Plant Industries

Serving the citizens of Arkansas and the agricultural and business communities by providing information and unbiased enforcement of laws and regulations set by the Arkansas State Plant Board


Do I need a commercial device which is approved and legal-for-trade, to conduct business?
If your business buys or sells any commodity or service by weight or measure, you are required to have an approved, ‘legal-for-trade’ device on which to conduct sales. Additionally, if any award is based on weight, an approved legal for trade commercial scale is required.

What is the definition of a commercial device?
NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) definition of a commercial device: Weights, measures, and weighing and measuring devices, instruments, elements, and systems or portion thereof, used or employed in establishing the measurement or in computing any basic charge or payment for services rendered on the basis of weight or measure. As used in this definition, measurement includes the determination of size, quantity, value, extent, area, composition (limited to meat and poultry), constituent value (for grain), or measurement of quantities, things, produce, or articles for distribution or consumption, purchased, offered, or submitted for sale, hire, or award.[1.10, 2.20, 2.21, 2.22, 2.24, 3.30, 3.31, 3.32, 3.33, 3.34, 3.35, 3.38, 4.40, 5.51, 5.56.(a), 5.56.(b), 5.57, 5.58, 5.59] (Added 2008)

What constitutes a ‘legal-for-trade’ device?
 A ‘legal-for-trade’ device is one which meets the requirements of the latest edition of NIST Handbook 44 adopted by the Arkansas Bureau of Standards and is approved by NTEP (National Type Evaluation Program). ‘Legal for trade’ devices will have an NTEP Certificate of Conformance number assigned to them.

How do I know if a device is ‘legal-for-trade'?
Sellers of such devices must assure the buyer that the device meets the requirements of the latest edition of NIST Handbook 44 adopted by the Arkansas Bureau of Standards and is approved by NTEP. Some of these sales companies are registered with the Arkansas Bureau of Standards to test the device and place in service.

Can I use my new device for commercial transactions immediately after installation or right out of the package?
No. A device intended to be used commercially must first be inspected, approved and placed in service by an Arkansas Bureau of Standards registered service agency.

Is there a fee for testing new commercial devices and placing them in service?
An Arkansas Bureau of Standards registered service agency will charge a fee for this service or may include the service when you purchase a device from them.

Do I need a permit to operate a commercial weighing or measuring device?

As a device owner/operator, what are my responsibilities to stay in compliance with Arkansas Weights and Measures law?
It is the device owner/operator’s responsibility to have an annual inspection* performed on the device by an Arkansas Bureau of Standards registered service agency.
*Arkansas Weights and Measures Annotated Code 4-18-344 (b)(1)(A) A person who owns a bulk meter or liquefied petroleum gas metering device for a commercial transaction must engage a registered service agent to annually inspect and test for the accuracy and correctness of the device.
*Arkansas Weights and Measures Annotated Code 4-18-344 (b)(2)(A) A person who owns a pump or scale for a commercial transaction must engage a registered service agent to annually inspect and test for the accuracy and correctness of the pump or scale.

How long is a commercial device approval valid when approved by an Arkansas Bureau of Standards Registered Service Agency?
Arkansas Weights and Measures Annotated Code 4-18-344 (b)(1)(A) and 4-18-344 (b)(2)(A) require commercial devices to be tested for calibration and safety each calendar year by an Arkansas Bureau of Standards registered service agency. The Arkansas Bureau of Standards randomly tests devices (no fee) for calibration and safety to ensure compliance.

If I have a problem with my device, whom should I contact?
You should contact a meter or scale repair company if you suspect there is a problem with your device. Device repair agencies are usually listed in a local phone directory or yellow pages. The Arkansas Bureau of Standards does not repair devices.

How accurate are gas/diesel pumps?
Pump calibration is tested using a certified/calibrated 5-gallon test measure. When pumps are calibrated, the acceptance tolerance applied is +/- 3 cubic inches (approximately 3.3 tablespoons) for 5 gallons.

Why does my vehicle fuel tank seem to hold more fuel than the tank capacity?
(Taken from an August 2005, National Institute of Standards and Technology Quarterly Newsletter. Original article by Juana Williams)
The vehicle's fuel tank capacity rating is a reasonable approximation given variables such as differences in design practices, test procedures, and other influence factors on the fuel system. Fuel tank capacity can vary from the actual tank capacity as a result of normal variations in design characteristics, the manufacturing process, and other inherent factors such as the physics associated with components and the electronics in the fuel system and fuel level indications. Typically, the owner's manual provides a reasonable estimate of the vehicle's fuel tank capacity. The tank capacity's numerical value is reported in tenth of whole figures rounded to the nearest value and, therefore, represents an approximate volume. There are also factors that can cause a fuel tank to appear to hold more than it’s rated capacity. One of these would be position of vehicle when filling. If the lanes around the fuel pumps are not level, this could allow fuel to fill the vapor headspace portion of the tank when filling. The vapor headspace is the portion of the tank at a level above the filler pipe neck. Another factor would be filling the filler pipe of the tank. A vehicle’s fuel tank capacity does not include the vapor headspace or the volume of the filler pipe.

Does the Arkansas Bureau of Standards set fuel prices?
The Arkansas Bureau of Standards does not set fuel prices. Prices are set by the market. The Arkansas Bureau of Standards does check fuel prices displayed at the pump and on roadside advertising to ensure accurate information is provided to consumers.

How many locations in Arkansas have gas/diesel pumps and how many pumps are in service?
There are approximately 2,300 locations with fuel pumps and 34,000 pumps in Arkansas.

If I suspect gasoline or diesel fuel purchased is “bad” (contaminated, incorrect octane, low flash point, etc.), to whom do I report the problem?
Complete an Arkansas Bureau of Standards Consumer Complaint form or call (501) 570-1151 to report your complaint, an inspector will be sent to investigate.

What information do I need when filing a consumer complaint?
When filing a Consumer Complaint, have all pertinent information of occurrence and be specific. Be prepared to give details of occurrence and business name and address. If complaint involves a fuel pump, have pump number and fuel grade information.

Who do I contact for a refund if I don’t receive product/service I have paid for at a money-operated device?
NIST Handbook 44, Section 1.10, General Code, G-UR.3.4. Responsibility, Money-Operated Devices. – Money-operated devices, other than parking meters, shall have clearly and conspicuously displayed thereon, or immediately adjacent thereto, adequate information detailing the method for the return of monies paid when the product or service cannot be obtained. This information shall include the name, address, and phone number of the local responsible party for the device. This requirement does not apply to devices at locations where employees are present and responsible for resolving any monetary discrepancies for the customer. (Amended 1977 and 1993)

I would like to sell firewood. Are there any regulations that would affect the way firewood must be sold?Firewood is sold by a measurement called a "cord" or fractions of the "cord". A seller may not use terms such as "truck load", "face cord", "rick", "pile" or any other unofficial unit of measure. A cord must equal 128 cubic feet. To be sure you have a cord, stack the wood neatly by placing the wood in a line or a row, with individual pieces touching and parallel to each other, making sure the wood is compact and has as few gaps as possible. Then measure the stack. If the width times the height times the length equals 128 cubic feet, you have a cord of firewood. Refer to NIST Handbook 130, Uniform Regulation for the Method of Sale of Commodities, Section 2, for more information.

My business produces commodities sold in package form. What are the requirements for net contents compliance? The Arkansas Bureau of Standards has adopted the latest edition of NIST Handbook 133 as the procedure for testing the net contents of packaged goods.

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