The Metrology Act.18 of 2004
The Metrology Act of 2004 has given a number of responsibilities to the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards.
The major of these responsibilities are;
- The Keeping of the National Measurement Standards of Trinidad and Tobago
- To provide calibration services to the national community
- Establishment of a Metrology Laboratory
- Examination of persons seeking to be certified for business in measurement
- Examination of patterns of measurement devices
- Establishment of the Legal Metrology Inspectorate
Section 5.5 of the Act states that “Every National Reference Standard shall be kept in the custody of the Executive Director of the Bureau….” This responsibility implies that the Bureau will ensure that the National Standards will have international recognition. The Bureau will also be required to ensure the dissemination of the traceability of these standards to measurements performed locally.
The Bureau is also expected to provide calibration services to the country and the region outside of its legal metrology responsibility.
The Bureau is required to establish a “Metrology Laboratory” by subsection (a) of section 21. These laboratory facilities will serve the dual purposes of providing a suitable environment for the use and storage of the National Reference Standards and for the performance of high accuracy calibrations.
Section 21 mandates the Bureau to examine and certify the fitness of persons desirous of carrying out business in measuring devices.
The examination and approval of patterns of measuring devices is also provided for in Section 21. Pattern approval is the system by which unsuitable measurement devices are excluded from local use.
Legal Metrology Inspectorate
The establishment of the Legal Metrology Inspectorate is mandated by the combination of several sections. This mandate is for the revitalisation of the activities managing commercial measurement locally. This follows on the previous Weights and Measures Ordinance which guided the activity of our Weights and Measures Inspectorate. Much of this older inspectorate will be absorbed into the Legal Metrology Inspectorate once established.
The Act also defines the SI system as the primary system of units for Trinidad and Tobago. The establishment of a defined system of measurement is a task that is incumbent on the Bureau to execute given its other roles.
Metrology is founded on three main pillars;
Legal Metrology is the oldest and most visible form of metrology activity. It governs those measurements that utilise the force of Law. Buying and selling by weight or quantity in the market or in packages are examples of this.
Industrial Metrology is the basis of quantity and quality for production and services. Industrial competitiveness is very dependent on measurement quality. In Trinidad and Tobago our major products Natural Gas and Petroleum are sold by weight or by volume.
Scientific Metrology is applied in the preservation of measurement standards, the improvement of measurements and the introduction of new forms.
The new Metrology Division has been structured to mirror this triad of purposes. It consists of three sections.
The Legal Metrology Inspectorate is our Legal Metrology arm.
The National Calibration Service provides calibration services to industry.
The National Standards Laboratory is the home of our National Measurement Standards as decreed by the Act.
The Division is also engaged in the development of regulations and standards that govern measurement. We will seek to influence the approach to measurement in other areas such as Environmental Monitoring or in Road Safety.
The lesson of the importance of Metrology in Nation Building is very clear. The efforts made by developed countries to house and maintain their measurement interests have been spectacular. What has also been instructive is the effort of countries that have been able to accelerate their movement away from underdevelopment. In each case, Brazil, India, Singapore, Malaysia and China to name a few, all have made Metrology and the dissemination of traceability and measurement capability to their major industries and society a priority. In our nation’s quest for recognizable levels of development for our country and peoples the TTBS Metrology Division will spearhead the application of Metrology in the process of the building of our Nation.