Metrology (measurement and physical standards) is an integral component of the technical infrastructure value chain. The national measurement standards of a country provide the basis for its other conformity assessment activities like calibration services, trade metrology services, conformance testing with respect to technical regulations, testing, accreditation etc., in both the regulatory and the voluntary sectors.
The metrological activities undertaken by National Measurement Institutes (NMIs) are to develop, maintain and disseminate national measurement standards appropriate to national needs, and to develop and transfer to users new measurement technology. The national measurement standards of a country provide the basis for activities such as calibration services, trade metrology services, conformance testing, accreditation etc., in both the regulatory and the voluntary sectors.
The Metre Convention is an inter-governmental treaty that provides the international infrastructure to enable Member States to develop national measurement standards at whatever level is required by a country, thus facilitating their international recognition and acceptance. It is therefore relevant to countries at all stages of technical development.
International activities in legal metrology are coordinated by the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML), and apply when there are legal or legislative requirements to be fulfilled.
Legal metrology specifications are produced within the OIML framework and find widespread adoption in developing as well as developed countries. The OIML also provides other valuable services such as a model law on metrology which sets out a number of considerations that should be assessed when setting up a national MAS infrastructure.
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