All establishments in Utah who use scales for commercial transactions between two or more parties need to be registered with the State of Utah Weights & Measures Program. If a scale is used as any part of the determination of a monetary value in a given transaction it is considered to be used commercially. The application for registration may be found here.
Unannounced inspections are conducted during normal business hours at any business owning a device used in the buying or selling of precious metals located in the State of Utah or any out of state business that is doing business in the State of Utah. Inspections can be performed at any interval. Our Inspectors show identification during the inspection. If you have any concerns you are welcome to call the Utah Department of Agriculture & Food-Weights & Measures Program at (801) 538-7158 to verify the identity of the Inspector.
LEGAL FOR TRADE SCALES
Use only suitable and legal for trade scales for the transaction. Use only scales that have been tested and approved by a weights and measures official. The scale needs to be a model that has been approved for commercial use and is legal for trade. It also needs to be suitable for its intended use in terms of load capacity, unit of measure, scale division size, etc. (See NIST Handbook 44 G-UR.1.1 Suitability of Equipment and Uniform National Type Evaluation)
How can I determine whether or not a scale is legal for trade?
If it states “NOT LEGAL FOR TRADE” the scale is not legal for trade: You won’t have to look any further!
CERTIFICATE OF CONFORMANCE (CC): The model needs to have an NTEP CC (National Type Evaluation Program Certificate of Conformance). The number will be in this format: XX-XXX and should come up on the following database: http://www.ncwm.net/certificates (Searching by make/model can be tricky so you may want to get the CC number from the scale manufacturer or reseller and then confirm it at the above location. Many models also have the CC number printed right on the scale.)
ACCURACY CLASS MARKING: If scale is legal for trade and was manufactured on or after January 1, 1986 it will have an accuracy class marking of I, II, or III. The mark may or may not have the word “class” in front of it and the mark may or may not have a circle around it. Other words or phrases such as “Type 4” or “Lot 2” are NOT class markings. We recommend you always verify the CC number and accuracy class before you use or purchase a scale!
Sometimes a Legal for Trade Scale has a counting feature that is not legal for trade. That is fine as long as you are not using the actual counting feature for buying/selling.
Where can I purchase a legal for trade scale?
- Purchase the scale anywhere as long as it meets the criteria above.
- Any reputable scale dealer or company.
- Scale companies and scale manufacturers can be found in the phone book or on the internet.
What does it mean to “Place a scale into service” and who can do this?
Before a scale is used for transactions it needs to be checked to verify it is working correctly-even if it is brand new. This can either be done by a State of Utah Weights & Measures official or by a Service Technician that is registered with the Utah Weights and Measures Program. If it is placed into service by a Service Technician it will still need to be inspected and get an approval certification label by a Weights & Measures Inspector. If a Placed in Service Report is submitted you will be able to go ahead and use the scale until an official examination can be completed by a Weights and Measures Inspector.
Are there any regulations on HOW the scale is used?
- Use only suitable and legal for trade scales for the transaction. Use only scales that have been tested and approved by a weight and measures official.
- Follow all guidelines and procedures as outlined in Handbooks and regulations related to the device.
- POSITION OF EQUIPMENT. Make sure you can see the scale indications. For direct sales (both buyer & seller are present) scale needs to be positioned in such a way that the scale is in full view and the scale display can easily be read by both parties.
- Ensure that the scale is installed in a level position on a stable surface.
- Use or subtract correct tare weight for the container holding the material on the scale. The scale must register zero before any weighing begins. It may read “behind” zero or show a negative value if a container is used to hold material to be weighed. The scale must read zero when this empty container is on the scale to ensure accurate measurement of property.
- Convert between units of measure correctly. (e.g., grams to pennyweights or troy ounces)
- Use proper rounding of the weight indications.
- Knowledge of conversion values is important to prevent inaccurate final payment for property;
- 1 gram = 0.6430149 pennyweights or 0.03215075 troy ounces
- 1 pennyweight = 1.55517384 or 0.05 troy ounces
- 1 troy ounce = 31.1034768 grams or 20 pennyweights
GOLD & PRECIOUS METAL SCALE QUESTIONS
Utah, Salt Lake, Uintah, Duchesne, Daggett and other Northern Counties
Weights and Measures Inspector
Shelley Walker (801) 413-8048
Carbon, Juab and other Southern Counties
Weights and Measures Inspector
Mark Demings (435) 979-6292
State of Utah Weights & Measures Program Manager
Brett Gurney (801) 538-7158
REFERENCES & RELATED LINKS
- UDAF Weights & Measures Program
- Weights and Measures (Utah Code Annotated: Title 4, Chapter 9)
- Uniform National Type Evaluation (R70-950)
- National Conference on Weights & Measures
- NIST Handbook 130 (2013)
- NIST Handbook 44 (2013)
- National Conference on Weights and Measures Article for National Pawnbrokers Association