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# Introduction and Structures  
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# Memoranda of Understanding (MoU)  
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# WTO TBT Notifications  

OIML Systems
# Introduction  
# Mutual Acceptance Arrangement - MAA  
# Registered Certificates  

National Regulations
# Inquiry results: OIML R  

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# OIML Meetings  
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# OIML Seminars  
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Restricted Access
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# Presidential Council  

OIML Mutual Acceptance Arrangement (MAA)

How can they best
use the MAA?

The MAA adds value to the OIML Basic Certificate System
that Manufacturers are doubtless already familiar with.
However, the key points of the System are
summarized below as a reminder

The OIML Certificate

This system was set up in 1991. CIML Members are allowed to appoint an OIML Issuing Authority to issue "OIML Certificates of Conformity" for types of measuring instruments.

OIML Certificates are issued after all the tests, evaluations and examinations specified in the relevant OIML Recommendation have been carried out and after compliance with the requirements of this Recommendation has been demonstrated. OIML Certificates are accompanied by an OIML Test Report following the Test Report Format which is part of the Recommendation.

Issuing Authorities are designated under the following conditions:

  • The category of instruments is covered by an OIML Recommendation comprising requirements, test procedures and a Test Report Format, and accepted in the OIML Certificate System by the CIML;
  • Only one Issuing Authority in each category may be appointed by a CIML Member;
  • The designated Issuing Authority must comply with the requirements on competence and impartiality and must work in a non-discriminatory manner.
  • The list of Issuing Authorities is maintained up to date by the BIML and published on the OIML web site. Not all Member States have appointed Issuing Authorities, but for the main categories, Issuing Authorities have been designated in a number of countries belonging to most Regions of the world.

Manufacturers may apply for an OIML Certificate from any of the Issuing Authorities on this list. This application will generally be made on the occasion of a national type approval, so that the necessary tests, evaluations and examinations may be carried out on this occasion. When the national requirements for type approval are aligned on the OIML Recommendation, issuing an OIML Certificate should not represent an excessive cost.

The OIML Certificates are sent to the BIML by the Issuing Authority and are registered by the BIML after payment of a registration fee, which is due by the manufacturer to the BIML. In some cases the Issuing Authority may include this registration fee in its invoice to the manufacturer, and pay it directly to the BIML. The list of registered Certificates is published on the OIML web site.

When applying for a national type approval in another country, manufacturers can then provide the OIML Certificate and Test Report in support of their application.

Acceptance of OIML Certificates and Test Reports is voluntary; no national authority is obliged to recognize them. However, a number of bilateral or regional recognition agreements exist, based on OIML Certificates. In addition, a number of countries voluntarily recognize OIML Certificates and/or OIML Test Reports issued by certain Issuing Authorities.

The OIML Mutual Acceptance Arrangement ("MAA")

The purpose of the MAA is to introduce elements in the OIML Certificate System which can increase confidence in these Certificates, and to establish worldwide multilateral agreements, which offer a wider scope than bilateral or regional agreements.

Under the MAA, which is a framework document, Declarations of Mutual Confidence (DoMCs) will be signed for categories of instruments in the OIML Certificate System.

By signing these DoMCs, participants will declare confidence in the test results issued by other participants. Participants will be of two kinds:

  • Those who issue Test Reports (they will provide evidence of competence, impartiality and quality);
  • Those who do not issue Test Reports under these conditions.

All participants will accept test results when issued by the first kind of participants.

Participants who will issue OIML Certificates and Test Reports under the MAA will have their competence, impartiality and quality system evaluated either by accreditation or by peer assessment.

The Certificates and Test Reports issued under the particular conditions of the DoMCs (assessed and accepted evidence of competence, impartiality and quality), will bear a specific logo, allowed by the BIML.

It is expected that most countries will participate, at least as "acceptors" of test results, so that the OIML Certificates and Test Reports issued by any participant will be readily accepted in as many countries as possible.

Manufacturers will then stand a better chance of having their type evaluations recognized worldwide when these type evaluations have been performed by participants in the corresponding DoMC.

The operation of the MAA will be supervised by the BIML and this supervision will include:

  • Gathering information from participants of DoMCs and distributing it to all other participants;
  • Organizing peer assessments;
  • Assuring the secretariat of the DoMCs' Committees on Participation Review (CPRs);
  • Addressing any complaints on the operation of the MAA;
  • Registrating the Certificates and Test Reports issued under the DoMCs;
  • Looking at the effectiveness of acceptance by participants.

To balance this new workload for the BIML, in addition to an administrative fee due by the Issuing Authorities when applying for a DoMC, a fee is also due for each Certificate issued under the DoMCs. For fees, please click here.



Issuing Authorities:
Why participate in the MAA,
and how?

The implementation of the MAA started in January 2005
and is a strategic issue for OIML Issuing
Authorities as well as for national
type approval bodies

What are the stakes for
OIML Issuing Authorities?

The Declarations of Mutual Confidence (DoMCs) will result in setting up groups of OIML Issuing Authorities whose competence, impartiality and quality has been assessed and recognized by the signatories of these DoMCs.

The OIML Issuing Authorities may continue to issue OIML Certificates without being recognized in a DoMC during a period which will be determined category by category by the CIML. However by participating in a DoMC an Issuing Authority can give to his clients more confidence in its quality.

During this transition period, there will be two sorts of OIML Issuing Authorities and two sorts of OIML Certificates and Test Reports:

  • those which are accepted in a DoMC,
  • the others.

No doubt that Certificates which are not covered by a DoMC will progressively cease to be issued.

It may be considered by the CIML that for a category, after a period, only the Certificates which are issued under a DoMC will continue to exist. This will be discussed category by category, but this is likely to happen. In this case the participation in a DoMC would become a condition to remain an OIML Issuing Authority.

What are the stakes for national
type approval bodies?

The present OIML Certificate System is utilized in several bilateral or Regional recognition agreements. Participation in a DoMC is not necessary for running these agreements. However the participation in DoMCs may bring two additional elements:

  • it can be considered in the existing agreements, as it gives evidence of competence, impartiality and quality, and it may facilitate, in these agreements, full recognition of Certificates;
  • it extends geographically the existing agreements, by establishing an acceptance of test results among all DoMCs' participants.

The implementation of the MAA will not replace the existing agreements, which may be more binding than the MAA and which may cover the recognition of the Certificates themselves (that the MAA does not cover) or the recognition of national type approvals. But the MAA may be an additional tool for the operation of these agreements.

In most countries, type approval bodies have facilities for testing usual instruments, but these facilities may be insufficient for testing extreme conditions (high range instruments, extreme temperatures or pressions, etc.). Utilizing test results issued by other countries' Issuing Authorities may be a means to complement the national capabilities when necessary.

The WTO TBT Agreement makes it an obligation to take account of conformity assessment results obtained in other countries and to participate in international conformity assessment and recognition systems. Participating in the DoMCs answers this requirement.

What are the conditions for joining a DoMC?

Signatories a DoMC may be the following:

  • From Member States: Participants
    • OIML Issuing Authorities (1)
    • National Responsible Bodies / National Issuing Authorities (2)
  • From Corresponding Members: Associates
    • National Responsible bodies / National Issuing Authorities (2)
(1) OIML Issuing Authorities who sign a DoMC will issue OIML Certificates and Test Reports that will be accepted by other signatories, and will accept Test Results issued by other participating OIML Issuing Authorities under the conditions of this DoMC.
(2) National Responsible Bodies are official Legal Metrology Authorities who may utilize OIML Certificates and Test Reports to grant legal authorization of marketing a measuring instrument.

National Issuing Authorities are national Legal Metrology bodies who may utilize OIML Certificates and Test Reports to issue a national type approval certificate.

These types of signatories declare that they intend to accept test results issued by participating OIML Issuing Authorities under the conditions of this DoMC.

Notes: An OIML Issuing Authority may be at the same time a National Responsible body and/or a National Issuing Authority.
An OIML Issuing Authority may participate to issue and accept test results, or only to accept test results.

The conditions to accede to a Declaration of Mutual Confidence are the following:

  • For National Responsible bodies and National Issuing Authorities: to be willing to accept and utilize test results and to declare it by signing;
  • For OIML Issuing Authorities, in order to issue Certificates and test reports under the DoMC:
    • to provide information on their capabilities, competence, impartiality and quality, as specified in the MAA Document,
    • to undergo accreditation or/and peer assessment,
    • to be accepted by all other participants,
    • to pay the fees decided by the 12th OIML Conference.