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Greece

Greece is a Presidential republic with a population of 11 million. The President is elected by a single chamber Parliament. Legislative power rests with Parliament but some rules are by Presidential or Ministerial decree. The country is divided into 13 “Peripheries” (administrative regions), 51 “Nomi” or “Nomarchies” (prefectures or districts) which carry the administrative burden for the government. There are also 901 'Demi' (urban councils) and 123 'Koinotites' (rural councils). Enforcement is the responsibility of various Directorates operating through each of the Nomi or Nomarchia although in the less densely populated areas they may only be a sub-section. Ministries have an enforcement and legislative function with a central department coordinating and directing officers in each Nomos.. The country covers a land area of 132,000 sq km.

Organizational Structure and Background

The legal metrology function in Greece is a central government one. The Department of Metrology is part of the Ministry of Development and is competent for legal metrological issues. The maintenance of standards and national units of measurement is the task of the EIM (Hellenic Institute of Metrology) www.eim.gr which has been established by national legislation. The Department of Metrology devolves its inspection and verification function to the Nomoi i.e. the local authority districts, each of which has a local inspection office. The Department provides the country's type approval function and ensures that instruments submitted for type approval comply with legal requirements. Additionally it seeks to ensure that the local authorities have suitable standards of length, weight and capacity to enable them to properly perform their initial and periodical inspection functions.

The Department of Metrology was set up in 1959 when Greece adopted the international system of measurements. The government is endeavoring to improve the country's measurement capability by the improvement of existing laboratories.

Equipment Subject to National Controls

  • Simple length measures in trade use (no type approval)
  • Area measuring instruments for leather (no type approval)
  • Liquid volume measures
  • Weights in trade use
  • Liquid volume metering instruments

    • Petroleum
    • Liquefied petroleum gas
    • Lubricating oil
    • Heating oil

  • Cold water meters (type approval only)
  • Gas Meters
  • Electricity Meters
  • Non-automatic weighing instruments
  • Automatic weighing instruments
  • Taximeters (type approval only)

Type Approval

For the non-automatic weighing instruments under Directive 90/384/EEC, the Department of Metrology has been appointed as notified body for the purpose of type approval. Since it's facilities are limited however and it cannot perform the full range of tests, use is made of accredited sub-contractor testing facilities.

Until the Directive 2004/22/EC, the Department of Metrology was responsible for all national type approvals work. But at present, as the amount of manufacturers of measuring instruments of our country is insignificant, and there is no need to provide a comprehensive type approvals service for a broad range of instruments, plans for expanding and updating the Department's facilities are abandoned. Manufacturers of measuring instruments in Greece are advised to use the facilities and notified bodies of other European countries.

Fees are determined by the Minister of Development. In the past two years, since the enforcement of the Directive 2004/22/EC, the Department hasn’t issued any EC type approvals.

Initial Verification

For the non-automatic weighing instruments under Directive 90/384/EEC the Department of Metrology has been appointed as notified body for the purpose of Initial verification. Manufacturers of those instruments in Greece have EN29000 certification for the purposes of self-declaration of conformity.

For the instruments with national type approval, the Prefectures are responsible for all initial verification work. For the instruments subject to the Directive 2004/22/EC, the importer or manufacturer of those instruments shall submit them for “initial verification” before they are placed into the market.

Verification fees are set by Ministerial decision.

Inspectors have no quality assurance experience and training.

Inspection and Reverification

Instruments are generally subject to annual reverification by the Prefectures and the District Local Authorities. A fee is charged. A random inspection policy also applies, performed by the same organizations. Cold water, gas and electricity meters are inspected and reverified by the utilities. Annual numbers of non- automatic weighing instruments inspected total 90,000 with a rejection rate of 5%. A similar 5% failure rate applies to the 25,000 petrol pumps inspected each year. The error allowance is generally mpe x 2. Reverification fees are less than those for initial verification.

Legal Metrology Practitioners and Scope

The Department of Metrology employs 11 technical officers all with an engineering or science degree and 2 technicians.

The officials in each of the 51 District Local Inspection Offices (where 1 to 4 persons are involved but have also other activities) are similarly qualified. All those engaged in inspection and verification are provided with two weeks course training by the Department.

No staff have yet been trained in quality assurance. The Department proposes to send selected staff for such training to other European countries.

The scope of service provided by inspection officials is limited only to instrument inspection and reverification. They may act upon consumer complaints about instruments and may advise traders if requested.

Sanctions

Administrative fines may be imposed upon any trader using an instrument fraudulently or outside permitted tolerances according to the Law 3668/2008. The amount of fine is at least 2000 €/instrument. If an instrument is found to be used fraudulently more than once within the same year, the amount of fine is doubled, quadrupled etc.

Additionally or alternatively a trader may be prosecuted and brought before a court by the inspectors.

Instruments may be seized and forfeited by inspectors if found outside tolerances or used for fraud.

Written warnings are not usual.

Directive 90/384/EEC

The Directive was implemented in Greece by Ministerial Decision F2-376/93. At present the only notified body for type approval is the Department of Metrology. All approvals are published only in Greek.

We do not intend to nominate other notified bodies in the near future, as demand from manufacturers is low. It is anticipated that initial verification bodies will be notified to the Commission for the purposes of the Directive.

No gravity zones have yet been identified. There are no requirements concerning designated classes of instrument for particular applications. The Greek implementing Decision does not make it an offence to use a non-automatic weighing instrument outside its marked weighing range.

The Department of Metrology encourages the manufacturers in Greece to be approved for self-declaration of conformity.

The ESYD (National Accreditation System) www.esyd.gr is responsible for the accreditation of third –party certification bodies and accreditation of testing and calibration laboratories.

Directive 2004/22/EC

The directive was transposed in Greece by Ministerial Decision F2-1393 of March 27, 2007 for all categories even some of them are not subject to legal control in Greece.

The Minister of Development / Department of Metrology is in charge of implementation of the Directive 2004/22/EC and the designation of notified bodies.

At present, Greece does not intend to nominate notified bodies for the Directive 2004/22/EC in the near future, as demand from manufacturers is low. It is anticipated that notified bodies for the module F will be notified to the Commission for the purposes of the Directive.

Special requirements for use of specific accuracy classes for different applications do not exist.

Updated September 2009