In the guide
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|
|mililitre||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.
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|
|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; they must also be of a minimum height, depending on the pack size.
Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment. For more information please see 'Trading standards: powers, enforcement & penalties'.
New guidance: April 2020