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Regulations and Weigh Federations

NCWM – International considerations

Just as it is important to have uniform national standards, it is also important to harmonize international standards. Harmonization reduces costs of manufacturing weighing and measuring devices and cost of distributing consumer goods by reducing duplicative testing and other barriers to trade. The National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) makes efforts toward international harmonization on several fronts, including:

Federal officials from measurement Canada and Industry Canada have participated on NCWM committees, task groups and National Type Evaluation Technical Committees (sectors) for many years. This gives experts from both North American countries the opportunity to compare and explore best practices for standards in the market place, leading to improved harmonization. Harmonization in turn leads to fewer trade barriers which mean lower production costs and ultimately lower costs for consumers. 

The US/Canada Mutual recognition agreement goes the next step in harmonization. Under this agreement, Measurement Canada and NCWM are accepting each other’s test reports for certain device types. In doing so, the applicant for type evaluation can save significant costs for obtaining certifications in both countries by submitting to a single evaluation.
The International organization of legal metrology (OIML) is an international treaty organization that does for countries of the world some of the things that the NCWM does for the states in the United States, which is to provide model standards that can be used voluntarily to harmonize legal metrology requirements. The International Bureau of Legal Metrology (BIML) located in Paris, France serves as the headquarters of OIML. The National Institute of Standards and Technology actively participates in the many technical committees and subcommittees in OIML. 
On occasion, NCWM will also participate when appropriate in the OIML standards development process. Members of NCWM also are invited to participate in national working groups to provide input in the international standards development process. In turn, NCWM takes international standards into consideration as it develops similar US standards.
NCWM has entered into the OIML Mutual acceptance arrangement (MAA).for load cells (R 60) as a utilizing participant. This means that NCWM will accept test reports for certain issuing authorities in foreign countries for the purpose of issuing NTEP Certificates of Conformance. This provides similar benefits as described in the US / Canada Mutual Recognition Agreement. NCWM will give consideration to possible participation in other MAA’s as the program continues to develop and expand to additional device types.


The OIML Basic Certificate System for Measuring Instruments was introduced in 1991 to facilitate administrative procedures and lower the costs associated with the international trade of measuring instruments subject to legal requirements. The System, which was initially called "OIML Certificate System", is now called the "OIML Basic Certificate System". The aim is for "OIML Basic Certificates of Conformity" to be clearly distinguished from "OIML MAA Certificates".
The System provides the possibility for manufacturers to obtain an OIML Basic Certificate and an OIML Basic Evaluation Report (called "Test Report" in the appropriate OIML Recommendations) indicating that a given instrument type complies with the requirements of the relevant OIML International Recommendation.
Basic OIML Certificates are accepted by national metrology services on a voluntary basis, and as the climate for mutual confidence and recognition of test results develops between OIML Members, the OIML Basic Certificate System serves to simplify the type approval process for manufacturers and metrology authorities by eliminating costly duplication of application and test procedures.
Many companies choose to follow the OILM regulations as it increase confidence by setting up an evaluation of testing laboratories involved in type testing – this evaluation is based on the international standard ISO/TEC 17025 and is carried out by accreditation


ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.
ASTM’s leadership in international standards development is driven by the contributions of its members: more than 30,000 of the world’s top technical experts and business professionals representing 135 countries. Working in an open and transparent process and using ASTM’s advanced electronic infrastructure, ASTM members deliver the test methods, specifications, guides and practices that support industries and governments worldwide. Learn more about ASTM International
ASTM was formed in 1898 by chemists and engineers from the Pennsylvania Railroad. At the time of its establishment, the organization was known as the American Section of the International Association for Testing and Materials. Charles B. Dudley, Ph.D., a chemist with the Pennsylvania Railroad, was the driving force behind the formation of the Society. In 2001, the Society became known as ASTM International.
ASTM International standards are the tools of customer satisfaction and competiveness for companies across a wide range of markets. Through 141 technical standards-writing committees, ASTM serves diverse industries ranging from metals to construction, petroleum to consumer products, and many more. When new industries look to advance the growth of cutting-edge technologies, such as nanotechnology and additive manufacturing, many of them come together under the ASTM International umbrella to achieve their standardization goals.






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