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Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is composed of three historical lands of the Czech Crown: Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, and covers an area of 78,864 sq. km. The country is divided to 14 administrative units. The population is 10.3 million of which 1.3 million inhabitants live in Prague, the Capital of the Republic. According to its constitution the Czech Republic is a parliamentary democracy, whose head of state is a president, indirectly elected every five years by the parliament. The president is also granted specific powers such as the right to nominate Constitutional Court judges, dissolve parliament under certain conditions, and enact a veto on legislation. He also appoints the prime minister, who sets the agenda for most foreign and domestic policy, as well the other members of the cabinet on a proposal by the prime minister.

The Czech parliament is bicameral, with a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate. The 200 Chamber delegates are elected for 4-year terms, on the basis of proportional representation. The 81 members of the Czech Senate serve for 6-year terms with one-third being elected every 2 years on the basis of two-round majority voting. The country's highest court of appeals is the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Court rules on constitutional issues and its members serve for 10-year term.

On 1 February 1995 the European Association Agreement concluded between the European Communities and the Czech Republic came into force, and on 21 December 1995 the Czech Republic became a member of OECD. The harmonisation with the acquis communautaire as a part of the chapter “Free Movement of Goods” was finalised in 2002. The Czech Republic has become a full member of the EU since May 1st, 2004.

Organisational Structure and Background

As far as legal metrology is concerned, the Czech Republic is a member of the Metre Convention (since its foundation in 1875 as a former part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), OIML, EURAMET e.v. and a full member of WELMEC. Metrology functions are laid down by the Act No 505/1990 Coll., on metrology, as amended, and by corresponding decrees of MIT. Currently, a new law on metrology is under preparation. Conformity assessment activities for the implementation of EU new approach directives are covered by the Act No 90/2016 Coll., as amended - on the basis of this act the individual directives are transposed to national legislation through Government Orders.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic (henceforth MIT) controls state policy in the field of standardisation, metrology and testing.

The Czech Office for Standards, Metrology and Testing (henceforth ÚNMZ) was established by the Czech National Council Act No 20/1993 Coll., on the Organisation of the State Administration in the Field of Standards, Metrology and Testing as the state administration body responsible for such activities. ÚNMZ is a budgetary organization subordinated to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The ÚNMZ's mission is to perform tasks set out in the Czech legislation on technical standardisation, metrology and testing and tasks related to the harmonisation of the Czech technical regulations and standards with the technical regulations of the European Community. The ÚNMZ authorises Metrological Centres (henceforth AMCs) and Official Measuring Experts according to the Act No 505/1990 Coll., on Metrology, as amended and conducts inspection activities set by the law on metrology.

The Czech Metrology Institute (henceforth CMIwhose headquarters is in Brno, is the executive body for metrology (including legal metrology). CMI was founded on 1 January 1993 by the Ministry of Economy as the successors to the former Czechoslovak Metrology Institute. In the field of legal metrology CMI operates through eleven regional inspectorates which are located in Prague, České Budějovice, Plzeň, Liberec, Most, Pardubice, Jihlava, Brno, Kroměříž, Opava and Olomouc.

Equipment Subject to National Controls

The list of measuring instruments subject to legal control is given by the MIT Decree No 345/2002 Coll., which is amended and updated on a biannual basis:

  • Length measures in use for trade
  • Measuring instruments of taximeters
  • Automatic level gauges for stationary tanks
  • Area measuring instruments (for leather)
  • Metal volume measures
  • Capacity serving measures
  • Volumetric flasks, burettes and pipettes
  • Transport barrels and tanks

    • a) transport barrels with the exception of barrels mentioned in point b)
    • b) transport barrels produced from corrosion-proof materials, stable in shape

  • Stationary tanks used as volume measuring instrument

    • a) cooling and storage tanks for milk
    • b) wooden barrels
    • c) concrete and brick storage tanks
    • d) barrels and tanks - other materials

  • Measuring instruments and systems for liquids other than water

    • Measuring instruments and measuring systems for measuring of flow of liquids other than water and liquefied gas
    • Measuring instruments and measuring systems for measuring of flow of liquefied gas
    • Measuring instruments and measuring systems for measuring of flow of compressed natural gas

  • Cold water meters
  • Warm water meters
  • Gas volume meters
  • Medium accuracy weights in use for trade
  • Weights of above medium accuracy
  • Non-automatic weighing instruments
  • Automatic weighing instruments

    • for road vehicles weighing in motion
    • rail weighbridges
    • discontinuous totalising
    • gravimetric filling
    • checkweighing and weight grading
    • continuous totalising

  • Grain testing equipment
  • Traffic speed measuring instruments
  • Chronotachographs (analogue, digital)
  • Blood pressure measuring instruments
  • Ocular tonometers (mechanical, electronic)
  • Tyre pressure gauges for motor vehicles
  • Clinical electric thermometers
  • Thermometers for checking of temperature of frozen food (inspection)
  • Heat meters and cool meters and their components
  • Electricity meters
  • Current and voltage measuring transformers
  • Luxmeters
  • Optical radiometers
  • Acoustic pressure measuring instruments
  • Density meters
  • Refractometers
  • Moisture meters for cereal grains and oilseeds
  • Gas chromatographs
  • Breath analysers
  • Instruments for measurement of ionising radiation and radioactivity

Instruments are generally subject to type approval, initial verification and mandatory reverification unless otherwise stated: instruments covered by new approach directives are excluded from the controls stipulated by Act on Metrology associated with putting them on the market and into use (type examination and initial verification). In non-harmonized regulated field a mutual recognition clause based on EU legislation (ECJ decisions) is applied regarding these activities. Users of utility measuring instruments (electricity meters, gas meters) are to be permitted to apply a statistical sampling method, instead of reverification.

Type Approval

Type approval certificates can be issued only by CMI. CMI is responsible for technical tests and expertise for all instruments. It has its own test facilities but may use other testing laboratories, e.g. accredited testing laboratories to subcontract routine type examination tests. CMI maintains a national database of type approvals and publishes a detailed list of type approval certificates in official periodicals in the Czech language. Fees are calculated on the basis of man-hours and material costs at the average rate of 1 500 CZK per hour (approx. 55 EUR per hour) for any individual type approval. The framework for fees calculation is given by an official CMI price list. The most popular categories of instruments for which the type approvals are issued are non-automatic weighing instruments, followed by liquid volume meters for liquids other than water, water meters, heat meters and electricity meters.

Initial Verification

At present initial verification of instruments verified in situ in the traditional areas of weights and measures (with the exception of NAWIs) is performed only by CMI. Gas, electricity, water and heat meters and some other categories of measuring instruments are verified by private calibration laboratories, (Authorized Metrology Centers – AMC), that have to be authorized by ÚNMZ. AMCs have to meet the requirements issued by the ÚNMZ. For this purpose the assessment of the AMC is performed by CMI, assessment done by the Czech Accreditation Institute could be considered.

Type approval and initial verification shall not apply if a special legal regulation provides otherwise, i.e. in NAWID or MID. Type approval and initial verification in non-harmonized area are recognized if the level of regulation is comparable to the Czech Republic ones and corresponding documentation is available to CMI.

Inspection and Reverification

A mandatory reverification system is in place, involving CMI and AMCs as verification authorities with a similar subdivision of work as in the case of initial verification. The reverification intervals are mandatory and are given by the MIT Decree No 345/2002 Coll., specifying legally controlled measuring instruments. Typical reverification intervals are as follows:

measuring systems of taximeters

2 years

trade weights

2 years

weighing instruments

2 years

petrol pumps

2 years

cold water meters

6 years

gas meters

10 years

electricity meters (induction types)

16 years

electricity meters (static types) 12 years

law enforcement instruments

1 year (or 2).

Repairers are not permitted to reverify legally controlled measuring instruments although there is a provision whereby registered repairers are allowed to repair measuring systems of taximeters, petrol pumps and weighing instruments and, following repair, the instruments may be used for a limited time, now 30 days, until official reverification has been carried out by CMI. A "repair mark" of the registered repairer is identified for use of this purpose. Immediate notice must be given to the CMI for official reverification.

Legal Metrology Practitioners and Scope

Together with up to 50 scientists and engineers engaged in type approval work at CMI there are some 100 engineers and inspectors performing verification and inspection work at the verification offices within CMI. Training is provided by CMI during a 2-week entrance course which is supplemented by practical training at annual meetings of the officers and occasionally by an international course. Officers are regularly trained by manufacturers wherever possible. Since 1996 all the officers are certified by a special accredited CMI department performing personnel certification.

Inspectors are restricted to legal metrology work and are not involved in any wider consumer protection service. Verification officers advise businesses on legal requirements and on EN ISO/IEC 17025 and EN ISO 9000 series of standards matters and investigate consumer complaints concerning inaccurate equipment.

Consumers can complain concerning any problems with legal metrology instruments either to ÚNMZ or to the CMI verification offices.

Sanctions

Sanctions are based upon a system of administrative penalties enforced by ÚNMZ. A preventive enforcement policy is applied resulting in penalties in cases only when fraud is evident. The verification officers would issue warnings for minor infringements. The amount of the fine depends on the character and extent of the fraud, the maximum being set by law up to 1 000 000 CZK (approx. 40 000 EUR). In the case of a dispute, the matter can be taken to the court,  however this rarely happens. 

Transposition of EU metrology directives into the Czech national legal system

Directive 2014/31/EU (NAWI)
  • Government Regulation 121/2016 Coll., on conformity assessment of and making available on the market of non-automatic weighing instruments
  • Law 90/2016 Coll., on Conformity Assessment of Products
Directive 2014/32/EU (MID)
  • Government Regulation 120/2016 Coll., on conformity assessment of and making available on the market of measuring instruments
  • Law 90/2016 Coll., on Conformity Assessment of Products
Directive 2007/45/EC on nominal quantities for prepacked products, Directive 76/211/EEC on making-up by weight or by volume of certain prepackaged productsMIT Decree 328/2000 Coll.
Directive 75/107/EEC bottles used as measuring containersMIT Decree 331/2000 Coll.

 

Updated August 2016