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Hungary

The Republic of Hungary is administratively divided into 7 regions and 19 counties. Its population is 10,1 million, out of which about 2 million inhabitants live in the capital, Budapest.

Organisational Structure and Background

The Hungarian Trade Licensing Office (MKEH) is primarily responsible for legal metrology and acts under the management of the Minister of Economy and Transport. The former National Office of Measures – OMH merged into the MKEH on 1 January 2007. The MKEH as a Central Office of the Hungarian government has a broad scale of activities on the field of licensing commercial issues.

The Legal Metrological Authorities in frame of MKEH comprise 7 regional authorities (named Legal Metrological and Technical Safety Authorities) according the seven regions of Hungary. They carry out verification, conformity assessment and inspection.

An other relating main task of MKEH is to maintain the national standards, their international comparison and to provide the dissemination performed by the Metrological Division of MKEH.

The first Hungarian law on unified weights and measures dates back to 1876 which was connected to the signing of the Metric Convention in 1875. The roles of the predecessor of MKEH (and OMH) are routed back its roles in legal metrology in 1907. The weights and measures law was introduced in 1907 and was in force until 1946. Between 1946 and 1991  governmental decrees regulated the legal metrology activities. The Act on legal Metrology (XLV/1991) has been in force since 1991 in addition with the governmental decree 127/1991.

Equipment subject to mandatory verification

Equipments subject to mandatory verification are listed in the (several times modified) 127/1991. governmental decree - annex 2.
I.  (MID)

  • Water meters
  • Gas meters and volume conversion  devices
  • Active Electrical energy meters
  • Heat meters
  • Measuring system for the continuous and dynamic measurement of quantities of liquid other than water
  • Automatic weighing instruments
  • Taximeters
  • Material measures
  • Dimensional measuring instrument
  • Exhaust gas analysers

II.  (NAWI)

  • Non-automatic weighing instruments

III.  (old approach and national base)

  • Weights (E1, E2, F1, F2, M1, M2, M3)
  • Axle and wheel load measuring instruments for road transport
  • Speedometers for traffic control
  • Tyre pressure gauges
  • Measuring devices for density determination : hydrometer for petroleum products, alcohol, milks; pycnometer ; continuous density meter (with vibration tube)
  • Radioactive dosimeters, medical activity measuring devices and measuring instruments for radioactive contamination
  • Noise level meters used for environment control and industrial safety
  • Measuring transformers for current and voltage
  • Fixed storage tanks, level gauges for liquid, alcohol meters used for determination excise duty
  • Breath alcohol analysers
  • Orifice meter systems for natural gas
  • Gambling machines

Type Approval

The Regional Legal Metrology and Technical Safety Authority, Budapest of MKEH is responsibility for the national and old approach type approvals tests.
The EC type approval for MID and NAWI remains under the responsibility of the Metrology Department at the headquarters in Budapest.

Initial Verification

The verification of measuring instruments is performed by verification officers of the Regional Metrology and Technical Safety Authorities of MKEH.
The verification fees are fixed in the decree of the Minister of Economy and Transport in agreement with the Minister of Finance.

Inspection and Reverification (Subsequent Verification)

A mandatory reverification system operates in Hungary, supplemented by random inspection.
The verification of measuring instruments after repair and reverification are performed by verification officers of the Regional Metrology and Technical Safety Authorities of MKEH.

Typical reverification intervals are:

Weighing Instruments

2 years

Petrol Pumps

1 year

Domestic water meters

4 years

Domestic gas meters

10 years

Domestic electrical energy meters

10 years

The fees for reverification are the same as the ones for initial verification.
There is no procedure which permits repairers to reverify measuring instruments following their adjustment.
Usually the maximum permissible error for reverification is the same as for initial verification.

Legal Metrology Practitioners and Scope

Approximately 150 officers carry out verification and inspection at the Regional Metrology and Technical Safety Authorities of MKEH. The training of the verification officers consists a 3-months practice and a course followed by an examination.

Most of the verifications are carried out in 160 verification laboratories which are operated by private companies, at the presence of verification officers of MKEH.

Approximately 30 engineers in the Metrology Department are responsible for maintaining the national standards, their key comparisons, their dissemination and calibrating measuring instruments. In addition, they coordinate and support the operation of the Regional Metrology and Technical Safety Authorities, give the course for verification officers. Furthermore, they carry out measurements and tests for type examination and certain kind of verification in request of the Regional Metrology and Technical Safety Authority in Budapest.

The Hungarian Trade Licensing Office (MKEH) has a Market Surveillance Department independent from the regional authorities. Its activity does not only cover tasks in the field of metrology (MID and NAWI), but it related to other areas covered by new approach directives (EMC, LVD,…) too.

MKEH have a QMS system for metrology and technical safety. The metrological part of the QMS system was certified until the end of 2007. The certification of the whole system is planned in June 2008.

Sanctions

The fraudulent use of an instrument is dealt with by the National Consumer Protection Authority, the police and tax inspectors. MKEH may provide expert evidence.
In the case of traders or others using non-verified instruments, administrative fines can be imposed by the district notary.  Inspectors give warnings which, if not acted upon, may be taken to the notary.
Fines special for legal metrology are set by a general governmental decree and not by the metrological law or metrological decrees.

Directive 90/384/EEC   NAWI

The directive was implemented on 1 May 2004 by the decree of 62/2004 of the Minister of Economy and Transport. In 2004 the OMH was notified for EC type examination, EC unit verification, EC verification and EC surveillance  (approval of quality system of manufactures). From 2007 the MKEH as the legal successor of OMH maintain this notification. The conformity assessment activity of MKEH (and OMH) especially in case of EC type examination and EC surveillance is focused on Hungarian manufacturers.

Directive 22/2004/EEC    MID

The directive was implemented by the decree of 8/2006 of the Minister of Economy and Transport. The directive was introduced for all categories of measuring instrument regulated by MID. In addition it was necessary to modify the list of measuring instrument subject to mandatory verification in the governmental decree  because certain kind of measuring instrument regulated by MID were not subject to legal metrological control before November 2006 (e.g. multidimensional measuring instruments).  MKEH is notified for all module except H and H1 defined in MID.

Updated in April 2008