What is the International Organization for Legal Metrology?

  • March 01, 2024
  • Dushyant Sharma
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The International Organization of Legal Metrology (French: Organization Internationale de Métrologie Légale – OIML), is an intergovernmental association which was established in 1955 in order to promote the worldwide harmonization of legal metrology methodology that supports and works with global exchange.

OIML is an international treaty organization which has the following roles:

  • It develops model regulations, standards and related documents which are used by the legal metrology authorities and industry globally.
  • It ensures that there are mutual recognition systems which reduce trade barriers and costs in the international market.
  • It works as a representative for the interests of the legal metrology community within organizations and forums around the world dealing with metrology, accreditation, testing and certification.
  • It fosters and facilitates exchange of knowledge and competencies within the legal metrology community around the world.
  • It supports other metrology organizations in raising awareness about the contribution that a legal metrology infrastructure can make to a modern economy.

Members & Certification System

At present, OIML consists of 63 Member States and 64 Corresponding Members. India has now become an authority for issuing internationally accepted OIML certificate for selling weights & measures around the world. In order to sell a weight or measure in the international market, it is necessary to possess an OIML Certificate. This certificate is issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs in India. As of now, only 13 countries in total can issue this OIML certificate. Apart from India, other 12 countries that can issue this certificate are: Australia, Switzerland, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, France, the UK, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, and Slovakia.

OIML certificate issuing countries

The OIML Certification System's measuring instrument categories can be seen in the table below, along with the appropriate OIML Recommendations. The table also shows Scheme (A or B) that is currently in effect for each category of measuring instruments as well as the date on which the category of measuring instruments moved (or will move) from Scheme B to Scheme A.

Measuring instrument category

Recommendation Number

Scheme


A                B

Transition from Scheme B to Scheme A

Taximeters

R 21

X

 

 

Material measures of length

R 35

X

 

 

Active electrical energy meters

R 46

X

 

 

Water meters

R 49

X

 

 

Continuous totalizers

R 50

X

 

 

Automatic catchweighers

R 51

X

 

 

Sound level meters

R 58

X

 

 

Moisture meters for cereal grains and oilseeds

R 59

X

 

 

Load cells

R 60

X

 

 

Automatic gravimetric filling instruments

R 61

X

 

 

Heat meters

R 75

X

 

 

Non-automatic weighing instruments

R 76

X

 

 

Cryogenic liquids

R 81

X

 

 

Level gauges for stationary storage tanks

R 85

X

 

 

Integrating-averaging sound level meters

R 88

X

 

 

Focimeters

R 93

X

 

 

Vehicle exhaust emissions

R 99

X

 

 

Sound calibrators

R 102

X

 

 

Pure-tone audiometers

R 104

X

 

 

Automatic rail-weighbridges

R 106

X

 

 

Discontinuous totalizers

R 107

X

 

 

Pressure balances

R 110

X

 

 

Weights

R 111

 

X

1 November 2025

Liquids other than water

R 117

X

 

 

Speech audiometry

R 122

X

 

 

Evidential breath analyzers

R 126

X

 

 

Multi-dimensional measuring instruments

R 129

X

 

 

Liquid-in-glass thermometers

R 133

X

 

 

Weighing road vehicles in motion

R 134

X

 

 

Areas of leather

R 136

X

 

 

Gas meters

R 137

X

 

 

Compressed gaseous fuel systems for vehicles

R 139

X

 

 

Continuous measurement of SO2 in stationary source emissions

R 143

X

 

 

Continuous measurement of CO, NOx in stationary source emissions

R 144

X


 

 

Ophthalmic instruments - Impression and applanation tonometers

R 145

X


 

 

Protein measuring instruments for cereal grains and oilseeds

R 146

X


 

 

Non-invasive non-automated sphygmomanometers

R 148

X

 

 

Non-invasive automated sphygmomanometers

R 149

X

 

 

Continuous totalizing automatic weighing instruments of the arched chute type

R 150

X

 

 

How is being an OIML member beneficial?

Countries participating in OIML are able to influence the organization’s work. The members are able to stay up to date with the latest information from other participating when it comes to new technologies, ways to assess the conformity of instruments, solutions found in other countries for certain problems, ethical practices in legal metrology, experience in the organization of legal metrology activities in different countries around the world and more. The participation and continuous information exchange lets the members establish direct communication with experts from different countries, helps participants to know each other better, and to gain mutual confidence. Members can influence the policy of the organization by providing their inputs regarding OIML strategies so that their needs are taken into consideration in OIML’s work. The strategies deal with the general policy of the organization, as well as with the support offered by OIML to national legal metrology authorities of all its Members, especially those in developing countries. Members can reap benefits from the participation in the OIML Certification System (OIML-CS) for Legal Metrology. This system enables the OIML certificates as well OIML type evaluation reports issued by OIML issuing authorities in OIML Member States to be accepted by other participants as the basis for issuing national or regional type approvals for several commonly regulated categories of measuring instrument. Therefore, participating members of OIML can confidently issue national type approval certificates without the requirement of expensive test facilities by depending on the results issued where such laboratories are located. 

 

Apart from the benefits mentioned above, Member States have voting rights for the decisions of committee and conference. Member States can hold secretariats of TCs (technical committees), SCs (subcommittees), and the convenerships of the project groups which are under them. These members may propose  OIML Issuing Authorities under the OIML-CS and may participate in OIML-CS management as voting members.

Categories of OIML Members

OIML members are divided into two categories: Member States and Corresponding States.

Member States are those countries that have signed the OIML Convention and that have sent to the French Government the accession instrument officially. It is a moral obligation for the member states to implement the decisions of the International Conference on Legal Metrology as far as possible and in particular:

  • to participate in the funding of the Organization by paying annual contributions as determined by the International Conference on Legal Metrology.
  • to partake or be a representative at the annual meetings of the International Committee of Legal Metrology.
  • to be a part of, as far as possible, the meetings of the International Conference on Legal Metrology which is held every four years.
  • to participate actively in OIML’s activities.
  • To meet OIML’s legal metrology regulations as far as possible with the relevant OIML Recommendations.

Countries or economies which cannot become the Member States or do not at present wish to become Member States but are interested in OIML’s work and want to participate in it are known as Corresponding Members. These members may be represented by the governmental metrology authority/legal metrology authority/trade regulatory authority, or they can be represented by a national institution or institute which is responsible for legal metrology issues.

Corresponding Members have to pay an annual fee to the Organization and in return:

  • they receive OIML work’s information in the same way as Member States do.
  • they have access to all OIML Publications.
  • they can participate in OIML Project Groups’ technical work, without voting rights, but their comments on drafts are taken into account.
  • they are allowed to attend the meetings of the OIML Conference and International Committee of Legal Metrology but they do not have any voting rights as opposed to member states.
  • they can participate in the OIML- Certification System (OIML-CS) by designating Associates in their country. Associates have to sign a declaration which states that they will accept OIML Certificates and/or OIML type evaluation reports as the basis for issuing national or regional type approvals.

Conclusion

OIML is an international treaty organization which develops model regulations, standards and related documents which are used by the legal metrology authorities and industry.  To be able to sell weights or measures in the global market, it is necessary to have an OIML Certificate. If you need help in acquiring a certificate for legal metrology, connect with Registrationwala now.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is OIML?

A. The International Organization of Legal Metrology (French: Organization Internationale de Métrologie Légale – OIML), is an intergovernmental association which was established in 1955 in order to promote the worldwide harmonization of legal metrology methodology that supports and works with global exchange.

Q2. What countries have OIML membership?

A. OIML has 63 Member States and 64 Corresponding Members.

Q3. What do you mean by ‘Member States’?

A. Member States are those countries that have signed the OIML Convention and that have sent to the French Government the accession instrument officially. It is a moral obligation for the member states to implement the decisions of the International Conference on Legal Metrology as far as possible.

Q4. What do you mean by ‘Corresponding States’?

A. Countries or economies which cannot become the Member States or do not at present wish to become Member States but are interested in OIML’s work and want to participate in it are known as Corresponding Members. These members may be represented by the governmental metrology authority/legal metrology authority/trade regulatory authority, or they can be represented by a national institution or institute which is responsible for legal metrology issues.

Q5. What are the responsibilities of Member States of OIML?

A. Members States of OIML have the following responsibilities:

  • to participate in the funding of the Organization by paying annual contributions as determined by the International Conference on Legal Metrology.
  • to partake or be a representative at the annual meetings of the International Committee of Legal Metrology.
  • to be a part of, as far as possible, the meetings of the International Conference on Legal Metrology which is held every four years.
  • to participate actively in OIML’s activities.
  • To meet OIML’s legal metrology regulations as far as possible with the relevant OIML Recommendations.

Q6. What are the responsibilities of Corresponding States of OIML?

A. Corresponding Members of OIML have to pay annual fees. They can undertake the following responsibilities:

  • they can participate in OIML Project Groups’ technical work, without voting rights, but their comments on drafts are taken into account.
  • they can attend the meetings of the OIML Conference and International Committee of Legal Metrology but they do not have any voting rights as opposed to member states.
  • they can participate in the OIML- Certification System (OIML-CS) by designating Associates in their country. For this, associates have to sign a declaration which states that they will accept OIML Certificates and/or OIML type evaluation reports as the basis for issuing national or regional type approvals.

Q7. How many countries can issue the OIML certificate?

A. In order to sell a weight or measure in the International Market, it is necessary to possess an OIML Certificate. This certificate is issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs in India. As of now, only 13 countries can issue this OIML certificate. Apart from India, other 12 countries that can issue this certificate are: Australia, Switzerland, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, France, the UK, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, and Slovakia.


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Dushyant Sharma
Author: Dushyant Sharma

Hey there, I'm Dushyant Sharma. With the extensive knowledge I've gained in past 8 years, I have been creating content on various subjects such as banking, insurance, telecom, and all the important registration and licensing processes for various companies. I'm here to help everyone with my expertise in these areas through my articles.

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