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India Authorised to Issue OIML Certificates

  • 18 Sep 2023
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: International Organization of Legal Metrology, Legal Metrology, Metric Convention, International System of Units (SI), Foreign Exchange.

For Mains: Significance of OIML Certification Authority for India.

Source: PIB

Why in News?

Recently, India has become the 13th country that can issue OIML (International Organization of Legal Metrology) Certificates.

  • The Legal Metrology Division, Department of Consumer Affairs, is now authorised to issue OIML certificates.

What is Legal Metrology?

  • Legal Metrology refers to a branch of metrology that focuses on the regulation and legislation concerning measurements and measuring instruments to ensure accuracy, consistency, and fairness in commercial transactions and other areas where measurements play a critical role.
    • Metrology is the science of measurement and its application.
  • The primary objective of legal metrology is to protect the interests of both consumers and producers by establishing clear and uniform standards for measurements.


  • The CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL-India) is India’s National Metrology Institute' (NMI) that maintains standards of SI units in India and calibrates the national standards of weights and measures.

What is the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML)?

  • About:
    • The OIML was established in 1955 and headquartered in Paris.
    • It is an international standard-setting body that develops model regulations, standards and related documents for use by legal metrology authorities and industry.
    • It plays a crucial role in harmonising national laws and regulations on the performance of measuring instruments like clinical thermometers, alcohol breath analysers, radar speed measuring instruments, ship tanks found at ports, and petrol dispensing units.
  • India’s Membership:
    • India became a member of the OIML in 1956. In the same year, India signed the Metric Convention.
      • The Metric Convention of 1875, more formally known as the Metre Convention or Treaty of the Metre, is an international treaty that was signed on 20th May, 1875, in Paris, France.
      • It established the International System of Units (SI), which is the modern form of the metric system.
  • OIML Certificate:
    • The OIML-CS is a system for issuing, registering and using OIML certificates, and their associated OIML type evaluation/test reports, for instruments like digital balance, clinical thermometers, etc.
    • To sell a weight or measure in the international market an OIML Pattern Approval certificate is mandatory. It is a single certificate accepted worldwide.
    • With the addition of India, the number of countries authorised to issue OIML certificates has increased to 13.
  • Countries that can Issue OIML Certificates:
    • Australia, Switzerland, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, France, the UK, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, and Slovakia (and now India too).

What is the Significance of India’s Becoming OIML Certificate Authority?

  • Ease in Exports: For instance, suppose there is an equipment-manufacturer making digital balances in Noida who wants to export to the US or to any other country. Earlier, he would be required to go to one of the other 12 (eligible) countries for certification.
    • Now, the certificates can be issued in India and the equipment will be exportable (without incurring additional testing fees), and acceptable to the entire world.
  • Better Forex: The move is expected to help the Indian economy in several ways, including an increase in exports, earning of Foreign Exchange, and generation of employment.
    • Since only 13 countries are authorised, neighbouring countries and manufacturers can come to India to get their certification done. So it will be a revenue earner for India in terms of foreign exchange.

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