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The Units of Measurement Regulations 1995

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Statutory Instruments

1995 No. 1804

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

The Units of Measurement Regulations 1995

Made

13th July 1995

Laid before Parliament

14th July 1995

Coming into force

1st October 1995

The Secretary of State, being a Minister designated(1) for the purposes of section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972(2) in relation to units of measurement to be used for economic, health, safety or administrative purposes, in exercise of the powers conferred by that section and of all other powers enabling him in that behalf, hereby makes the following Regulations:—

Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Units of Measurement Regulations 1995 and shall come into force on 1st October 1995.

Interpretation

2.  In these Regulations—

  • “Act”includes a local and personal or private Act, an Act of the Parliament of Northern Ireland and a Measure of the Northern Ireland Assembly;

  • “the commencement date”, subject to regulation 4 below, means 1st October 1995;

  • “corresponding metric unit”, in relation to a relevant imperial unit, means the unit of measurement specified in relation to the relevant imperial unit in the second column of the Schedule to these Regulations;

  • “existing provision” means any of the following, namely—

    (a)

    a provision of any Act passed, or of any subordinate legislation made, before the commencement date;

    (b)

    a provision of any contract, agreement, licence, authority, undertaking or statement made or given before that date; and

    (c)

    a provision of any deed, instrument or document made before that date;

  • “relevant imperial unit” means a unit of measurement specified in the first column of the Schedule to these Regulations;

  • “subordinate legislation” means Orders in Council, orders, rules, regulations, schemes, warrants, byelaws and other instruments made under any Act; and

  • “the Units of Measurement Directive” means the Directive of the Council of the European Communities dated 20th December 1979 (No. 80/181/EEC) on the approximation of the laws of member States relating to units of measurement.(3)

Conversion of imperial units of measurement

3.  (1)  Subject to the following provisions of these Regulations, where—

(a)an existing provision authorises or requires a measurement to be made, or an indication of quantity to be expressed, in a relevant imperial unit,

(b)the provision has effect for economic, public health, public safety or administrative purposes, and

(c)the provision has legal effect on or after the commencement date,

the provision shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed on or after that date as authorising or requiring the measurement to be made, or the indication of quantity to be expressed, in the corresponding metric unit.

(2) Subject to the following provisions of these Regulations, where—

(a)an existing provision contains a reference to an indication of quantity expressed in a relevant imperial unit,

(b)the provision has effect for economic, public health, public safety or administrative purposes, and

(c)the provision has legal effect on or after the commencement date,

the provision shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed on or after that date as if the indication of quantity concerned were expressed in the corresponding metric unit.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4) below, any conversion of an indication of quantity expressed in a relevant imperial unit which is required to be made by virtue of paragraph (2) above shall be made by using the metric equivalent specified in relation to the relevant imperial unit in the third column of the Schedule to these Regulations.

(4) Any conversion of an indication of quantity expressed in degrees Fahrenheit which is required to be made by virtue of paragraph (2) above shall be made by subtracting thirty-two and multiplying the result by five-ninths.

Later application of regulation 3 in relation to certain uses of imperial units

4.  In relation to any of the following uses of relevant imperial units which are permitted by Article 1(d) of the Units of Measurement Directive, that is to say—

(a)the use of the fathom for marine navigation,

(b)the use of the pint or fluid ounce for beer, cider, water, lemonade and fruit juice in returnable containers,

(c)the use of the pound or ounce (avoirdupois) for goods sold loose from bulk, and

(d)the use of the therm for the supply of gas,

regulation 3 above shall be treated as coming into force on 1st January 2000 and that date shall be treated as the commencement date for the purposes of these Regulations.

Exceptions

5.  (1)  Nothing in these Regulations shall apply in relation to any supplementary indication; and in this paragraph “supplementary indication” has the same meaning as it has in section 8(5A) of the Weights and Measures Act 1985.(4)

(2) Nothing in these Regulations shall apply in relation to any of the uses of relevant imperial units which are permitted by Article 1(b) of the Units of Measurement Directive, that is to say—

(a)the use of the mile, yard, foot or inch for road traffic signs, distance and speed measurement;

(b)the use of the pint for dispensing draught beer and cider;

(c)the use of the pint for milk in returnable containers;

(d)the use of the acre for land registration; and

(e)the use of the troy ounce for transactions in precious metals.

(3) Nothing in these Regulations shall apply in relation to any use of a relevant imperial unit which is permitted by Article 2(b) of the Units of Measurement Directive (use in the field of air and sea transport and rail traffic of units laid down in international conventions or agreements).

(4) Nothing in these Regulations shall apply in relation to any contract to which regulation 11(1) of the Units of Measurement Regulations 1986(5) applies.

Revocation

6.  Regulation 4(3) of the Units of Measurement Regulations 1994,(6) and the paragraphs added by it to regulation 11 of the Units of Measurement Regulations 1986, are hereby revoked.

Jonathan Evans

Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs,

Department of Trade and Industry

13th July 1995

Regulations 2 and 3

SCHEDULERELEVANT IMPERIAL UNITS, CORRESPONDING METRIC UNITS AND METRIC EQUIVALENTS

Relevant imperial unit

Corresponding metric unit

Metric equivalent

Length

inchcentimetre2.54 centimetres
handmetre0.1016 metre
footmetre0.3048 metre
yardmetre0.9144 metre
fathommetre1.8288 metres
chainmetre,20.1168 metres
furlongkilometre0.201168 kilometre
milekilometre1.609344 kilometres
nautical mile (UK)metre1853 metres

Area

square inchsquare centimetre6.4516 square centimetres
square footsquare metre0.09290304 square metre
square yardsquare metre0.83612736 square metre
roodsquare metre1011.7141056 square metres
acresquare metre4046.8564224 square metres
square milesquare kilometre2.589988110336square kilometres

Capacity

fluid ouncemillilitre28.4130625 millilitres
gilllitre0.1420653125 litre
pintlitre0.56826125 litre
quartlitre1.1365225 litres
gallonlitre4.54609 litres

Pressure

inch of waterpascal249.08891 pascals

Mass

graingram0.06479891 gram
dramgram1.7718451953125 grams
ounce (avoirdupois)gram28.349523125 grams
troy ouncegram31.1034768 grams
poundkilogram0.45359237 kilogram
stonekilogram,6.35029318 kilograms
quarterkilogram12.70058636 kilograms
centalkilogram45.359237 kilograms
hundredweightkilogram,50.80234544 kilograms
tontonne1.0160469088 tonnes

Force

pound-forcenewton4.4482216152605 newtons
ton-forcekilonewton9.96401641818352 kilonewtons

Volume

cubic inchcubic centimetre16.387064 cubic centimetres
crancubic decimetre170.478375 cubic decimetres
cubic footcubic metre0.028316846592 cubic metre
bushelcubic metre0.03636872 cubic metre
cubic yardcubic metre0.764554857984 cubic metre

Power

horsepowerkilowatt0.74569987158227022 kilowatt

Temperature

degree Fahrenheitdegree Celsius[See regulation 3(4)]

Energy

foot pound-forcejoule1.3558179483314004 joules
British thermal unitkilojoule1.05505585257348 kilojoules
thermmegajoule105.505585257348 megajoules

Illuminance

foot candlelux10.763910416709 lux

Speed

knot (UK)metres per second0.51477 metres per second

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations implement Council Directives 71/354/EEC (OJ No. L243, 29.10.71, p.29) and 80/181/EEC (OJ No. L39, 15.2.80, p.40) (“the Directives”) which relate to the use of units of measurement.

The Directives provide for the phasing out of the use, for economic, public health, public safety or administrative purposes, of imperial units of measurement, for example, those commonly used to describe length, area and mass (such as the yard, acre and pound). They do, however, provide certain exceptions for specific uses which permit the continued use of imperial units until respectively, 31st December 1999, and beyond that date. For example, the pound may be used for the sale of fruit and vegetables loose from bulk until 31st December 1999 and the pint, beyond that date, for draught beer and cider, and milk in returnable bottles.

Legislation has already been made to implement the Directives by the amendment of Acts and subordinate legislation. Examples include the Units of Measurement Regulations 1994 (S.I. 1994/2867) and the Weights and Measures Act 1985 (Metrication) (Amendment) Order 1994 (S.I. 1994/2866) which together amend provisions of the Units of Measurement Regulations 1986 (S.I. 1986/1082) and the Weights and Measures Act 1985. Specific amendments, for example, substitute metric quantities for imperial.

These Regulations provide, from their coming into force on 1st October 1995 (and, for the uses described in regulation 4, from 1st January 2000), for those uses of the imperial system for which no implementing legislation has made specific provision. Where, before those dates, use is made in legislation, or in any deed or document (for example), of an imperial unit in the circumstances specified in the Directives and legal effect is to be given to that use after those dates, these Regulations provide for its conversion into the metric equivalent. No such conversion from imperial to metric is, however, made in the circumstances described in regulation 5. Such circumstances include those in which the Directives permit the continued use of certain imperial units as sole indications of quantity and those in which an imperial unit is used as a supplementary indication.

(1)

S.I. 1976/897.

(3)

OJ No. L39, 15.2.80, p.40; the Directive has been amended by Council Directives 85/1/EEC and 89/617/EEC.

(4)

1985 c. 72; section 8(5A) was added by regulation 5(2) of the Units of Measurement Regulations 1994.

(5)

S.I. 1986/1082.

(6)

S.I. 1994/2867.

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