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Metrology worldwide

PTB's international tasks include participating in various metrological organizations and cooperating with National Metrology Institutes all over the world, as well as Opens internal link in current windowtechnical cooperation with developing countries and countries in transition. In all instances, there is primarily one goal: the international harmonization of metrology. If all people are to trade with each another without difficulty, then a kilogram has to really be a kilogram all over the world, a meter has to be exactly a meter, and so on. A great number of measures and rules have to be in agreement. This goal has been largely reached in Europe, but at the global level, it still has some way to go. Various international agreements are milestones on the way towards international uniformity. In the list below you can find some of the organizations which are important worldwide. European metrology organizations are to be found under Opens internal link in current windowMetrology in Europe.

International metrology organizations

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The organs of the Metre Convention

Since 1875, the countries incorporated in the Metre Convention – more than 55 today – have endeavored with great success to enforce the metric system worldwide. The organs of the Metre Convention have different tasks: every four years the delegates of all member states meet to hold the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM). This decides on the proposals of the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) as well as on those of the individual Consultative Committees. The executive organ is the http://www.bipm.fr/International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) which has its seat in Sèvres near Paris and is a scientific institute, maintaining the international standards for the physical quantities. It also works on the permanent development of these quantities within the framework of its metrological basic research. PTB President Joachim Ullrich is a member of the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) and the President of the Consultative Committee for Units (CCU).

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In the Opens external link in new windowOrganisation Internationale de Métrologie Légale (International Organization of Legal Metrology) the representatives of around 120 states work on uniform design requirements and testing instructions for all measuring instruments. Within the certification system of the OIML, the certificates issued by the member states confirm that a certain type of measuring instrument complies with the Recommendations of the OIML. Thus a type tested and approved in one country can be approved in another country without the tests having to be repeated. Dr. Roman Schwartz, Vice-President of PTB, is also Vice-President of the OIML. 

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This acronym stands for Euro-Asian Cooperation of National Metrological Institutions". The organization is formed by the National Metrology Institutes of 17 countries from Eastern Europe, Central Europe and Asia as well as Cuba with a view to setting up and extending a sound metrology system and to building bridges to the western metrology institutes such as PTB which is a COOMET member, too. COOMET mostly deals with intercomparisons of standards. There is also a COOMET working group focusing on legal metrology.

Standardization and Accreditation

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Standardization committees

The European standardization bodies Opens external link in new windowCEN and Opens external link in new windowCENELEC, the International Organization for Standardization (Opens external link in new windowISO) along with the International Electrotechnical Commission (Opens external link in new windowIEC) draw up standards, which (as a rule) industry can voluntarily commit itself to.

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ILAC - International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation

Accreditation bodies from all over the world are members of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperationhttp://www.ilac.org/ (ILAC). In total, 38 of these bodies, among them the German Deutsche Akkreditierungsstellehttp://www.dakks.de/ GmbH (DAkkS), are signatories to the ILAC agreement on the mutual recognition of calibration certificates and test reports. The ILAC is the international equivalent of the European cooperation for accreditation. Here you can find information on other Metrology in EuropeEuropean organizations.