Supplementary memorandum submitted by
CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE FAIR PINT CAMPAIGN,
LACORS, SIMON CLARKE AND BRULINES
Email from Paul Chilver, Senior Trading Standards
Officer, Stockton on Tees Borough Council, Trading Standards Section
to Jeff Anspach at Brulines
I apologise for the delay in sending you the
formal letter as discussed. In order for you to formulate your
reply I can state the following:
1) Here is the test included in the email
from Wendy Martin, Director of Policy at LACORS
Many thanks for your email regarding your concerns
relating to the Bru-lines metering system. I am sorry that it
has taken me a few days to respond.
We can fully understand your concerns. LACORS
have not produced "a report" as respects the Bru-lines
metering system as suggested in your email. However I hope the
information contained below will help your deliberations.
We are aware of the complaints relating to this
product and this has led to lengthy discussion at the LACORS metrology
panel (our expert advisory group on weights and measures matters)
on how to best tackle the concerns relating to the product and
any that may arise about similar systems.
It is our view that this type of equipment may
be in use for trade, depending upon the exact nature of the contractual
relationship between the brewery and the landlord. This could
only be determined on a case by case basis as the legislation
is dependent on the individual circumstances in each case.
If it could be determined that the equipment
was in use for trade, it would be caught by S17 of the Act,
and as such if a Trading Standards Department could prove beyond
all reasonable doubt, that the equipment was false and unjust,
they could take enforcement action.
It must be stressed however that any enforcement
actions are the responsibility of individual local authorities
who have to take into account a whole range of factors in determining
the appropriate course of action.
Under current laws, this type of equipment is
not prescribed for the purpose of S11 of the Weights and
Measures Act, and as such does not need a pattern approval under
S12 of the Act or need to be verified before it can be used
The equipment would only be caught by these obligations
if the law were changed resulting in the equipment being prescribed
under S11. It would be more appropriate to approach the NMO (formerly
the NWML) to make such representation regarding a possible change
in legislation. This is a course of action you may wish to consider.
A method of testing the Bru-lines metering system
has been formulated in conjunction with Stockton-on-Tees Trading
Standards and Bru-lines. LACORS have advised that all Trading
Standards Officers should use this method when testing the Bru-lines
LACORS is also trying to get BRULINES (via their
home authority Stockton) to submit their equipment for independent
testing by the NMO laboratories. This would incur a cost to them
and can only be a request not a requirement under the current
legislation. However we feel this would be an important step forward.
We are aware that the present suggested testing
regime does not consider the effect of other external influences
and the accuracy of the measuring system. An assessment of this
can only really be achieved by proper testing at NMO and of course
is one of the key reasons behind the type approval process for
certain types of equipment.
If for any reason Brulines choose not to take
this course of action then we would certainly consider pressing
NMO for a change in legislation to require type approval of this
type of equipment.
The other issue arising is that analysts seem
to have made certain assumptions about the quantity of cleaning
fluid that landlords need to pass through the system. This seems
another area of disagreement. This is not a regulatory issue however
and the only way to address this would be for the industry to
come to some agreement over the assumptions used.
I hope these comments are of some use.
2) As I mentioned this went out without
me seeing it. I did contact LACORS afterwards to advise them that
I had not approached you regarding the NMO testing yet and that
the protocol was not a method of test but a method of contacting
yourselves. I also suggested that "trying to get" was
potentially misleading as it may suggest that any request has
3) As that response says LACORS have stated
that the equipment may be in use for trade but each situation
needs to be looked at on its own merits. It is up to the TSO to
make that decision based on facts to hand.
4) As expected it has been confirmed that
the equipment is not currently prescribed and therefore does not
require to be passed as fit for use for trade and therefore does
not have to be "stamped" (which are verification stickers
5) If an officer decides that a piece of
equipment is in use for trade then although it is not prescribed
it still must comply with section 17 of the Weights and Measures
Act 1985 ie must not be false or unjust (it must be accurate).
6) I can confirm Brulines have been cooperating
with Trading Standards
7) We did carry out a test on Brulines equipment
in May 2009. The results of this test have been supplied to Brulines.
It must be noted that this is not definitive proof that it is
accurate because it was tested under controlled conditions and
others factors were not considered eg time in use, different liquids,
different flow rates, temperature variations, potential gas build
8) Slough have tested Brulines equipment
and believe that it is inaccurate. Brulines dispute some of the
methodology behind some of these results due to the possible use
of water instead of the liquid the equipment was set up to measure.
9) I have not yet submitted a formal written
request for Brulines to have their equipment tested by the NMO.
Brulines quite rightly would require further written information
before making that decision. Any such submission would be voluntary.
10) I am currently looking at EMC (Electromagnetic
Compatibility) compliance of the equipment, and will put this
in writing to Brulines at a later stage. Briefly the question
is whether the whole system is EMC compliant, not just the data
transfer device and the power supply. There is a question of whether
the system is a "fixed installation" as the requirements
differ if this is the case. I am trying to clarify this.
I hope this helps you. As I said I am intending
to send you a letter summarising the current situation as soon
as I can.
18 December 2009