Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada


Weights and Measures Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. W-6)

Act current to 2021-04-05 and last amended on 2019-06-21. Previous Versions

Weights and Measures Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. W-6

An Act respecting weights and measures

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Weights and Measures Act.

  • 1970-71-72, c. 36, s. 1


Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Act,


dealer means any person who in the course of that person’s business sells, consigns, imports, leases or lends devices; (fournisseur)


device means any weight, weighing machine, static measure or measuring machine and includes any equipment and accessories attached to or used in conjunction with the device that have or can have an effect on the accuracy of the device; (instrument)


inspector means a person who is designated under subsection 16.1(1) to verify compliance with this Act; (inspecteur)

local standard

local standard means any standard designated by the Minister under section 13; (étalon local)


measure, when used as a verb, includes weigh and, when used as a noun, includes weight; (mesure et mesurer)

measuring machine

measuring machine means any machine that measures length, area, volume or capacity, temperature or time; (appareil de mesure)


Minister means the Minister of Industry; (ministre)


prescribed means prescribed by the regulations; (Version anglaise seulement)

reference standard

reference standard means a standard that

  • (a) represents or registers a unit of measurement referred to in Schedule I or II or that represents or registers a multiple or fraction of such a unit of measurement,

  • (b) has been calibrated and certified by the National Research Council of Canada, and

  • (c) is or is to be used as a standard for the purpose of determining the accuracy of a local standard; (étalon de référence)

static measure

static measure means any measure that measures length, volume or capacity and does not have a moving or movable part that has or can have an effect on the accuracy of the measure; (mesure matérialisée)


trade means the selling, purchasing, exchanging, consigning, leasing or providing of any commodity, right, facility or service on the basis of measure and includes the business of providing facilities for measuring; (commerce)


trader means any person who trades in the course of business; (commerçant)

weighing machine

weighing machine means any machine that measures mass or weight. (appareil de pesage)

  • R.S., 1985, c. W-6, s. 2
  • 1992, c. 1, s. 145(F)
  • 1995, c. 1, ss. 62, 63
  • 2011, c. 3, s. 11
  • 2019, c. 29, s. 192

Approval of Devices by the Minister

Marginal note:Approval of devices

  •  (1) The Minister shall, in accordance with the regulations, approve devices or classes, types or designs of devices for use in trade.

  • Marginal note:Temporary approval

    (2) The Minister may, in any period during which a device or class, type or design of device is being evaluated for approval for use in trade under subsection (1), approve that device or class, type or design of device for use in trade on a temporary basis for such period and under such terms and conditions as the Minister may specify.

  • 1970-71-72, c. 36, s. 3
  • 1976-77, c. 28, s. 46

Units of Measurement

Marginal note:Basis for units of measurement

  •  (1) All units of measurement used in Canada shall be determined on the basis of the International System of Units established by the General Conference of Weights and Measures.

  • Marginal note:Basic, supplementary and derived units

    (2) The basic, supplementary and derived units of measurement for use in Canada and the symbols therefor are as set out and defined in Parts I, II and III of Schedule I, respectively.

  • Marginal note:Customary units

    (3) In addition to the units of measurement otherwise referred to in this section, the customary units of measurement and the symbols therefor as set out and defined in Part IV of Schedule I may be used in Canada, which units of measurement are commonly used with the International System of Units.

  • Marginal note:Multiples and submultiples of units

    (4) The prefixes for multiples and submultiples of the units of measurement referred to in subsection (2) and the symbols therefor are as set out and defined in Part V of Schedule I.

  • Marginal note:Canadian units

    (5) The Canadian units of measurement are as set out and defined in Schedule II, and the symbols and abbreviations therefor are as added pursuant to subparagraph 6(1)(b)(ii).

  • 1970-71-72, c. 36, s. 4

Marginal note:Seigneurial tenure

 Notwithstanding section 7, the units of measurement set out and defined in Schedule III may be used to describe land in the Province of Quebec that was originally granted under seigneurial tenure.

  • 1970-71-72, c. 36, s. 5

Marginal note:Amendments to Schedules I and II

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may by order

    • (a) amend Schedule I by adding to or deleting from Part I, II, III, IV or V thereof any basic, supplementary, derived or customary unit of measurement or any prefix therefor, together with its symbol and definition; or

    • (b) amend Schedule II

      • (i) by adding thereto or deleting therefrom any Canadian unit of measurement, together with its definition,

      • (ii) by adding thereto a symbol or an abbreviation for any Canadian unit of measurement, or

      • (iii) by deleting therefrom any symbol or abbreviation referred to in subparagraph (ii).

  • Marginal note:Limitation of power to amend Schedule II

    (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Governor in Council may not amend Schedule II in such a manner that the ratio of any one unit of measurement to any other unit of measurement is altered.

  • 1970-71-72, c. 36, s. 6
  • 1976-77, c. 55, s. 9

Use of Units of Measurement

Marginal note:Use of units of measurement

 No person shall, in trade, use or provide for the use of a unit of measurement unless

  • (a) that unit of measurement is set out and defined in Schedule I or II; or

  • (b) the use of that unit of measurement is authorized by the regulations.

  • 1970-71-72, c. 36, s. 7

Use of Devices

Marginal note:Use of devices

 No trader shall use, or have in their possession for use, in trade, any device unless

  • (a) that device or class, type or design of device has been approved for use in trade pursuant to section 3; and

  • (b) that device, in the case of a device other than a static measure, has been examined by an inspector who has certified that the device meets the requirements of this Act and the regulations.

  • R.S., 1985, c. W-6, s. 8
  • 2011, c. 3, ss. 12, 29

Marking of Commodities

Marginal note:Marking commodities for sale

  •  (1) No trader shall sell, offer for sale or have in their possession for sale on the basis of number or measure any commodity, unless its quantity is stated accurately within prescribed limits of error and in the manner prescribed in terms of number or units of measurement of length, area, volume or capacity, or mass or weight on the following items, as may be prescribed:

    • (a) the commodity;

    • (b) the package containing the commodity; or

    • (c) a shipping bill, bill of lading or other document accompanying the commodity.

  • Marginal note:Application

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply with respect to any commodity that has been packaged, on the basis of number or measure, or labelled, in terms of number or a unit of measurement, as required or authorized by or under any other Act of Parliament.

  • R.S., 1985, c. W-6, s. 9
  • 2011, c. 3, s. 13
Date modified: