Measuring instruments are an essential tool of ensuring accuracy of measurement, notably for transactions by consumers and industry in every day life: water meters, taximeters, electricity meters, weighing machines, etc.
In the 1970's, the European Community first adopted a Framework Directive (71/316/EEC) on measuring instruments and subsequently a number of specific directives for 17 particular categories of measuring instruments.
The objective was to allow free movement of goods between the Member States, while allowing for the possibility of continuing manufacturing in conformity with national rules for the home market.
Directive 2009/34/EC is the codification replacing Framework Directive 71.
The 2004 Directive on Measuring Instruments (MID) 2004/22/EC, amended by Directive 2009/137/EC, covers 10 categories of measuring instruments, and abolishes the corresponding previous legislation.
This Directive adopts a decisively modern regulatory approach, leaving much more room for technological innovation and more choice for manufacturers in conformity assessment procedures, aligning Community legislation on international standards, in particular of the OIML and covering the electronic revolution that has characterised measuring instruments since the 70-ies.
Directive on Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments (NAWI) 90/384/EEC, based on the same approach, was adopted in 1990. Directive 2009/23/EC is the codification replacing NAWI.
Implementation of these Directives takes place in close cooperation with WELMEC, the Western European Legal Metrology Cooperation which serves as a platform for cooperation among 29 European countries' authorities.