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Tare Basics


Tare is the material used in packaging / preservation (excludes the item for sale).

Tare includes:













Sauces (not listed on product)




Other material not part of the product




The declared package weight must exclude the weight of the tare for items sold by weight.

If you include sauces or glazes in the product net weight, you must include them on the label. For example, Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze. If not part of the product identity statement, the sauce/glaze is part of the tare weight.

Finding Tare Weight

Wisconsin is a dry tare state. Tare is found by measuring unused or used tare materials. To set tare, average the tare weights from at least 10 packages of the same item. Bulk products, including individual wrappers, must have the wrapper weight in the tare.

Taking Tare

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

Responsibility for Tare Weight

The party responsible for the item's declared weight must find the correct tare.

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

If a store weighs an item, store management should verify tares for pre-packaged items. When the packaging of a product changes, the tare must also change. Manual tare weights should be posted in a clearly visible way. Only one tare can be taken at a time (either automatically or manually). Staff must weigh each package on its own to account for the tare of other packages.

Product Tare Variations

This is a common problem in the sale of random weight products. It's especially a problem with individually-wrapped bulk items. The more the consumer buys, the more tare you must 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: 09/02/2021

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