Does a scale have to be recertified when it crosses the border?

A scale doesn’t have to be recertified once it crosses the border between Canada and the United States. This is thanks to the Canada/U.S. Type Evalulation Program. Here’s everything you should know about it.

About scale certification

In both Canada and the United States, scales used to buy and sell goods need to be certified as legal for trade. This certification can be obtained through authorized technicians and is necessary to ensure that trade relying on accurate weights proceeds fairly. In Canada, Measurement Canada is responsible for setting the standards and granting authorization to certify scales. In the United States, this job belongs to the National Conference of Weights and Measures (NCWM).

The Canada/U.S. Type Evaluation Program

Both countries have a type evaluation program for weighing equipment. In Canada, the needed laboratories are located in Ottawa. There, Measurement Canada conducts testing of scales against the Canadian requirement for legal for trade certification. In the United States, this is the job of National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP).

A 1994 agreement between the two countries allows for weighing equipment used in commercial activities to be tested for both sets of standards. This means Canadian laboratories can grant the U.S. NTEP certificate as well as the Canadian legal for trade certification, and vice-versa. In some cases, one country may also recognize the certification from the other country without need for further certification (fuel dispensers are one example).

Why this program matters

The program allows scale manufacturers to get their products tested for both countries in one place, cutting down on costs. Second, it lowers the barrier to entry for each market by allowing certification to take place all in one go. Finally, it helps to harmonize the technical and commercial standards between the two countries.

Equipment covered by the program

Here are the pieces of weighing equipment that are covered by the program:

  • Gasoline and diesel dispensers, speed dispensers and meters

  • Bench and floor scales with a capacity of up to 1000 kg, both electronic and non-electronic

  • Weighing equipment with capacity up to 1000 kg

  • Electronic indicators, unless software-based

  • Mechanical scales with capacity up to 10,000 kg

Scale inspection and certifications in Calgary

If you need to get a scale certified, Accurate/Western Scale Co. Ltd. can help. We also offer repair and maintenance services for your crane or hanging scale, and we carry a huge selection of truck and floor scales too. If you’re in Calgary or anywhere in Alberta, give us a call to learn more.

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