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1991 Minnesota Session Laws

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                         Laws of Minnesota 1991 

                        CHAPTER 198-S.F.No. 998 
           An act relating to weights and measures; adopting 
          weights and measures standards recommended by the 
          United States Department of Commerce, National 
          Institute of Standards and Technology; defining the 
          responsibilities, duties, and powers of the division 
          of weights and measures; providing that the division 
          have a director; amending Minnesota Statutes 1990, 
          sections 239.01; 239.02; 239.05; 239.09; proposing 
          coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 239; 
          repealing Minnesota Statutes 1990, sections 239.07; 
          239.08; and 239.37. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 239.01, is 
amended to read: 
    239.01 [DIVISION OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES DIVISION; 
JURISDICTION.] 
    There is hereby created a division to be known as 
The division of "weights and measures" hereafter division, 
referred to in this chapter as the division, and it shall be is 
created under the jurisdiction of the department of public 
service, which shall have.  The division has supervision and 
control over all weights, weighing devices, and measures in the 
state. 
    Sec. 2.  [239.011] [DIVISION RESPONSIBILITIES AND POWERS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [RESPONSIBILITIES.] The division shall: 
    (1) ensure that weights and measures in commercial service 
within the state are suitable for their intended use, properly 
installed, accurate, and properly maintained by their owners or 
users; 
    (2) prevent unfair or deceptive dealing by weight or 
measure in a commodity or service advertised, packaged, sold, or 
purchased within the state; 
    (3) make the precision calibration and related metrological 
certification capabilities of the division available to users of 
physical standards or weighing and measuring equipment; 
    (4) promote uniformity, to the extent practicable and 
desirable, between the weights and measures requirements of 
Minnesota and those of other states and federal agencies; and 
    (5) adopt weights and measures requirements that will 
protect consumers, promote equity between buyers and sellers, 
and encourage desirable economic growth. 
    Subd. 2.  [DUTIES AND POWERS.] To carry out the 
responsibilities in section 239.01 and subdivision 1, the 
director: 
    (1) shall take charge of, keep, and maintain in good order 
the standard of weights and measures of the state and keep a 
seal so formed as to impress, when appropriate, the letters 
"MINN" and the date of sealing upon the weights and measures 
that are sealed; 
    (2) has general supervision of the weights, measures, and 
weighing and measuring devices offered for sale, sold, or in use 
in the state; 
    (3) shall maintain traceability of the state standards to 
the national standards of the National Institute of Standards 
and Technology; 
    (4) shall enforce this chapter; 
    (5) shall grant variances from department rules, within the 
limits set by rule, when appropriate to maintain good commercial 
practices or when enforcement of the rules would cause undue 
hardship; 
    (6) shall conduct investigations to ensure compliance with 
this chapter; 
    (7) may delegate to division personnel the 
responsibilities, duties, and powers contained in this section; 
    (8) shall test annually, and approve when found to be 
correct, the standards of weights and measures used by the 
division, by a town, statutory or home rule charter city, or 
county within the state, or by a person using standards to 
repair, adjust, or calibrate commercial weights and measures; 
    (9) shall inspect and test weights and measures kept, 
offered, or exposed for sale; 
    (10) shall inspect and test, to ascertain if they are 
correct, weights and measures commercially used to: 
    (i) determine the weight, measure, or count of commodities 
or things sold, offered, or exposed for sale, on the basis of 
weight, measure, or count; and 
    (ii) compute the basic charge or payment for services 
rendered on the basis of weight, measure, or count; 
    (11) shall approve for use and mark weights and measures 
that are found to be correct; 
     (12) shall reject, and mark as rejected, weights and 
measures that are found to be incorrect and may seize them if 
those weights and measures: 
     (i) are not corrected within the time specified by the 
director; 
     (ii) are used or disposed of in a manner not specifically 
authorized by the director; or 
     (iii) are found to be both incorrect and not capable of 
being made correct, in which case the director shall condemn 
those weights and measures; 
    (13) shall weigh, measure, or inspect packaged commodities 
kept, offered, or exposed for sale, sold, or in the process of 
delivery, to determine whether they contain the amount 
represented and whether they are kept, offered, or exposed for 
sale in accordance with this chapter and department rules.  In 
carrying out this section, the director must employ recognized 
sampling procedures, such as those contained in National 
Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook 133, "Checking 
the Net Contents of Packaged Goods"; 
    (14) shall prescribe the appropriate term or unit of weight 
or measure to be used for a specific commodity when an existing 
term or declaration of quantity does not facilitate value 
comparisons by consumers, or creates an opportunity for consumer 
confusion; 
    (15) shall allow reasonable variations from the stated 
quantity of contents, including variations caused by loss or 
gain of moisture during the course of good distribution practice 
or by unavoidable deviations in good manufacturing practice, 
only after the commodity has entered commerce within the state; 
    (16) shall inspect and test petroleum products in 
accordance with this chapter and chapter 296; 
    (17) shall distribute and post notices for used motor oil 
and lead acid battery recycling in accordance with sections 
239.54, 325E.11, and 325E.115; and 
    (18) shall collect inspection fees in accordance with 
sections 239.10, 239.52, and 239.78. 
    Sec. 3.  [239.012] [SYSTEMS OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES; 
RULES.] 
   Subdivision 1.  [RECOGNIZED SYSTEMS.] The system of weights 
and measures in customary use in the United States and the 
metric system of weights and measures are both recognized.  One 
or both of these systems must be used for commercial purposes in 
the state. 
    Subd. 2.  [RULES.] The department shall adopt by rule 
definitions of basic units of weights and measures, tables of 
weights and measures, and weights and measures equivalents to 
govern weighing and measuring equipment and transactions in the 
state. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 239.02, is 
amended to read: 
    239.02 [SUPERVISOR DIRECTOR; DEPUTIES, EMPLOYEES.] 
    The department shall appoint in accordance with chapter 
43A, a supervisor director of weights and measures and such 
deputies and other employees as may be necessary to carry out 
the provisions of this chapter. 
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 239.05, is 
amended to read: 
    239.05 [DEFINITIONS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [SCOPE.] The terms used in sections 239.01 
to 239.53 have the meanings given them in this section.  
    Subd. 7.  [CORRECT.] "Correct," when used in connection 
with weights and measures, means conformance with the applicable 
requirements of this chapter, and rules adopted under the 
authority granted by this chapter. 
    Subd. 8.  [DIRECTOR.] "Director" means the director of the 
division of weights and measures of the department of public 
service. 
    Subd. 9.  [METROLOGY.] "Metrology" means the science and 
practice of precise measurement, including measurement of mass, 
length, volume, and temperature. 
    Subd. 10.  [NET WEIGHT.] "Net weight" means the weight of a 
commodity excluding materials, substances, or items not 
considered to be part of the commodity.  Materials, substances, 
or items not considered to be part of the commodity include, but 
are not limited to, containers, conveyances, bags, wrappers, 
packaging materials, labels, individual piece coverings, 
decorative accompaniments, and coupons. 
    Subd. 11.  [PACKAGE.] "Package" means a commodity put up or 
packaged in advance of sale in units suitable for either 
wholesale or retail sale. 
    Subd. 12.  [PERSON.] The word "Person," as used in sections 
239.01 to 239.10, means person or persons, corporation, 
partnership, stock company, society, association, or the agent 
or employee thereof. 
    Subd. 13.  [PRIMARY STANDARDS.] "Primary standards" means 
the physical standards of the state that serve as the legal 
reference from which all other standards and weights and 
measures are derived. 
    Subd. 14.  [SALE FROM BULK.] "Sale from bulk" means the 
sale of commodities when the quantity is determined at the time 
of the sale. 
    Subd. 15.  [SECONDARY STANDARDS.] "Secondary standards" 
means the physical standards that are used in enforcing weights 
and measures laws.  These standards must be traceable to the 
primary standards.  
    Subd. 16.  [TRACEABILITY; TRACEABLE.] "Traceability" and 
"traceable" mean: 
    (1) the ability to relate individual measurement results, 
through an unbroken chain of calibrations, to the United States 
national standards maintained by the United States Department of 
Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology; and 
    (2) the ability to produce evidence on a continuing basis 
to demonstrate that the measurement processes used by the 
division are producing results within the limits of uncertainty 
designated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
    Subd. 17.  [WEIGHT.] "Weight" means net weight when it is 
used in connection with a commodity sold by weight. 
    Subd. 18.  [WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.] "Weights and measures" 
mean weights and measures of every kind, instruments and devices 
for weighing and measuring, and appliances and accessories 
associated with these instruments and devices.  
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 239.09, is 
amended to read: 
    239.09 [SPECIAL POLICE OFFICERS POWERS.] 
    The division and all authorized employees under the 
provisions of sections 239.01 to 239.10 and 239.54 are hereby 
made special police officers and are When necessary to enforce 
this chapter or rules adopted under the authority granted by 
section 239.06, the director is: 
    (1) authorized and empowered to arrest, without formal 
warrant, any violator of sections 325E.11 and 325E.115 or of the 
statute in relation to weights and measures, and; 
    (2) empowered to seize for use as evidence and without 
formal warrant, any false weight, measure, or weighing or 
measuring device or, package, or kind of commodity found to be 
used, retained, or offered or exposed for sale or sold in 
violation of law.; 
    (3) during normal business hours, authorized to enter 
commercial premises; 
     (4) if the premises are not open to the public, authorized 
to enter commercial premises only after presenting credentials 
and obtaining consent or after obtaining a search warrant; 
    (5) empowered to issue stop-use, hold, and removal orders 
with respect to weights and measures commercially used, and 
packaged commodities or bulk commodities kept, offered, or 
exposed for sale, that do not comply with the weights and 
measures laws; and 
    (6) empowered, upon reasonable suspicion of a violation of 
of the weights and measures laws, to stop a commercial vehicle 
and, after presentation of credentials, inspect the contents of 
the vehicle, require that the person in charge of the vehicle 
produce documents concerning the contents, and require the 
person to proceed with the vehicle to some specified place for 
inspection. 
    Sec. 7.  [239.091] [METHOD OF SALE.] 
    The method of sale for a commodity must provide an accurate 
and adequate quantity of information that will allow the buyer 
to make price and quantity comparisons.  The department may 
adopt rules to administer this section. 
    Sec. 8.  [239.092] [SALE FROM BULK.] 
    Bulk sales of commodities, when the buyer and seller are 
not both present to witness the measurement, must be accompanied 
by a delivery ticket containing the following information: 
    (1) the name and address of the person who weighed or 
measured the commodity; 
    (2) the date delivered; 
    (3) the quantity delivered; 
    (4) the count of individually wrapped packages delivered, 
if more than one is included in the quantity delivered; 
    (5) the quantity on which the price is based, if different 
than the quantity delivered; and 
    (6) the identity of the commodity in the most descriptive 
terms commercially practicable, including representations of 
quality made in connection with the sale. 
     This section is not intended to conflict with the bulk sale 
requirements of the department of agriculture.  If a conflict 
occurs, the law and rules of the department of agriculture 
govern. 
    Sec. 9.  [239.093] [INFORMATION REQUIRED IN PACKAGES.] 
    A package offered, exposed, or held for sale must bear a 
clear and conspicuous declaration of: 
    (1) the identity of the commodity in the package, unless 
the commodity can be easily identified through the wrapper or 
container; 
    (2) the net quantity in terms of weight, measure, or count; 
    (3) the name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or 
distributor, if the packages were not produced on the premises 
where they are offered, exposed, or held for sale; and 
    (4) the unit price, if the packages are part of a lot 
containing random weight packages of the same commodity. 
    This section is not intended to conflict with the packaging 
requirements of the department of agriculture.  If a conflict 
occurs, the laws and rules of the department of agriculture 
govern.  
    Sec. 10.  [239.094] [PACKAGED COMMODITIES; ADVERTISING FOR 
SALE.] 
    When a packaged commodity is advertised with its retail 
price, the quantity declaration that appears on the package must 
also appear in the advertisement.  
    Sec. 11.  [REVISOR'S INSTRUCTIONS.] 
    (a) The revisor of statutes shall renumber Minnesota 
Statutes 1990, section 239.81, as section 239.531 in subsequent 
editions of Minnesota Statutes.  
    (b) In each section of Minnesota Statutes referred to in 
column A, the revisor of statutes shall delete the reference in 
column B and insert the reference in column C.  The references 
in column C may be changed by the revisor of statutes to the 
section of Minnesota Statutes in which the bill section is 
compiled.  
  Column A            Column B     Column C
  239.44              239.37       239.36
  325F.733, subd. 7   239.08       239.011 and 239.09
    Sec. 12.  [REPEALER.] 
    Minnesota Statutes 1990, sections 239.07; 239.08; and 
239.37, are repealed. 
    Presented to the governor May 23, 1991 
    Signed by the governor May 27, 1991, 10:32 p.m.

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