Legal metrology is the science of measurement. It is very important for trade and our everyday lives. No market can function without correct measuring and without common units of measurement. The EU’s legislation on legal metrology is one of the pillars of the single market for products. EU requirements aim to promote technological innovation, protection of health, public safety, protection of the environment and fair trade.
The European system of units of measurements stems from the international system of units (SI). The SI serves as a global standard and EU law makes the SI units the legal units of measurements to be used for expressing quantities in the EU.
Measuring instruments harmonised by EU law range from weighing scales, measuring tapes via petrol pumps and utility meters (gas, electricity, thermal energy, water) to taximeters and weighing bridges. EU law establishes the essential requirements that measuring instruments have to satisfy to be sold or put into use in the EU. It aims to ensure the accuracy of measurements and to help the transparency and fairness of commercial transactions.
EU pre-packaging legislation defines the quantity contained in pre-packaged products. It helps guarantee the net quantity in prepacks and the volume of product in bottles or jars. EU law requires national authorities to do regular market surveillance. EU law prohibits EU countries to legislate on sizes and it lays down fixed sizes for wine and spirit drinks.