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Legal metrology 2015


On 1 January 2015, the new Measures and Verification Act came into force. This overall package helped to fundamentally modernize the measures and verification legislation; the existing high level of protection of German metrology, however, will be maintained. Now that legal metrology has been newly regulated in this way, identical requirements are valid for both European and nationally regulated measuring instruments when they are placed on the market.

As of 1 January 2015, the national type approval and the initial verification of nationally regulated measuring instruments have been replaced by a conformity assessment. The placing on the market of all legally regulated measuring instruments is monitored by the respective competent federal state authority within the scope of market surveillance. The competent federal state authorities also monitor the correct utilization of measuring instruments and measurement values. The new regulation system is open to innovations and can recognize future technological developments promptly and adequately. To the same extent as previously, the verification of measuring instruments which are in use is carried out by the competent federal state authorities and – in the case of consumption measuring devices – also by the state-approved test centers.

Legal metrology ensures the trueness and stability of measurements in commercial dealings, of official measurements, and of measurements which are of public interest, for more than 120 million measuring instruments in use. These include electricity meters, water meters, gas meters and heat meters, weighing instruments, fuel dispensers, speed meters, radiation measuring devices, taximeters and smart meters – to mention just some of the 150 different measuring instrument categories whose placing on the market and use are subject to legal metrology.

Rules and technical specifications for nationally regulated measuring instruments as well as rules and findings on conformity assessment procedures are determined by the Rule Determination Committee (Regelermittlungsausschuss) which was introduced within the scope of the Measures and Verification Act. In addition, this committee also identifies rules and findings to determine more specifically the duties of persons who use measuring instruments or measurement values.

In 2015, the Rule Determination Committee – with the participation of all interested parties –determined rules for 90 % of the legally regulated measuring instruments. The Rule Determination Committee can be found at Opens external link in new windowwww.rea.ptb.de on the Internet.

Another committee which is regulated by the new Measures and Verification Act – besides the Rule Determination Committee – is the Committee of the Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) (Ausschuss der Konformitätsbewertungsstellen – AdKBS). This committee serves to harmonize the conformity assessment work of the CABs in Germany and was set up under the leadership of PTB.

Due to the new Measures and Verification Act and the new committees, the Charter of PTB has been modified with regard to the “General Assembly on Verification”. It serves to exchange information and experience in the field of metrology and verification. Since 25 September 2015, a “General Assembly on Metrology and Verification” has existed.

PTB’s Conformity Assessment Body carries out conformity assessments in accordance with several European guidelines. In 2015, the Conformity Assessment Body was successfully notified by the recognizing body at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for its conformity assessment services for the Directives 2014/32/EU (Measuring Instruments) and 2014/31/EU (Non-automatic Weighing Instruments). PTB’s Conformity Assessment Body thus offers conformity assessments for all legally regulated measuring instruments.