Weights & Measures
Activities associated with this program assure a level playing field within the petroleum industry of the Commonwealth. This quality assurance program protects the consumer from substandard products and protects the legitimate petroleum dealer from the adverse effects of competitors selling substandard products in order to gain a greater market share. Quality standards also address environmental aspects related to pollution reduction.
The Office of Weights and Measures is responsible for the inspection and testing of all commercially used weighing and measuring equipment including gasoline dispensers, grocery scales, scanners, vehicle scales, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) meters and vehicle tank meters. This activity involves technical support to the user in the form of advice given on the selection, installation and use of equipment. Our service is beneficial to the user clients by reducing the cost of purchasing equipment and assures that the proper equipment is matched to the application. This assistance is important to the client in reducing the cost of purchasing and maintaining weighing and measuring equipment. The Office of Weights and Measures investigates consumer complaints received related to alleged violations pertaining to weighing and measuring devices; to include questionable practices in the sales of commodities sold by weight or measure.
Other activities include the inspection and verification of packaged consumer products. This activity includes technical information and advice related to the proper labeling of packaged consumer goods as required by the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. Compliance to these standards is necessary to assure acceptance of commodities introduced to interstate trade.
Services of the Office of Weights and Measures (OWM) include the Weights and Measures Service Agency and Technician Permitting Program. This program trains technicians on the requirements of the Weights and Measures Law and the applicable requirements of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook 44.
Technician training classes are held three times a year. The seminar is mandatory for new technicians wishing to be licensed under the Virginia Service Agencies and Technicians Law and provides information regarding administrative duties of compliance as well as introduction to and explanations of the law. There is a $100 fee for service agencies and a $25 fee for service technicians. For information on the next training class, please contact the OWMSouthside/Tidewater Office at 757.859.6593.
This program provides for the licensing of individuals to certify the accuracy of weight tickets. This function is similar to the activities of the "Notary Public" in that the Weighmaster is required to attest to the accuracy of a commodity's weight, sign a document and affix a seal.
The Cotton Handlers Law contains requirements for licensing, bonding, and record keeping for all cotton gins, cotton warehouses and cotton merchants operating in Virginia. Additionally, cotton ginned in Virginia must be graded by the United States Department of Agriculture or a comparable authority. This inspection authority includes investigation of complaints, monitoring inventories of stored cotton and auditing of sales records.
The Commission Merchants Law requires the licensing and bonding of businesses that market agricultural commodities for a commission, such as tobacco warehouses and livestock auction markets. This activity provides for the protection of the producer by limiting the commissions charged by the facility and assures that prompt payment is made to the producer.
The Office of Weights and Measures (OWM) serves as the custodian of the state standards for mass, volume, length and temperature. These services are provided to both government and industry clients, for both regulatory and quality control processes. OWM’s Metrology Laboratory is the only local source available to these clients for traceability to national standards. This service is beneficial to our clients who would, otherwise, not have reasonable access to metrological calibrations. OWM’s Metrology Laboratory is accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program. This accreditation shows direct traceability of Virginia's laboratory to national standards.
Program Manager, Office of Weights and Measures
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