The legislation establishing Legal Metrology — the Metrology Act, 1996 — updated centuries of weights and measures law. It also provided Legal Metrology inspectors with the powers to inspect trading premises and test instruments or goods for compliance with the two Acts.

The legal framework also takes account of European legislation on measuring instruments and units of measurement.

Consumer protection and fair trade

The requirements and obligations set out in the two Acts provide significant protections for consumers and help to ensure fair trading conditions for businesses.

The legislation also provides for the imposition of substantial penalties on persons or businesses found guilty of offences.

Enforcement of the legislation is a key priority for Legal Metrology.

Consumer Reports

As part of our enforcement role we pay particular attention to matters brought to our notice by members of the public.  Where possible, we investigate alleged breaches of the Acts.

If you are concerned about short measurement or another issue relating to our work, please fill in a complaints form, providing as much information as possible.

You can make a report by telephone, fax or ordinary mail, providing the same information as requested on the electronic form.

Our contact details are:

NSAI Legal Metrology
1 Swift Square, Northwood, 
Santry, Dublin 9, D09 A0E4

T: +353 (0)1 807 3800
F: +353 (0)1 807 3808

Please note that in the interest of fairness, anonymous reports may not be accepted.

Enforcement sanctions

Where breaches of the Acts are committed, the following sanctions are available:

  • Verbal warnings to comply by a certain date
  • Warning notices in the form of written instructions to comply by a certain date
  • The taking out of use of measuring instruments
  • The seizure of pre-packed goods or measuring instruments
  • Prosecution.

If a trader disagrees with a decision taken by a Legal Metrology inspector or an Authorized Verifier in relation to a measuring instrument, they can make an appeal in writing to the Director of Legal Metrology.

Stamps and Marks

Marks are applied to measuring instruments at different stages in their life cycle. Most measurement instruments will be marked with CE markings, and or Irish official marks. For more on markings see official marks.

Right of appeal and judicial review

Any person aggrieved by the performance of any operation in connection with a trade measuring instrument by a Legal Metrology inspector or an Authorized Verifier can make an appeal to the Director to have the decision reviewed.

The appeal must be made in writing within seven days, and should be sent to:

Director of Legal Metrology
NSAI, 1 Swift Square, Northwood,
Santry, Dublin 9, D049 A0E4 Ireland

The information should be specific, explaining the precise way in which the Legal MetrologyMS inspector or the Authorized Verifier is claimed to have misapplied any regulatory provision or misperformed or misinterpreted any testing operation.

Having carried out an investigation, the Director may reject or allow the appeal.

Under certain circumstances, the Director’s decision may be subject to judicial review. However, if you are considering judicial review, you are strongly advised to seek legal advice to confirm that this remedy is applicable to your case.