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National Measurement Institute


Download our Guide to the Sale of Firewood

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Firewood can be sold by weight, volume or lot. 

Sold by Weight

If firewood is sold by weight it must be measured in tonnes (t) or kilograms (kg). If the weight is determined using a weighing instrument then it must be trade approved.

Only the net weight of the wood (excluding any container, trailer, ropes etc.) can be considered.

If wood is delivered to more than one customer at a time, each load should be kept separate and each customer should be given a delivery docket stating the weight of the wood delivered.

Sold by Volume

Firewood may also be sold by the cubic metre (m3). When measuring the volume of the firewood, it should be neatly stacked with as few gaps as possible (not thrown together randomly). If a measuring instrument is used the instrument must:

  • be of a type approved by the National Measurement Institute (NMI) (shown by an attached NMI approval number)
  • be verified by a servicing licensee or NMI inspector
  • be accurate.

A typical measuring instrument for measurement by volume is a 1 m folding rule with metal-tipped ends or a measuring tape.

To calculate the volume of a stack of firewood in cubic metres, multiply the length by the width by the height of the stack (in metres): volume in m3 = (width) m x (height) m x (length) m.

Converting between Volume and Weight

Sellers need to be wary of making assumptions or claims about the particular weight of a measured volume of wood, or the particular volume of a measured weight of wood. Such calculations can be unreliable due to varying wood densities, moisture content and differing amounts of free space when the wood is stacked. Any claims about actual weight or volume need to be correct. Incorrect conversion assumptions are not a defence in a case of short measurement.

Sold by Lot

Firewood may also be sold by the stack, trailer or truck load. If this method is used, sellers cannot make any reference to the weight or volume of the lot. If sellers wish to refer to weight or volume, the sale must comply with the requirements of a sale by weight or volume.

If the Buyer is not Present

If the buyer is not present at the time of measurement, or does not have a clear and unobstructed view when the firewood is measured or weighed, an invoice or delivery note must be given at the time of delivery. This invoice must state the true measurement of the firewood.

Pre-packed Firewood

Firewood or kindling sold in pre-packaged quantities, must state on the outside of the package:

  • net measurement of the wood in the package (e.g. 25 kg)
  • full name and street address of the packer (if not sold on the same premises where it is packed), or the person for whom it was packed. The address cannot be a post office box, an email address or phone number. The name and address of the packer must be clear and legible.

Pre-packages must not contain less than the stated amount at all times prior to sale.

Packers and importers of pre packaged articles must make sure the marked measurement is accurate and does not include the weight of any packaging material

Click here for more information on pre-packed articles.

Responsibilities of Sellers

When selling by weight or volume, sellers are responsible for the accuracy of their measuring instruments. The instruments must:

  • be of a type approved by NMI and legal for trade use
  • be verified by a servicing licensee before they are used
  • register zero before they are used
  • be properly installed and appropriate for the intended use
  • be used correctly by staff adequately trained in their correct use.

Regulating the Sale of Firewood

NMI employs trade measurement inspectors throughout Australia. The role of inspectors is:

  • to ensure that all measuring instruments used for trade are verified and used correctly
  • to monitor the verification activities of servicing licensees
  • to check pre-packages for correct packer identification, measurement markings and accurate measure
  • to investigate complaints and resolve problems with trade measurement matters
  • to issue infringement notices or take prosecution action where there has been a breach of the law.

For more Information

The main laws covering trade measurement are the National Measurement Act 1960 and the National Trade Measurement Regulations 2009. For offences and penalties regarding the use of measuring instruments for trade and shortfall provisions, see the following sections of the Act: 

  • section 18HC – certain articles must be sold by measurement
  • section 18GA – measuring instruments used for trade to be verified
  • section 18GD – inaccurate use of measuring instruments
  • section 18KD – shortfall offence

For more information contact 1300 686 664, or use our online form.