Frequently Asked Questions on An Act to Amend the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and the Weights and Measures Act (also known as the Fairness at the Pumps Act) and its Regulations

Consumers

Businesses

Authorized Service Providers


Consumers

What are the benefits of the new law?

The new law means consumers are better protected against loss due to measurement inaccuracy by making retailers more accountable for the accuracy of their gas pumps, scales and other measuring devices.

Mandatory inspection frequencies are introduced in eight sectors, including retail petroleum and retail food. Stiff penalties and court-imposed fines will be imposed on businesses that do not comply with measurement accuracy requirements. These include administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) of up to $2,000 and court-imposed fines of up to $10,000 for minor offences, up to $25,000 for major offences and a new fine of up to $50,000 for repeat offenders.

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What will the new measures mean for the inspection of gas stations?

These new measures will require that retailers have the accuracy of their gas pumps certified every two years and will give inspectors the right enforcement tools to ensure that businesses are held accountable for the accuracy of their gas pumps and other measuring devices. Authorized service providers performing inspections are subject to a comprehensive review by Measurement Canada and must meet strict guidelines. Measurement Canada will maintain oversight throughout the inspection process, including follow-up inspections, on-site audits and enforcement actions when necessary. Measurement Canada annually evaluates authorized service providers to ensure they are carrying out their duties in accordance with the law.

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/mc-mc.nsf/eng/lm04283.html#q1.5

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Does this new law only apply to gas pumps?

No. The newly introduced mandatory inspections frequencies apply to the following sectors:

  • Dairy
  • Downstream petroleum
  • Fishing
  • Forestry
  • Grain and field crops
  • Mining
  • Retail food
  • Retail petroleum
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What can I do if I suspect I have received an inaccurate measurement?

If you suspect you have received inaccurate measurement and have been unable to resolve the matter with the retailer, consult the File a Complaint section of Measurement Canada's website.

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How do I know if a business is complying with the law?

Measuring devices which have been inspected and found to be measuring accurately are identified by an inspection sticker. Learn more about Measurement Canada's inspection sticker.

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/mc-mc.nsf/eng/lm04283.html#q4

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What is the difference between administrative monetary penalties and fines?

Fines are imposed by the courts while AMPs are an administrative tool used by Measurement Canada to promote compliance with legal requirements. The use of AMPs provides Measurement Canada with more flexibility to resolve non-compliance in the form of monetary penalties by decriminalizing relatively minor offences while still providing access to prosecution in cases of flagrant offences or for a history of non-compliance.

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Businesses

Mandatory Inspection Frequencies

What are the mandatory inspection frequencies for each sector or type of device?

Frequencies of inspection vary from sector to sector and by type of device, from every year to every five years. Consult the Mandatory Inspection Frequencies by Sector and Device Type reference table to learn more.

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How were the mandatory inspection frequencies determined?

The frequencies of mandatory inspections are consensus recommendations determined in consultation with stakeholders in the affected trade sectors.

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How do I know authorized service providers can perform inspections correctly?

Measurement Canada has a rigorous process in place to qualify authorized service providers. The process involves requiring successful completion of training related to device inspections, use of approved inspection procedures and requiring the use of calibrated and certified standards (test equipment) to perform inspections. Measurement Canada also monitors the work performed by authorized service providers through follow-inspections, annual audits and other methods.

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How do I find an authorized service provider to inspect my devices?

A list of service providers authorized to perform inspections is maintained on Measurement Canada's website. Find an authorized service provider.

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/mc-mc.nsf/eng/lm04283.html#q10

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Are there enough authorized service providers to perform all of the mandatory inspections?

As of July 2014, there are over 120 active authorized service providers who employ over 450 recognized technicians. Measurement Canada believes there is sufficient capacity to perform these inspections. However, if you are unable to identify an authorized service provider, contact Measurement Canada for assistance.

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I had a service company calibrate my devices recently, why do my devices need to be inspected again?

There are differences between calibration activities and inspections carried out pursuant to the Weights and Measures Act. In order to ensure that your device is compliant with the Act and its regulations an inspection is required.

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My authorized service provider can't inspect my device within the required time frame. What can I do?

The onus is on the trader to ensure an inspection is scheduled. If an authorized service provider cannot perform an inspection within the required time frame, the trader can schedule an inspection with any other qualified authorized service provider If you are unable to locate another authorized service provider, contact Measurement Canada.

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Does Measurement Canada set the inspection fees that are charged by authorized service providers?

Fees for inspections performed by ASPs will be determined by market forces and ASPs. Inspection costs should represent only an incremental increase for business owners that already had a service contract in place for the maintenance of their devices.

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Are devices used exclusively to measure fertilizers used in the agricultural industry subject to mandatory inspections?

The measurement and sale of fertilizers is considered to fall under the chemical trade sector. At this time there are no mandatory inspection frequencies required in this sector.

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I have a fleet of vehicles that have truck mounted meters, which postal code should be used to determine when the first mandatory inspection is due?

The implementation of inspection frequencies applies to the area in which the device is located, not to its home base or to the location where the owner registered it.

If a meter is mounted on a vehicle that frequently moves between geographic areas, but returns almost daily to the area in which the vehicle is usually refuelled, the meter will have to be inspected before the deadline that applies to the location where it is usually refuelled.

If a meter is mounted on a vehicle that moves to a new geographic area and stays there for a long period of time, the meter must be inspected before the deadline that applies to the area in which the vehicle is refuelled. If the deadline has passed, it must be inspected within 24 months of the coming into force of the regulatory amendments.

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Administrative monetary penalties

What are administrative monetary penalties?

Administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) are monetary penalties which can be imposed on a regulated party by a regulator without court involvement. They can be applied against any individual or corporation subject to the Weights and Measures Act and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and their regulations.

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Are AMPs the same as a criminal offence?

No. AMPs are civil sanctions that promote compliance through the application of monetary penalties for non-compliance with regulatory requirements. AMPs are imposed through an administrative process, whereas criminal offences are subject to prosecution in a court of law.

As part of a graduated enforcement system, an AMP system will provide Measurement Canada with increased flexibility to resolve non-compliance in the form of monetary penalties. As a civil penalty, an AMP is not considered to be criminal punishment.

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Are AMPs new? Does anyone else use an AMP system?

Several other federal and provincial government agencies and other countries include AMPs as part of their regulatory regimes.

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Transport Canada
  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission
  • Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada
  • Industry Canada
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S.)
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Will AMPs be Measurement Canada's only enforcement tool?

No. Measurement Canada has a number of enforcement tools including trader education, warning and information letters, device seizures and prosecutions.

AMPs are a new tool in Measurement Canada's enforcement toolkit, providing Measurement Canada with a broader range of options for promoting compliance.

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Will the introduction of AMPs mean there will no longer be prosecutions?

No. Measurement Canada will continue to consider prosecution for actions considered to be offences under either the Weights and Measures Act or the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act.

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What is the difference between a non-compliance and a violation?

A non-compliance occurs when a regulatory requirement has not been met. A non-compliance becomes a violation when Measurement Canada selects AMPs as the appropriate enforcement option.

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Which non-compliances will be subject to AMPs?

Only the non-compliance listed as violations in the Weights and Measures Regulations and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Regulations may be subject to monetary penalties.

Not all non-compliances will result in AMPs. Measurement Canada's enforcement policies include a number of tools including trader education, warning and information letters, device seizures and prosecutions.

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How will AMPs be issued?

Each AMP will be issued in the form of a Notice of Violation (NoV) along with the invoice for payment and instructions on how to request a review.

Measurement Canada plans to issue NoVs by registered mail, but may also do so by way of personal delivery, registered mail, courier, fax or other electronic means.

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Can an authorized service provider take enforcement actions?

Only government inspectors can take enforcement actions.

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How will Measurement Canada ensure the consistent application of AMPs?

An extensive training program will ensure that AMPs are applied consistently.

AMPs will not be issued by inspectors. AMPs will be recommended by inspectors to management following an established process. There will also be a management review and approval prior to the issue of any AMPs.

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What is the maximum amount that an individual AMP could be?

The maximum penalty is $2,000 for a violation of the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and the Weights and Measures Act and their regulations.

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How are AMPs calculated?

There are three violation categories; minor, serious and very serious. A different baseline penalty exists for each of these categories. The purpose of the categories is to associate the baseline penalty value of a violation with its level of regulatory significance.

Baseline penalties are:

  1. $250, for a minor violation;
  2. $500, for a serious violation; and
  3. $1,000, for a very serious violation.

For each case, determining the penalty amount begins with identifying the violation and its associated category. The penalty amount may then be adjusted by a percentage as set out in the associated schedule, which has been added to the regulations to reflect the organization's history of committing violations in the five-year period immediately before the day on which the current violation was committed. Both the number and seriousness of past violations are taken into account in determining the history.

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Will there be a review process?

Yes. An AMP can be reviewed upon request by the recipient by submitting a request for review to the President of Measurement Canada within 30 days of receiving the Notice of Violation. The process for requesting a review will be included in the Notice of Violation.

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Can the decision made by Measurement Canada's President be appealed?

Once the President has reviewed the case and made a determination, the decision is final and binding and, except for judicial review under the Federal Courts Act, is not subject to appeal or to review by any court.

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How will I pay my AMP?

The Notice of Violation (NoV) will include an invoice and payment instructions. All payments are due 30 days from the date the NoV is considered received.

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When an AMP is paid, where will the money go?

Cheques are made payable to the Receiver General of Canada. The money received in payment of AMPs will go to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Canada. No money will go to Measurement Canada.

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What happens if an AMP is not paid?

Any overdue payments are handled according to normal accounts receivable procedures and, if necessary, collection procedures are initiated when the due date has passed with neither payment nor a request for review.

Non-payment of a penalty is treated as a non-compliance with the Weights and Measures Act or the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act. Any unpaid penalty amount is a debt due to the Crown and may be recovered in the Federal Court or any other court of competent jurisdiction.

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Authorized Service Providers

I am unable to perform some inspections according to the prescribed frequencies. How do I request an extension for the inspection frequency?

Authorized service providers cannot request extensions to the inspection frequency. Only a trader may request such an extension.

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/mc-mc.nsf/eng/lm04283.html#q34

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Can an authorized service provider take enforcement actions?

Only government inspectors can take enforcement actions.

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/mc-mc.nsf/eng/lm04283.html#q35

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How can I become an ASP?

ASPs are organizations authorized to inspect and certify measuring devices. ASPs are not individuals; they are companies who employ recognized technicians. An organization must be a legal entity and be incorporated to become an ASP and must enter into a legal agreement with Measurement Canada.

All ASPs and their recognized technicians must successfully complete applicable Measurement Canada training and evaluations before they can certify measuring devices. ASPs do not take any enforcement actions and are required to report all inspection results, including non-compliant devices to Measurement Canada.

Measurement Canada offers two programs for ASPs: Accreditation and Registration. The main differences between these two programs are as follows:

  • An accredited organization must have a quality management system in place which meets the requirements of Measurement Canada's accreditation standard. Inspection services provided by accredited organizations can be performed in all marketplace (trade) sectors.
  • A registered organization is not required to have a quality management system. As a result, there is more frequent Measurement Canada monitoring of recognized technicians working for a registered organization. The scope of the inspection services which registered organizations can provide is limited to certain marketplace (trade) sectors.

Fees apply to both programs and organizations who are also responsible for purchasing the necessary measuring and testing equipment, inspection certificates, test and non-compliance reports, rejection tags, inspection marks and seals.

If you are considering becoming an authorized service provider, please contact the Measurement Canada Alternative Service Delivery representative responsible for your region.

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When must I start using the new sticker?

Authorized service providers (ASPs) may begin using the new inspection stickers as soon as they receive them from Measurement Canada and must use these stickers by September 1st, 2014. ASPs are required to maintain a strict control of stickers and will be audited on this matter.

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How can I order these stickers?

Requests for inspection stickers may only be submitted by the management representative of your organization by completing the online sticker order form.

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/mc-mc.nsf/eng/lm04283.html#q38

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