What is the OIML?
The International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML)
is an intergovernmental treaty organization whose membership includes
Member States, countries which
participate actively in technical activities, and Corresponding
Members, countries which join the OIML as observers. It was established
in 1955 (see the Convention)
in order to promote the global harmonization of legal metrology procedures.
Since that time, the OIML has developed a worldwide technical structure
that provides its Members with metrological guidelines for the elaboration
of national and regional requirements concerning the manufacture and use
of measuring instruments for legal metrology applications.
According to 2007 World Bank figures, OIML Members cover
in total an astounding 86 % of the world's population and 96 % of its
Definition of Legal Metrology
(OIML Publication D 1)
Legal metrology comprises all activities for which legal
requirements are prescribed on measurement, units of measurement, measuring
instruments and methods of measurement, these activities being performed
by or on behalf of governmental authorities, in order to ensure an appropriate
level of credibility of measurement results in the national regulatory
It applies not only to trading parties, but also to the
protection of individuals and society as a whole (e.g. law enforcement,
health and safety measurements).
Legal metrology generally includes provisions related
to units of measurement, to measurement results (e.g. prepackages) and
to measuring instruments. These provisions cover the legal obligations
related to the measurement results and the measuring instruments, as well
as the legal control which is performed by or on behalf of the government.
The OIML develops model regulations, International Recommendations,
which provide Members with an internationally agreed-upon basis for the
establishment of national legislation on various categories of measuring
instruments. Given the increasing national implementation of OIML guidelines,
more and more manufacturers are referring to OIML International Recommendations
to ensure that their products meet international specifications for metrological
performance and testing.
The main elements of an International Recommendation are
Scope, application and terminology; Metrological requirements; Technical
requirements; Methods and equipment for testing and verifying conformity
to requirements; and the Test report format.
OIML Draft Recommendations and Documents are developed
by Technical Committees or Subcommittees which are formed by the Member
States. Certain international and regional institutions also participate
on a consultation basis.
OIML Member State delegations and observers from Corresponding
Members and international and regional institutions in liaison assemble
every four years to define general policy and budgetary lines for the
International Committee (CIML)
As the steering committee for OIML, the CIML meets annually
to review the Organization's technical progress and administrative operations.
The Committee is composed of one appointed representative from each OIML
On retirement from their position as CIML Member, and in recognition of
their outstanding contribution to the work of the Organization, certain
CIML Members are appointed Honorary CIML Members (see
OIML Technical Committees and Subcommittees
International consensus in the legal metrology community
is reached through Technical Committees and Subcommittees, the composition
of which includes representatives from Member States, international standardization
and technical organizations, manufacturers' associations and regional
Under the coordination of a secretariat, experts establish
international technical guidelines for the metrological performance and
testing procedures of measuring instruments subject to legal controls.
Working with the CIML President and Vice-Presidents, a
limited number of Committee Members, appointed by the President, act as
an advisory group for the President; the Council generally meets twice
a year. Click here
for the Council web site
Working closely with around 100 international and regional
institutions having activities linked with metrology, standardization
and related fields, the work of the OIML bears the trademark of a global
cooperation aimed at promoting credible measurement practices.
Technical seminars are regularly organized by the BIML,
often together with one or more Member States, or in conjunction with
other liaison institutions and aim at highlighting advances in measurement
instrumentation and metrological procedures.
Such seminars provide a valuable opportunity for government
and industry exchanges and reflect the diversity of OIML activities which
extend into areas such as mass, volume and pressure measurement, acoustics
and vibration, prepackaging, temperature, medical instrumentation and