In the guide
This guidance is for England, Scotland and Wales
If you are indicating units of weight or volume, only the permitted abbreviations (symbols) can be used. These are shown in the table below.
|Unit of measurement||Symbol|
|Litre||l or L|
|Centilitre||cl or cL|
|Millilitre||ml or mL|
Vulgar fractions are not permitted (unless it relates to a fraction of a pint). For example, 500 g cannot be expressed as 1/2 kg.
If the word 'net' is used it cannot be abbreviated.Back to top
Supplementary imperial units
Imperial units can be shown as well, but they must not be more prominent than the metric indication. The permitted units are shown in the table below.
|Unit of measurement||Abbreviation|
|Square yard||sq yd|
|Fluid ounce||fl oz|
Except where the law and trade practice dictates otherwise, liquids should be marked with a volume (ml or L, for example) and other products by weight (g, kg, etc).
Under the Weights and Measures (Quantity Marking and Abbreviations of Units) Regulations 1987, quantity indications must be easily visible, legible and indelible. Under the Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations 2006, they must also be of a minimum height, depending on the pack size.Back to top
For more information on the work of Trading Standards services - and the possible consequences of not abiding by the law - please see 'Trading Standards: powers, enforcement and penalties'.Back to top
In this update
Extra units added to imperial measures table.
Last reviewed / updated: November 2023Back to top