Weights & Measures Department

Verifying tare weights with store personnel

The Department of Weights and Measures consists of a one-person staff and is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that equity and fairness prevails in the marketplace between the buyer and seller. The Department enforces all laws, ordinances and measuring devices used by local business establishments, such as taxi meters, gas station pumps, home heating oil truck meters, hospital, clinic, truck, factory, and pharmacy scales.

It is the function of the Weights and Measures Department to see that equity prevails between buyer and seller within the City of Cambridge, on determinations of quantity of all goods, wares and merchandise.

It is the duty of the Department to enforce the General Laws of Massachusetts, local ordinances and regulations relating to the accuracy of weighing and measuring devices, and the weight, measure, and count of commodities offered for public sale, and in sealing or condemning of devices tested; to perform such work in accordance with State laws and regulations or municipal ordinances, and subject to review through reports to, and periodic checks by representatives of the State Division of Standards; to inspect prepackaged food and merchandise for compliance with weight, measures and count requirements and for proper labeling as to weight, measures and extended price; to investigate complaints of short weight, measure and count; to seize unsealed weighing or measuring devices or those not conforming to legal standards; to testify in court; to check transient vendors for possession of license and to inspect weighing and measuring devices used by such vendors for evidence for prior testing and approval; to give advice to merchants, relative to packaging and labeling goods; and to solicit and maintain the understanding and cooperation of merchants and the general public.

This Department uses Handbook 44 promulgated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology on specifications, tolerances and other technical requirements in its testing procedure on weighing and cooperation of merchants and the general public.

This Department uses Handbook 44 promulgated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology on specifications, tolerances and other technical requirements in its testing procedure on weighing and measuring devices.