NSAI to increase instrument inspections

John Mc Guinness TD and Maurice Buckley, NSAI, at the launch of the 2009 – 2011 instrument inspection strategy
John Mc Guinness TD and Maurice Buckley, NSAI, at the launch of the 2009 – 2011 instrument inspection strategy

National Standards Authority will intensify inspection activity over the next three years in order to reinforce consumer confidence in Ireland



9 March 2009 | 0

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The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) announced last month that it will intensify its inspection of retailers, importers and packers of pre-packaged goods over the next three years, as part of a newly launched 2009 – 2011 strategy.

The agency says it aims to conduct a minimum of 4,000 instrument inspections per year.  

The plan was devised to heighten confidence in trade measurements by “ensuring they are accurate and compliant with legal requirements.” And NSAI has created a network of “authorised third party bodies” to conduct instrument inspections, including taxi-meters, petrol pumps and supermarket weighing scales.

Maurice Buckley, chief executive NSAI, told ShelfLife that the new strategy is not a reflection on the level of compliance in Ireland. “Compliance is generally high but European experience would suggest that when the level of continuous monitoring and inspection drops so too does the level of compliance,” he said.

Regarding potential impact on retail businesses, Buckley said: “While the focus of inspection is on ensuring that consumers can have confidence in trade measurements, equity in trade benefits buyers and sellers alike.

“The benefit to the retailer is an assured confidence that their equipment is not over dispensing product and for the consumer inspection offers assurance that they are getting fair value…From a legal stand point there is no change in requirements.”

Inspections take approx 30 to 40 minutes per instrument, which can vary depending on “the complexity of the set up.” Inspections typically occur every one to two years, with greater frequency where “non-compliances or risk to measurement integrity is detected.” 



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