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Estonia

Estonia has a population of 1,342 million and is a parliamentary Republic. Legislative power rests with the Parliament (Riigikogu), but the assent to the laws passed by Parliament is given by President. President also gives to the leader of the party, which has won the general elections, a mandate for forming of Government, which will be approved by the Parliament. All other legislative acts – Regulations of the Government or Regulations of a Minister – could be introduced only when a Law (Act) gives a warranty for this.
Estonia covers a land area of 45 227 km2 and borders with a lot of water – the Baltic Sea (which we call also Läänemeri – a Western sea – but lot of Europeans – Ostsee) and lake Peipsi.
The capital is the old Hanseatic town Tallinn, the next of importance - Tartu – the university town since 1632.

Organisational structure and background

The ancient scales and weights from Iron Era times were found by archaeologists in several places in Estonia. The Mediaeval laws for Hansa traders regulated also the weights and measures used in Estonia. The first Metrology Act of fully independent Estonia was introduced in April of 1926 (enforced since 01.01.1929). The next time it was in 01.01.1995. This Metrology Act was rewritten before the May of 2004 and then amended before 30.10.2006.

According to the Metrology Act the Estonian metrological infrastructure consists of Metrological Service and Metrology Council. The latter is an independent advisory body appointed by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications (MoAEC) and represents economic circles, consumers and other interested parties. The Metrological Service includes the institutions involved in ensuring the traceability of measurements under private law as well as the institutions performing metrological control.

The Metrological Service consists of:

  • National measurement standard and reference standard laboratories – the legal person with whom the MoEAC has concluded a contract under public law or a state agency in the area of government of MoEAC. At present it is a contract with Metrosert Ltd , concerning the standards division of it;
  • Central Office of Metrology (NMI) – one of the national measurement standards laboratories with whom the MoEAC has concluded a contract under public law. At present it is the said standards division of Metrosert Ltd;
  • Legal metrology authority – a state agency established within the area of government of the MoEAC. At present the tasks of the legal metrology authority (incl legal metrological expertise and issuing of national type approval certificates, participation in the development of legislation, policies and strategies connected with the area of legal metrology, representing Estonia in WELMEC and OIML) are placed on the Legal Metrology Department of the Estonian Technical Surveillance Authority – the governmental office for state supervision in the areas regulated by many legal acts, including the market surveillance, state control over handling of pre-packages and of precious metals products;
  • Accreditation agency – a state established foundation that has, pursuant to the Product Conformity Attestation Act, been granted right to operate as the accreditation agency. At present it is the Estonian Accreditation Centre, the signatory of the EA memorandum;
  • The accredited calibration and testing laboratories under private law;
  • Authorised or designated verification/assessment laboratories under private law. The presumption for authorisation or designation is independency, accreditation according to the EN ISO/IEC 17025 and EN ISO/IEC 17020, valid liability insurance. The fees are without limits.

At present there are no laboratories performing type approval tests of measuring instruments and no notified bodies for conformity assessment procedures according to the MID requirements. The reason is simple – we have no manufacturers in this field.

Measuring instruments subject to compulsory metrological control

Estonian Metrology Act establishes, that the metrological control of measuring instruments can be rendered mandatory in the case if they are used in transactions, for calculation some fees, pursuant to the customs and (excise) tax law, during the state supervision, during police-organised inspection and surveillance, checking the actual contents of prepackages and some cases of apothecary and medicine. The MoEAC is delegated to issue the list of measuring instruments, if used in above areas, are subject to the mandatory metrological control. The last version of this list (the Regulation of MoEAC from 12.12.2006 No 104) includes some different mass, volume and length measuring instruments used in transactions, pursuant to requirements in customs and tax acts, during state supervision, in medicine or checking of actual contents of pre-packages; gas- and electricity metering instruments used in transactions or pursuant to requirements in customs and tax acts; water and heat meters used in transactions; some other measuring instruments used in providing transport services, used as a basis for transactions or measuring pursuant to tax or customs acts or during state supervision (e.g taximeters, manometers for measuring tyre pressure, speed meters vehicle exhaust gas analysers, evidential breath analysers, density meters).

Mandatory subsequent verification has to be performed after time period stated in the same (above) Regulation of the MoEAC. The validity begins from the date of the previous verification or assessment. When the conformity declaration or marking does not include the date of the passing of the procedure, the validity starts from the 1st of January of the year, indicated on the marking. The validity periods differ from 1 year (for NAWI and fuel dispensers) to 16 years (for electromagnetic energy meters and large gas meters). The validity of verification of domestic gas meters, capacity serving measures of glass and plastic is unlimited.

Updated May 2008