C-06—Individually wrapped products sold in bulk

The copy of this document located on Measurement Canada’s website is considered to be the controlled copy.

Category: Commodity
Bulletin: C-06 (rev. 1)
Document(s): Bulletin M-18
Issue Date: 2013-05-01
Effective Date: 2013-05-01
Supersedes: C-06


Table of contents


1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this bulletin is to outline Measurement Canada's policy regarding methods retailers may use to determine the net weight of individually wrapped products sold in bulk.

2.0 Scope

This bulletin applies to individually wrapped products sold in bulk at the retail level of trade on the basis of weight.

3.0 Background

3.1 Individually wrapped candies, packets of coffee sweetener and bags of tea are examples of individually wrapped products. These individually wrapped products are typically presented for sale in bins. The customer usually puts the products into a plastic bag which is presented to a cashier for weighing.

3.2 When an individually wrapped product is sold on the basis of weight, the statement of quantity must reflect the net weight of the product. This means that the weight of the wrapping material (cellophane, aluminum foil, paper sachet, lollipop stick, etc.) of each item must be deducted from its gross weight.

3.3 The weight of the wrapping material of an individually wrapped product, which can be thought of as a percentage of the gross weight of the item, is called a proportional tare. Since the weight of the wrapping material of each individually wrapped product is the same, when several of these products are weighed together, the proportional tare can be applied to their gross weight.

3.4 The following are examples of approved types of scales capable of automatically performing proportional tare calculations:

  1. Point of sale scales that interface with electronic cash registers whose software performs the proportional tare calculations.
  2. Stand alone computing scales equipped with software that performs the proportional tare calculations.

3.5 More information related to scales and point of sale systems with proportional tare capabilities can be found in bulletin M-18 — Scales and Point of Sale (POS) Systems Incorporated Proportional Tare.

4.0 Policy

4.1 Retailers are responsible for ensuring they use one of the methods outlined below to determine the net weight of individually wrapped products sold in bulk.

4.2 Retailers may use approved scales with proportional tare capabilities.

4.3 Methods of sale that do not require the use of scales with proportional tare capabilities such as the following may be used by retailers:

  1. Posting charts near scales, thereby allowing clerks to look up the proportional tare value of the product, and, based on the gross weight measured, determine the corresponding tare to be manually entered into the scale.
  2. Selling the individually wrapped product by count.

4.4 Retailers are free to use the method of their choice to determine the net quantity of individually wrapped products; however, they must ensure they meet the requirements of the Weights and Measures Act and Regulations regarding the net quantity of the products they sell.

4.5 When individually wrapped products are weighed in a bag or container, a tare must also be applied to compensate for the weight of the bag or container.

5.0 Revisions

The purpose of this revision is to:

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