24 Aug NMi & OIML: Facilitating International Market Acceptance
NMi & OIML: Facilitating International Market Acceptance
23 August 2023
OIML (International Organization of Legal Metrology) collaboration promotes international cooperation in legal metrology and fosters harmonization in the certification of measuring and weighing instruments.
The primary objective of the OIML is to harmonize the various regulations and metrological tests of measurement devices across different countries. By promoting the mutual recognition of test results and certificates, the OIML helps reduce technical barriers to trade in accordance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement.
OIML CS: Ensuring Harmonized Type Approval Procedures
The OIML certification system (CS) is crucial in harmonizing the type-approval procedures for weighing and measuring instruments. It achieves this by recognizing type approvals based on OIML recommendations.
Obtaining an OIML certificate confirms that an instrument pattern has successfully passed the necessary conformity tests specified in the relevant OIML Recommendation. Many OIML Recommendations are considered normative documents in Europe, as defined by the Measuring Instruments Directive (MID) and Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments Directive (NAWID). Consequently, millions of calibrated measuring instruments worldwide, particularly in Europe, Asia, and Africa, rely on these recommendations as their basis.
Moreover, leading international bodies such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) widely acknowledge OIML certificates. While the OIML-CS widens the acceptance of type-approved instrument, NMi advises verifying with the regulatory authorities of individual countries to ensure their acceptance of OIML certificates.
Participants: OIML Issuing Authorities and Utilizers
OIML Issuing Authorities, including NMi, are appointed organizations authorized by their respective governments to issue OIML certificates and provide type evaluation reports for measuring instruments that comply with OIML recommendations. As an OIML issuing authority, NMi ensures the accuracy and reliability of measuring instruments used in trade in line with OIML requirements.
OIML Utilisers and Associates include organizations across the globe who explicitly declare their commitment to accept and utilize OIML type evaluation and test reports in conjunction with an OIML certificate granted by an OIML Issuing Authority. This collaboration allows Utilizers and Associates to maintain consistency and compliance with international measurement standards, promoting quality assurance and harmonization within the global metrology community.
On the other hand, there are countless Secret Utilisers who unofficially rely on OIML type evaluations and reports. These government authorities and organisations, though not included on the official OIML website, recognize the value of these evaluations and reports, often even requesting them for regional equipment.
Some Secret Utilisers may first choose to review and then decide on acceptance of OIML certificates and evaluation reports to maintain control within their agency. In either instance, it’s clear to see the value of OIML when facilitating international market acceptance for measuring instruments and weighing devices.
Test Report Acceptance: OIML Certificate System Requirements
As part of the OIML-CS, issuing authorities cannot automatically accept external test reports for issuing OIML certificates. This means that even if you possess a confirmed MID certificate from a notified body (NoBo), the test reports from that NoBo can only be used for obtaining an OIML certificate if the NoBo is also an issuing authority. Even when receiving a test report from another Issuing Authority, the report requires acceptance from the OIML Board, which can take several months.
For manufacturers seeking market entry in Europe and beyond, securing MID certification from an OIML Issuing Authority such as NMi is both time and cost-effective. NMi is an OIML Issuing Authority (NL1) and Utilizing Participant under the OIML-CS for most recommendations.
NMi performs all types of testing or oversees testing conducted by others, ensuring full supervision and compliance with OIML standards. This includes testing in our own lab, onsite testing, and witnessed testing. Each testing method has its pros and cons, but onsite testing is generally considered the most accurate as it reflects real-world operating conditions. The choice of method depends on factors like cost-effectiveness and feasibility.
Seeking information about specific requirements for specific equipment, regions, or countries, contact us to learn more.