or measurement of quantities, things, produce, or articles for distribution or consumption, purchased, offered, or submitted for sale, hire, or award, or in computing any basic charge or payment for services rendered on the basis of weight or measure."

"Legal-for-Trade" balances typically cost more than "Not Legal for Trade" since extensive testing is required to achieve a Certificate of Conformance.  The stringent testing requirements are usually only achieved in high quality balances incorporating the use high quality electronic components and superior engineering.  Precision Weighing Balances offers a huge selection of "Legal for Trade" balances.

Many people ask - why should I buy a balance that is "Legal-for-Trade" when I don't intend to use the balance in a commercial weighing application?  In our opinion, when you purchase a "Legal-for-Trade" balance you will know you are getting a quality precision weighing balance that has undergone independent testing to verify the unit meets the manufacturer's specifications.  If their is a comparable model built by another manufacturer why wouldn't they attempt to achieve "legal-for-trade" status?  Is the reason they typically can't pass the requirements?

For this reason we also recommend A&D & Mettler balances over any other manufacturer because of the numerous "Legal-for-Trade" scale they manufacturer.  Take a look at some of the other scale manufacturers and if you see that they don't offer any "legal-for-trade" scales it is usually since they can't produce a quality balance that can meet the stringent test.

To achieve a Certificate of Conformance for "Legal-for-Trade" status the testing emphasis of the evaluation is to verify the balance meets the performance specifications.  Typical testing includes:

All State weights and measures jurisdictions have adopted Handbook 44, so, except in instances where an individual State has adopted more specific language to define the term "commercial," this general definition would apply.  The determination that a scale is a "legal for trade scale" begins with the manufacturer who designs a scale to be used in commercial applications.  A scale that meets all requirements of NIST Handbook 44 and applicable State and local weights and measures requirements would be deemed to be suitable for "legal for trade" or commercial applications.

The National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) performs evaluations of weighing and measuring devices for compliance with NIST Handbook 44.  Many States require an NTEP Certificate of Conformance for any device to be installed in a commercial application.  (You can review these states that require NTEP Certificates and States that have Voluntary Registration of Service Agencies and Service Persons (VRSA) by downloading this PDF fileNTEP testing does not "assign a legal for trade status" to a device, it simply indicates that the device evaluated has been found to comply with Handbook 44.  In a non-NTEP State, for example, a device may not need an NTEP Certificate of Conformance to be used in a commercial application; it may simply be required to meet Handbook 44 requirements and comply with any additional State weights and measures requirements.  The final approval of the device in a specific installation rests with the State, Local, or Federal weights and measures official who determines if the device meets all Handbook 44 requirements, including installation and suitability requirements.

Some manufacturers who design a scale which is not intended for legal for trade or commercial applications may mark their scales with the phrase "Not Legal for Trade" to help ensure that the scale is not used in a commercial application.

The accuracy classes of scales, the manufacturer assigns the accuracy class of the device based on its design and intended application.  Handbook 44 includes specifications and tolerances for each accuracy class.  In order to be approved for use as a particular accuracy class scale, the device must meet the specifications, tolerances, use, and other requirements for the accuracy class.  An overview of the typical applications for the various accuracy classes is as follows:

Class I and II devices are generally used in laboratory and higher precision weighing.  (Class I 100,000+ divisions) (Class II 10,000 - 100,000 divisions)

Class III devices are commercial weighing devices not specified in other accuracy classes and also includes scales such as postal scales, animal scales, and others.  (Class III 1,000 - 10,000 divisions)

Class IIIL includes scales such as vehicle, axle-load, livestock, railway track, crane, hopper (other than grain), etc.

Class IIII includes wheel load weighers and portable axle-load weighers for highway weight enforcement. (See the Scales Code in Handbook 44 for further details.)

A lot of people call us to explain what "d" and "e" means so here is the answer:

The value d is the smallest division shown on the scale display.

The value e is the verification scale division. It represents the stated accuracy of a scale when the scale display has extra units added in order to expand the resolution. The verification scale division (e) may be larger than the displayed scale division (d) for some devices.

The information listed on this page is only a summary regarding Legal for Trade Scales and Balances.  There is an abundance of information on the Internet regarding this information in greater detail.  A great source of valuable information can be found at the National Institute of Standards & Technology Office of Weights and Measure.  You can also search NIST's web site and download the Certificate of Conformance here.  We also recommend you contact your State, Local, or Federal weights and measures official for more detailed information.

Additional sources include the Scale Manufacturers Association. West Virginia Weights and Measures has their laws outlined online here where you can learn more about the language related to weights and measures.

In closing, selecting the correct scale for your commercial application can sometimes be best answered by the people administrating the weights and measure program for your state.  We offer a link that lists as the State W & M Directors with their phone number e-mail address and web site here.

Special Note:
Many of the legal for trade balances are now being marked "Not for Direct Sales" and we are receiving many calls from concerned customers thinking their scale is not Legal for Trade if the balance has a label on the display marked "Not for Direct Sales".  Please be assured the balances and scales that Precision Weighing Balances markets in our "Legal For Trade Scales" category on our home page are Legal for Trade.

Many of the scales are labeled "Not for Direct Sales" since Weight & measures now want both the operator of the scale and the consumer to be able to see the display showing the weight.  If the scale only has one display then the scale should not be used for a direct transaction between the operator of the scale and the consumer.  For direct face to face transactions with the consumer you are required to purchase an optional auxiliary display so the consumer can see the weight on their on display.  There are some scales we offer where you can purchase an optional auxiliary display and if this is your situation we recommend you give us a call prior to making your purchase.

Below is an e-mail we received from Jim Truex, NTEP Administrator at National Conference on Weights and Measures.

From:Jim Truex
Sent: Friday, December 26, 2008 6:15 PM
To: Precision Weighing Balance
Cc: Don Onwiler
Subject: not for direct sale labeling

Please don?t confuse the terminology ?not for direct sale? with ?not legal for trade?, as they are not the same.  In weights and measures terminology a direct sale is one where both the buyer and seller are present.  NIST Handbook 44 requires the customer to be able to witness the transaction and transaction information form a reasonable position in a direct sale application.

I assure you the scales are NTEP approved, are legal for trade and are legal for use in commerce.

Jim Truex
NTEP Administrator

National Conference on Weights and Measures
1135 M Street, Suite 110 / Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
P. 402.434.4880 D. 740.919.4350 F. 402.434.4878

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