Standards and Metrology Institute
Legal Metrology Services
Every day, consumers, traders, government regulators and industry make decisions based on measurement results. These measurements affect economic and personal well being. A well functioning society has confidence in all measurements, with transparency for consumers, businesses and regulators. Metrology is that field of science which deals in units of measurement, methods of measurement and measuring instruments in relation to technical and legal requirements. The objective is to provide the citizen and consumers with the assurance that correct measurements are carried out, consistently and reliably in fields related to commerce, state controls, safety, health, and environmental protection. It ensures national and international uniformity and accuracy of measurements, and is a function managed by the state. A measurement has legal consequences if its results concern the rights or legal interests of citizens or legal entities. This is especially so when the result of measurements are used to assert quality or quantity - to determine the worth of a service. The origins of legal metrology stemmed from the need to ensure fair trade, but has grown to encompass a wide variety of fields that effect the whole well being of society. Confidence in the accuracy and reliability of measuring equipment is essential for fair competition and consumer protection. This confidence is achieved through Legal Metrology.
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 the case of Malta by the MCCAA, in order to ensure an appropriate level of credibility of measurement results in the national regulatory environment.
The scope of the legal metrology regulations (related to types of measurements and measuring instruments subject to legal requirements) depends on the categories of users that are considered to be of primary importance to consumers and on the ability to safeguard against abuse. The measuring instruments that have been placed under metrological control as from 2011 were chosen on the basis of the above mentioned criteria . The enforcement of the legal metrological requirements commenced in 2011 and with the recruitment of new officers within the service will continue to grow in the coming years. The main areas of current implementation are the verification of all fuel fore courts in Malta and Gozo and a systematic verification of weighing systems used in retail trade and for which the verification process has started with areas such as baggage weigh-in stations at MIA , freight forwarding services and supermarkets. The instruments chosen, date of commencement of metrological control and frequency of verification are listed in LN 223 of 2011.
Figure -1 L.N. 223 of 2011: Measurements subject to Metrological Control Regulations