The International Organization of Legal Metrolgy (French: Organisation Internationale de Métrologie Légale: OIML) was established in 1955 as an intergovernmental body with the aim of harmonizing the national metrology regulations of its Members and enabling their economies to put in place effective legal metrology infrastructures that are mutually compatible and internationally recognized. The intention of the organization is to cover all areas for which governments take responsibility in order to facilitate trade, establish mutual confidence and harmonize the level of consumer protection worldwide. The OIML is an "international standard-setting body" in the sense of the World Trade Organization's Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. As an intergovernmental treaty organization OIML:
- develops model regulations, standards and related documents for use by legal metrology authorities and industry,
- provides mutual recognition systems which reduce trade barriers ans costs in a global market,
- represents the interests of the legal metrology community within international organizations and forums concerned with metrology, standardisation, testing, certification and accreditation,
- promotes and facilitates the exchange of knowledge and competencies within the legal metrology community worldwide,
- cooperates with other metrology bodies to raise awareness of the contribution that a legal metrology infrastructure can make to a modern economy.
Structure of the OIML
- The overall direction of the OIML is drafted by the International Conference (French: Conférence internationale de Métrolologie légale), a meeting taking place every four years. The conference is attended by delegations from member countries and corresponding members of the organization.
- The International Committee (French: Comité international de Métrologie légale - CIML) is responsible for management of the OIML. The committee, which consists of one member from each member state, meets annually under the chairmanship of the OIML president whose term of office lasts six years. The president, who is normally a prominent member of the metrology community, combines the post with other full time activities.
- The administrative and technical operations of the OIML are coordinated by a central secretariat: the International Bureau of Legal Metrology (BIML), located in Paris, France.
The Polish participation in the OIML
Poland was one of the 10 countries which have signed the Convention establishing the International Organization of Legal Metrology on 12 October 1955. The convention treated into force in Poland 1958. Since 1961 the Central Office of Measures (GUM) has been running the secretariat of the Technical Committee Terminology 1 (OIML TC 1). The task of the TC1 is to prepare essential international metrological publications inter alia the International Vocabulary of Terms in Legal Metrology. Moreover, the Vice-President of the Central Office of Measures is a member of CIML and participated in the activities of the Working Group for amendment of the OIML Directives for Technical Work.
The representatives of the Central Office of Measures in the OIML Consultative Committees (CCs) and CCs Working Groups
- TC 1 Terminology
- TC 2 Units of measurement
- TC 3 Metrological control
- TC 4 Measurement standards and calibration and verification devices
- TC 5 General requirements for measuring instruments
- TC 6 Prepackaged products
- TC 7 Measuring instruments for length and associated quantities
- TC 8 Measurement of quantities of fluids
- TC 9 Instruments for measuring mass and density
- TC 10 Instruments for measuring pressure, force and associated quantities
- TC 11 Instruments for measuring temperature and associated quantities
- TC 12 Instruments for measuring electrical quantities
- TC 13 Measuring instruments for acoustics and vibration
- TC 14 Measuring instruments used for optics
- TC 15 Measuring instruments for ionizing radiations
- TC 16 Instruments for measuring pollutants
- TC 17 Instruments for physicochemical measurements
- TC 18 Medical measuring instruments
The OIML publications
An important role among the OIML activities play its publications: International Recommendations and Documents, providing the judicial, metrological and technical foundations necessary for establishing and operating the uniform legal metrology structures.
International Recommendations are published to be implemented by metrology services as national regulations ensuring the proper design, verification processes and personnel training. The OIML technical committees and subcommittees are responsible for the development of International Recommendations and Documents. These Committees are composed of experts from OIML Member States and the international and regional liaison bodies, provide means for exchanging technical knowledge and developing harmonized metrological requirements and testing procedures.
The OIML systems
The OIML has developed the following international systems:
- the OIML Basic Certificate System for Type Evaluation of Measuring Instruments, with help of harmonized methods the participants can assess and certify the conformity of types of measuring instruments with the requirements of the OIML Recommendations, on a voluntary basis,
- The Mutual Acceptance Arrangement on OIML Type Evaluations (MAA), which is a framework for participants to declare that they intend to accept and utilize type evaluation reports from those participants that are entitled to issue OIML MAA Certificates.