How the Office for Product Safety and Standards contributes to international legal metrology and who to contact.
The Office for Product Safety and Standards (Safety & Standards) co-ordinates input into international forums including the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) and the European Cooperation in Legal Metrology(WELMEC).
Safety & Standards aims to positively influence European Union (EU) and international legal metrology forums to benefit UK businesses, their customers and consumers. This is done by active participation in a number of international committees covering areas of interest to UK businesses and consumers. OIML is working towards ensuring a level playing field and reducing technical barriers to international trade.
As well as providing the government to government point of contact for weights and measures, Safety & Standards actively participates in OIML with the aim of influencing regulatory requirements internationally in accordance with the wishes of UK stakeholders, including manufacturers, legislators, and enforcers.
Read the latest OIML bulletins to understand more about the work of OIML.
Read the latest WELMEC guides to understand more about the work of WELMEC.
The role of OIML
The International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) is an intergovernmental body, established in 1955. Its main objective is to achieve international harmonisation for legal metrology, providing an important basis for measurement credibility, eliminating technical barriers to trade in measuring instruments and promoting international trade by confidence in measurement capability.
OIML produces international recommendations which are similar to technical standards and provide the basis for laws regulating measuring equipment, and quantity control and quantity labelling pre-packages. It also produces OIML documents which give guidance on establishing a legal measurement system. These recommendations and documents are drawn up in technical committees consisting of experts from various member states. Safety & Standards’ role is to facilitate the development and approval process of these recommendations and ensure that UK interests are fully represented.
There are currently 60 member states and a further 68 corresponding country members that make OIML influential in harmonising world legal metrology requirements.
UK OIML secretariats
On behalf of the UK, Safety & Standards operates some of the OIML technical committees (TC) and subcommittees (SC). The following table provides contact details should you wish to get involved and influence the technical working recommendations of international legal metrology.
|Technical Committee||Safety & Standards contact|
|Measuring instruments for length and associated quantities ( TC 7 )||Christine Munteanu|
|Measurement of areas ( TC 7/ SC 3 )||Morayo Awosola|
|Water meters ( TC 8/ SC 5 )||Morayo Awosola|
|Automatic weighing instruments ( TC 9/ SC2 )||Morayo Awosola|
UK OIML participation
The UK participates in a variety of technical committees and subcommittees, such as metrological supervision and measuring instruments for road traffic. Visit the OIML website to see the complete list of technical committees and subcommittees.
The role of WELMEC
Safety & Standards is also actively involved in WELMEC, which is an organisation of EU and European Free Trade association (EFTA) Member States that pursues cooperation in legal metrology. WELMEC was formally established at a meeting in Bern, Switzerland in June 1990, upon the signing of the memorandum of understanding, to publish guides which are not mandatory but provide solutions that are acceptable to European regulators. The memorandum of understanding is of an exclusively recommendatory nature and does not in any way bind its signatories.
WELMEC’s principal objectives are to develop mutual confidence between legal metrology services in Europe and to achieve harmonisation of legal metrology activities.
WELMEC working groups and UK contacts
Safety & Standards is represented in all 8 different working groups of WELMEC, and Safety & Standards officials attend working group meetings relevant to their knowledge and background. The benefit of WELMEC participation is the ability to influence the regulatory requirements within Europe in accordance with the wishes of UK stakeholders, including manufacturers, legislators, and enforcers. Ultimately this will benefit consumers.
The body governing the working groups is the WELMEC Committee. Each member country has a nominated representative who attends an annual committee meeting and participates in electronic correspondence and voting on matters of a more strategic nature in relation to cooperation in legal metrology across Europe.
UK single point of contact
If you wish to discuss the work of the UK on international legal metrology then please contact the following person:
International legal metrology
International Project Leader
Office for Product Safety and Standards
Direct line: 020 8943 7287