The linked newscorp article above says yes:
The rules of the system state a “small number” of packages can exceed a “tolerable deficiency” — for prepacked products labelled 300 - 500g that’s 3 per cent of the total weight — but none can be over or under by more than twice the prescribed tolerable deficiency.
… but that’s not how I read it at a quick (caffeine deficient so far today) glance from HERE:
The average system
- The average content in a sample of pre-packaged articles of the same measurement cannot be less than the stated quantity marked on the packages.
- No pre-packaged article can have a shortfall greater than 5% of the stated quantity.
- The average net content in a sample from the production run of pre-packed articles cannot be less than the stated quantity marked on the packages.
- Allowance is made for a small number of packages to exceed a ‘tolerable deficiency’.
- None of the packages in the sample can have more than twice the prescribed tolerable deficiency.
AQS provides a 97.5% assurance that goods are the correct quantity within the prescribed tolerances. These tolerances are proportional to the quantity of product and related difficulty of accurate filling.
Note: Australian AQS requirements align fully with OIML recommendations and may differ from those of other countries that do not fully implement the OIML recommendations. Importers should be aware of these differences when importing products using AQS.
There’s lots of talk about ‘shortfall’ … but I don’t see talk of the opposite …
Interestingly, Australia has adopted this standard for these reasons (reference)
The Average Quantity System (AQS) gives manufacturers and packers an opportunity to:
- reduce compliance costs associated with packing substantially above the stated quantity to avoid rogue packages being included in the sample
- align with international trading partners using the AQS e-mark — allowing for easier export
- use statistical sampling methods providing greater assurance that the packaged goods they sell and buy contain the quantity stated on the label
- have e-marked packaged goods to compete under the same rules as their international competitors in both domestic and international markets
- have greater confidence that exported products will not be rejected due to quantity issues
yet from the Guide to the Average Quantity System pdf, page 4:
Note that the Australian AQS requirements align fully with OIML recommendations and may differ from those of some other countries that do not fully implement the OIML recommendations. Importers should be aware of these differences when importing products using AQS.
So anything labelled with the ‘e’ symbol originating overseas, or labelled overseas, who knows … importers and end consumers may need to know to what extent the originating country aligns with the international standard … not all e’s are created equal … even though every one is competing under the same rules (different, but same, apparently).
This was the case here until 2010 under UTML legislation - then along came AQS - currently there appears to be a choice with which to comply according to the same guide linked above …
So the ‘good news’ appears to be that business is saving money on compliance costs, we can export to other ‘e’ places, and on average we know that we are 97.5% assured that what we get is close to what they say we are getting, plus or minus some adjustment for whether the ‘e’ at the point of origin is as good as our Aussie ‘e’ …