Legal metrology is the branch of metrology that deals with laws and regulations relating to units of measurement, measuring devices and measurement methods. It helps provide support and protection to areas such as public safety, health, the environment and trade.
Indeed, one of the main roles of legal metrology is to ensure that measuring devices used in trade provide accurate measurements. This is done through a process called verification. This involves conducting a series of tests on the measuring device, such as a scale or fuel dispenser, to ensure that it is measuring accurately and reliably.
Sound Measurement Systems
From a trade or commerce perspective, consumers and traders make decisions based on measurement results daily; measurements that affect economic and personal well-being. Thus, a well-functioning society must have confidence in its measurements.
Governments therefore need to give society the means to establish confidence in measurement results, so that traders, consumers, regulators, industry and others can make informed decisions based on accurate measurements. This is a role supported and facilitated by a sound legal metrology system. In fact, public trust in good measurement enforcement encourages respect for and compliance with the law.
Measurements made outside the legal metrology framework are often subject to challenge and may incur costs to both industry and consumers. When measurement evidence is fully supported by traceable measurements, i.e., measurements that can be traced back to national and international measurement standards, this reduces cost and time in court.
Furthermore, a formal legal metrology system which is harmonized to internationally accepted requirements promotes confidence and clarity of measurement. This reduces barriers to trade and can assist developing economies to participate more fully in the global trading system and support their national development. Additionally, legal metrology can help to ensure that trade measuring instruments are fit for their intended use and meet international standards.
A Fundamental Need
A sound and working legal metrology system is a fundamental need for any country. Having been proclaimed in 2015, the country’s metrology legislation – the Metrology Act No.18 of 2004 – formalizes, the legal metrology system and gives citizens greater assurance in the measurement capabilities of the country.
For further information on the role of legal metrology in the areas of Trade, Safety, Health and the Environment, please click here http://www.oiml.org/en/about/legal-metrology.