Retailers could find themselves falling foul of weights and measures regulations as the Measuring Instruments Directive (MID) gears up to supersede all National Approvals for pumps.

At a seminar staged by Eurotank in Hampshire last month, Ian Jacques, UK & Ireland md of Scheidt & Bachmann, branded the European Directive as "madness", saying it assumes all dispensing and payment equipment is sourced from a single manufacturer.

By October 30, 2016, all pumps and POS equipment needs to be MID-approved but problems are arising where forecourts have a mix of MID and National Approvals during the transition period. For example, a nationally approved 25-year-old POS with new MID-approved dispensers does not conform, unless the POS stored transaction mode is disabled, meaning retailers would not be able to stack sales to push through more customers.

"This is restrictive to a mature estate seeking to improve dispensing and measuring devices and not a complete refit of new equipment," said Jacques. "This problem is only going to get worse in the next five years. There will be a greater onus on retailers to be aware that they may have some sites that aren’t conforming and we have heard that Trading Standards is going to be doing covert spot checks. This law is going to restrict our industry unless we speak as an industry together and lobby for common sense."

Richard Jackson, UK & Ireland PFS operations manager at Tesco, said the supermarket had lost £500,000 in fuel sales over the past year because some of its nationally approved pumps were overdispensing. Putting them back to strike would mean they’d need to be restamped with MID approval but are not compatible with Tesco’s POS under the new regulations. "MID has a huge impact on us and we need some clear and simple guidelines," said Jackson. "It’s a paperwork exercise and an unnecessary cost."