International Metrology

EUROMET („European Collaboration on Measurement Standards“) was founded in 1987 on the basis of a „Memorandum of Understanding“. Its aim was the collaboration of the European metrology institutes in the area of measurement standards. BEV was a founding member of EUROMET.

In January 2007 EUROMET was registered as an association of public utility under German law and became EURAMET e.V. („European Association of National Metrology Institutes“). Its foundation as an association, and thus as a legal entity, was necessary to conclude contracts on research funding with the European Commission and other partners. All activities and responsibilities have been transferred from EUROMET to EURAMET e.V. with effect from 1 July 2007.

The objective of EURAMET e.V. is the promotion of science and research and the European cooperation in the field of metrology. This is carried out, in particular, through development and support of European-wide research cooperation in the field of metrology and measurement standards, especially within the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP),the coordination of the joint use of special metrological facilities and infrastructure of the members, the improvement of the efficiency of use of available resources to better meet metrological needs and to assure the traceability of national standards in Europe, as well as the performance of the tasks of a Regional Metrology Organisation with the objective of worldwide mutual recognition of national measurement standards and calibration and measurement certificates.

The EURAMET General Assembly is the „decision-making organ“ in which every member is represented. The chairpersons are the executive body, supported by the board of directors.

Matters of the EMRP are executed by the EMRP-steering committee.

The Projects are elaborated in twelve Technical Committees (TC), ten of which are in charge of a metrological subject, one TC is dedicated to interdisciplinary questions, and another TC is concerned with quality systems. EURAMET e.V. plays a decisive role in the implementation of the CIPM-MRA: organisation of regional key comparisons, examination of calibration and measurement capabilities as well as evaluation of quality systems.


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The treaty of the Meter Convention was signed in Paris on 20 May 1875 by 17 states among them Austria-Hungary. Its purpose was the international introduction and the permanent scientific supervision of the metric system that has meanwhile developed into the International System of Units. France is depositary state of the Meter Convention.

Its highest decision-making organ is the General Assembly for Weights and Measures (CGPM, Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures) which currently meets in Paris once every four years. The International Committee on Weights and Measures (CIPM, Comité International des Poids et Mesures) is directly attached to the CGPM, and being responsible for scientific work and consultancy, it also prepares resolutions to the General Conference and executes them. It consists of 18 experts personally appointed by the General Conference. The CIPM is supported by 10 consultative committees (CC, Comité Consultatif) acting in different fields of metrology, one of these consultative committees is responsible for measurement units. Experimental and practical work is done at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM, Bureau International des Poids et Mesures). It is located in Sèvres near Paris with its laboratories, offices and permanent staff, where it carries out scientific research, organizes calibrations and international comparison measurements and manages the affairs of the Meter Convention.


International comparison measurements have gained special importance over the last years since they are the basis for the Mutual Recognition Arrangement CIPM MRA.

38 Directors/Presidents of NMI (national metrology institutes) and 2 representatives of international organisations signed the CIPM-MRA in Paris on 14 October 1999. The CIPM MRA regulates the mutual recognition of national measurement standards and of calibration and measurement certificates issued by national metrology institutes. Respective international comparison measurements (key comparisons) are performed by CIPM, BIPM and the regional metrology organisations (RMO, for Europe: EURAMET). Results of key comparisons and also calibration and measurement capabilities recognised within the CIPM MRA are published on the BIPM website under „Key Comparison Database – KCDB“.


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The International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML, Organisation Internationale de Métrologie Légale) was established by a treaty in 1955. Austria is a founding member. Its purpose is the harmonisation of the principles of legal metrology with the aim of mutual recognition of measurement results, tests and certificates. To this end, recommendations and documents are developed referring to the testing and inspection of measuring instruments. France is depositary state of the OIML Convention.

The highest-decision making organ, the International Conference (Conférence Internationale), assembles every four years. The International Committee of Legal Metrology (CIML, Comité International de Métrologie Légale) prepares and executes the decisions. The CIML is the steering committee of OIML and meets annually. It is composed of one appointed representative from each member state.


The OIML technical committees and subcommittees establish recommendations and documents. The International Bureau of Legal Metrology (BIML, Bureau International de Métrologie Légale) in Paris is the headquarters of OIML. Among other things, it is responsible for the issuing of the International Recommendations and Documents as well as of the OIM Bulletin. The OIML Certificate System was introduced in 1991 with the aim of facilitating the mutual recognition of pattern approvals based on OIML Recommendations. In addition to this system, the „Mutual Acceptance Arrangement – MAA“ was developed in 2003. The MAA should formalise the recognition of certificates and test reports on the basis of a „Declaration of mutual confidence“.

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WELMEC (European Cooperation in Legal Metrology) was founded in 1990 on the basis of a „Memorandum of Understanding“. Its members are representatives of the national legal metrology authorities in the member states of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

BEV is a founding member of WELMEC.

The objective of WELMEC is the harmonisation of legal metrology in Europe and the development of mutual confidence through exchange of information and through communication with all interested parties in this field.

This means in particular:

  • to develop and maintain mutual confidence between legal metrology services in Europe,
  • to harmonise legal metrology activities,
  • to organise the exchange of information on legal metrology between all relevant bodies.

Every member is represented in the WELMEC Committee as the decision making organ.

Expert questions are dealt with in various working groups:

WG 2: Directive Implementation (90/384/EEC)

WG 4: General Aspects of Legal Metrology

WG 5: Metrological Supervision

WG 6: Prepackages

WG 7: Software

WG 8: Measuring Instruments Directive

WG 10: Measuring Equipment for Liquids other than Water

WG 11: Utility meters

WELMEC documents are guidance documents elaborated for manufacturers, notified bodies and authorities.

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