Tare Basics

scaleTare is the material used in packaging / preservation (exclusive of the actual commodity for sale) including: boxes, trays, soakers, bags, labels, glue, ties, wrappers, prizes, gifts, coupons, garnishes, sauces (not listed on product), glazing, ice, wax and any other material that is not part of the product. The declared package weight must exclude the weight of the tare for commodities sold by weight.

  • Sauces and Glazes: Sauces/Glazes need to be included in the product identity statement on the label, i.e. Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze, if they are included in the product net weight. If it is not part of the product identity statement it is considered part of the tare weight.

Determining Tare Weight

Wisconsin is a dry tare state and tare is determined by measuring unused or used tare materials. To set tare, average the tare weights from at least 10 packages of the same item. Products sold from bulk including individual wrappers must include the weight of the wrappers in the tare.

Taking Tare

Tare can be programmed into the scale or POS system used to weight product, or store personnel can enter it manually.

Responsibility for Tare Weight

The entity responsible for the commodity's declared weight is responsible for deducting correct tare.

  • Pre-packaged products: packager is responsible for determining tare.
  • Products weighted at retail level: store is responsible for determining tare.
  • Note: A retail establishment is accountable for an incorrect net weight on any product they sell.

Store management should verify pre-packaged item tares if the items are weighed by the store. When the packaging of a product changes, the tare must change also. Manual tare weights should be conspicuously posted. Only one tare can be taken at a time (either automatically or manually) so store personnel must weigh each package individually to account for the tare of the additional packages.

Product Tare Variations

This is a common problem in the sale of random weight products; particularly individually-wrapped bulk commodities. The more the consumer buys the more tare to account for.

  • Use a variable tare or percentage scale to adjust the tare as the weight fluctuates.
  • Program or provide a list of maximum tares for any single package or purchase.


Last Updated: 01/04/2018

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