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“Significant reservations remain” over Government proposals on Imperial Measures

Posted 03/06/22

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has today responded to the formal launch of the UK Government’s consultation on the reintroduction of Imperial Measures. In the consultation, the UK Government has helpfully clarified that there will be no mandation for businesses to change their current practices. With reference to displaying a crown mark on pint glasses it also confirmed that businesses will still be required to continue to display the legally required existing conformity markings alongside any crown. The proposal is that the crown mark would be for decorative purposes and separate guidance will be published around this.

Last year, the Government proposed reintroducing the crown stamp, commonly used on pint and half-pint glasses in pubs, as part of its post-EU Exit policy. CTSI voiced its concerns about the proposed reintroduction of the stamp alongside imperial measures, citing potential confusion and misuse among businesses and consumers.

The original role of the symbol, in use since 1699, determined that the glass was the size claimed after inspection. The crown stamp was slowly phased out in 2007 because the UK Government claims that an EU Directive outlawed its usage, although the EU has argued that the directive never constituted a ban.

CTSI Chief Executive, John Herriman, said: "CTSI is pleased that the UK Government has listened to the concerns of the trading standards profession, which legally enforces weights and measures in the UK, by clarifying that any new crown marking would purely decorative and not a replacement for the UKCA or CE standards markings.

"However, we still have significant reservations and concerns about the consideration to reintroduce imperial measurements, however limited the proposals might be. This includes potential confusion that might be created for consumers, many of whom have no understanding of Imperial Measures, because it hasn’t been taught for decades.  We also have concerns about the costs businesses will incur and the additional burden this might place on enforcement which has limited capacity after years of cuts.” 

“Businesses groups have been particularly vocal in the last few days and we should listen to their well-informed views.  It is also worth noting that traders have always had an option to use a decorative crown on pint glasses alongside existing markings but have not chosen to do so, presumably because of cost. We will review the proposals carefully and consult with members, and other key stakeholders, but question the wisdom of proposals that may create confusion and add expense in a cost of living crisis during which the country needs to be focused on building consumer and business confidence.”


The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)

  • The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is a national not for profit established in 1881 which supports the UK’s trading standards profession, and works to protect consumers and safeguard honest businesses. CTSI's members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services at local authorities and in businesses. tradingstandards.uk

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