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Summaries of EU Legislation

Non-automatic weighing instruments

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Non-automatic weighing instruments

This Directive on non-automatic weighing instruments is based on the principles of the “new approach” to technical harmonisation and standards. In accordance with this new approach, the design and construction of non-automatic weighing instruments are subject to essential safety requirements.


Council Directive 90/384/EEC of 20 June 1990 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to non-automatic weighing instruments [See amending acts].


This Directive applies to non-automatic * weighing instruments *.


The provisions of the Directive which relate to the essential requirements, conformity assessment and the CE marking apply to instruments designed for the following uses:

  • determination of weight for commercial transactions;
  • determination of weight for a toll, tariff, tax, bonus, penalty, payment, indemnity or similar fee;
  • determination of weight for the application of legislative or regulatory provisions, legal opinions by experts;
  • determination of weight in the course of medical practice, i.e. weighing of patients for the purpose of health monitoring, diagnosis and medical treatment;
  • determination of weight for the purpose of making up prescriptions in the pharmacy and determination of weight during analyses carried out in medical and pharmaceutical laboratories;
  • determination of prices as a function of weight for direct sales to the public and in the making-up of pre-packaged products.

Non-automatic weighing instruments designed for other uses must bear the manufacturer's mark or name and the maximum capacity.

Essential requirements

The essential requirements which non-automatic weighing instruments must meet concern metrological requirements and the design and construction of the instruments.

Placing on the market

Member States shall not impede the placing on the market and the putting into service of instruments meeting the essential requirements of the Directive.

Member States must ensure that only those instruments complying with the provisions of the Directives may be placed on the market.

Member States shall presume that instruments complying with national standards implementing the harmonised standards that meet the essential requirements are in conformity with these requirements.

Conformity assessment

Instruments for which compliance with the essential requirements is mandatory must undergo an EC type examination, followed by either an EC declaration of production conformity or EC unit verification. Instruments which do not employ electronic devices and in which the load-measuring device does not use a spring to balance the load do not need to undergo an EC type examination.

Harmonised standards

The European standardisation bodies – the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (Cenelec) – shall draw up harmonised European standards on the basis of the essential requirements.

CE marking

The must be affixed to those instruments which comply with the requirements of this Directive, together with the inscriptions referred to in the Annex to the Directive and a sticker bearing the letter 'M'.

The Annexes to the present Directive contain:

  • essential metrological requirements;
  • essential design and construction requirements;
  • details of an EC type examination;
  • type conformity declaration;
  • EC verification;
  • EC unit verification;
  • technical documentation relating to the project;
  • minimum criteria to be applied in designating the bodies notified;
  • CE conformity marking and other inscriptions on instruments.

Directive 90/384/EEC is repealed by Directive 2009/23/EC.

Key terms used in the act

  • Weighing instrument: a measuring instrument serving to determine the mass of a body by using the action of gravity on that body. A weighing instrument may also serve to determine other mass-related magnitudes, quantities, parameters or characteristics.
  • Non-automatic weighing instrument: a weighing instrument requiring the intervention of an operator during weighing.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 90/384/EEC



OJ L 189 of 20.07.1990

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 93/68/EEC



OJ L 220 of 30.08.1993


Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations [Official Journal L 204 of 21.07.1998]. This Directive provides for two information procedures, one for standards (voluntary technical specifications) and the other for technical regulations (obligatory technical specifications) on industrial products.

Notified bodies

The NANDO-IS database will enable you to find the notified bodies in Europe as well as third country bodies which are responsible for carrying out the conformity assessment procedures referred to in the New Approach Directives.

Commission Communications publishing the lists of titles and references of harmonised European standards meeting the essential requirements set out in Directive 90/384/EEC:Official Journal C 153 of 04.06.1994.

List of the titles and references of harmonised standards

See also

Last updated: 24.08.2009