To ensure customers in supermarkets can trust the scale they are using to weigh the vegetables they want to buy, those scales need to meet strict requirements before they are placed on the market. Those requirements for supermarket scales and all other weighing instruments are set in European legislation. After the weighing instrument is placed on the market it needs to be verified regularly to ensure they are still functioning correctly and precisely.
This reverification is done by a third-party that will verify the weighing instrument and adjusts the scale if necessary. In most countries these third-parties can be private entities such as weighing instrument manufacturers that are authorised to carry out the reverifications. Those companies meet strict requirements before they are authorised to guarantee reliability. However, in some countries only government bodies can carry out these reverifications. CECIP is strongly convinced that it is better for end-users, the weighing industry and consumer protection if private companies including manufacturers are allowed in all countries to carry out these weighing instrument reverifications.
There are various reasons why it is beneficial to open the market for weighing instrument reverifications to private companies. First of all, in general, competition will improve service quality at lower costs for end-users. Moreover, competition will stimulate organisations carrying out reverification to provide better service. Additionally, by allowing manufacturers to carry out the reverifications after repairing the weighing instrument precious time is saved. If a manufacturer does the reverification at the same moment as the repair there is no need for another person to come afterwards.
A counterargument could be that government bodies are more reliable for carrying out these reverifications. However, in countless occasions private companies provide high-quality services in often more sensitive areas than weighing instruments. Notably, the initial verification according to weighing instrument legislation is mostly done by weighing instrument manufacturers themselves. The requirements set in EU legislation for this initial verification are even stricter than for the reverifications.
Therefore,, CECIP is convinced that it is beneficial for end-users, industry and consumers to allow private entities including manufacturers to carry out reverifications of weighing instruments in all EU member states. CECIP asks member state authorities to open the market for private reverifications where this is not the case yet. The European Commission is requested to support this opening of the market.
The full CECIP position paper can be found here.