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For Precise Measurements Worldwide – New President at the Head of OIML

Roman Schwartz, Vice President of PTB, has been elected President of the International Organization of Legal Metrology.


The Member States of the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) unanimously elected their new president at this year's meeting at the beginning of October 2017: effective immediately, Honorary Professor Dr. Roman Schwartz, Vice President of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), will lead the affairs of the organization for one six-year term. That is not only a sign of recognition for Professor Schwartz's personal achievements, but it also underlines the good reputation that PTB enjoys in the international world of metrology.

Dr. Roman Schwartz, Vice President of PTB and newly elected President of OIML (Photo: PTB)

The primary goal of the Organisation Internationale de Métrologie Légale (OIML), established in 1955, is to internationally harmonize the numerous regulations of the various countries and metrological tests of measurement devices in the 127 Member States. This concerns equipment that is subject to legal control such as scales and gas pumps as well as gas, water and electricity meters. A lot of standardization, certification and trust-building measures are required to achieve the mutual recognition of test results. The practical benefit is large: on the one hand, reliable and comparable measurements for the economy, trade, society, environmental protection and medicine and, on the other hand, facilitated access to the market for manufacturers of measuring instruments around the world.

Roman Schwartz already left his mark during his time as the Vice President of OIML: Under his direction, a new certification system was established – the OIML CS, which is intended to achieve worldwide recognition for significantly more types of measuring instruments and participating countries than up to now. It will come into effect on 1 January 2018. For the manufacturers of measuring instruments, that means that a measuring instrument that has already been tested and certified in one country should, in terms of the smoothest possible economic exchange of goods, also be approved in another country – and without having to repeat the testing procedures.

The new OIML CS is intended to be expanded step by step to include as many types of measuring instruments as possible. It is particularly attractive for OIML Member States which do not have testing laboratories of their own or for those which prefer to rely on the test results of recognized testing laboratories of other Member States.

A number of challenges are awaiting OIML, its employees and its new President: More than 100 metrological recommendations must be updated continuously and must be adapted to new technologies. For that, experienced employees from OIML Member States must continually be found, motivated and trained. Furthermore, the digitalization of the economy and society will also affect the field of metrology and verification. OIML has a special responsibility here and, as a broad, international network, can provide an important contribution to the digital reorganization of the processes in legal metrology. And last but not least, help is waiting for those Member States in which a national quality infrastructure system is still in the process of being established. There are starting points here for increased collaboration with the metrological sister organization, the Metre Convention, which is based in Paris – just like OIML.


Dr. Roman Schwartz, Vice President of PTB, Tel.: +49 (0)531 592-2000, e-mail: roman.schwartz@ptb.de