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The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy with a two-chambered Parliament. It has a population of 17 million (March 2016). In addition to central government, there are both regional and local administrations with 12 provinces and about 390 municipalities. The Caribbean islands Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are part of the country as special municipalities.

Organisational Structure and Background

The capital is Amsterdam but the seat of government is in The Hague.

In 1886, consumer protection became the responsibility of Central Government having previously been carried out at a local level.

The Netherlands has a long history of legal metrology, dating back to the Napoleonic occupation in 1804. The Dutch were one of the first to introduce the metric system in 1820. In 1937 initial verification became obligatory and in 1969 mandatory type approval was introduced. 

The responsibility for legislation in metrology lies with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. 

The enforcement of the Weights and Measures Act and Market Surveillance is carried out by the Radio communications Agency (Agentschap Telecom). Agentschap Telecom is an agency of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. 

The maintenance of a standards infrastructure and the provision of a primary calibration service for high quality industrial laboratories is the responsibility of VSL  B.V.(Van Swinden Laboratory). 

Conformity assessment procedures can be carried out by Notified Bodies. Several Notified Bodies are appointed in the field of the Measuring Instruments Directive and the Directive on Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments. An overview of Notified Bodies and their field of expertise can be found in the Nando database

With respect to nationally regulated measuring instruments, not covered by the MID or NAWI-directive, testing institutes (often Notified Bodies for other measuring instruments) have been appointed to carry out the conformity assessment procedure.

The RvA (Dutch Accreditation Board for calibration laboratories, test laboratories and inspection bodies), grants certificates in these fields and cooperates within European Accreditation (EA) on behalf of the Netherlands.

Equipment Subject to National Controls

The NAWI directive was implemented in the Dutch Metrology Act in 1993 and the MID in 2006. The use of certified exhaust gas analysers is regulated in the  “Regeling voertuigen” and the use of certified taximeters is regulated in the “Besluit Personenvervoer 2000” both under the responsibility of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. 

    However the Netherlands have used the optionality clause in the MID for a number of measuring instruments, such as water meters and material measures. These meters do not need to bear the metrology markings but if they do they have to fulfil the requirements of the MID.

      The Metrology Act of the Netherlands also includes measuring instruments not covered by the NAW-directive or MID. Those instruments are subject to a national conformity assessment procedure before placed on the market or into use. 

        The following instruments need a conformity assessment procedure before they are put into use if they are used for an indicated measuring task:

          MID:

          • Gas meters (MI-002)
          • Volume conversion devices (MI-002)
          • Active electrical energy meters (MI-003)
          • Thermal energy meters (MI-004)
          • Measuring systems for continuous and dynamic measurement of quantities of liquids other than water (MI-005)
          • Automatic weighing instruments (MI-006)
          • Taximeters (MI-007)
          • Multi-dimensional measuring instruments (MI-009)
          • Exhaust gas analysers (MI-010)

          NAWI-directive:

          • Non-automatic weighing instrument, class I to IIII

          National regulated:

          • Static flow meters
          • Measuring reservoir
          • Mass flow meters
          • Liquid level gauges
          • Discontinuous fuel meters
          • CG dispensers 
          • Dynamic weighbridge 

          There is no mandatory reverification period in the Netherlands for measuring instruments with an indicated measuring task. 

            However, reverification is mandatory in case of a repair or change that can influence the metrological characteristics of the measuring instrument or in case the securing provisions show evidence of an intervention, for example if a seal is broken or an event counter has been incremented because of a change in type- or device specific parameters.

              Reverification can be carried out by national appointed bodies under the Metrology Act, i.e. test institutes, repairers, maintenance companies. 

                Software download is allowed in the Netherlands without a reverification provided that:

                  1. The downloaded software has been included in a Conformity Assessment Procedure Module B, H1 or G;
                  2. The EU-type or design examination certificate or in case of a Module G the Certificate of Conformity of the Notified Body, should describe the download procedure and the security measures. Security measures should indicate an evidence of an intervention, i.e. all relevant data making a download or a download attempt traceable shall be recorded and secured. Relevant data includes date and time of download, identifier(s) of software, origin of transmission, success note.
                  3. After the installation of the downloaded software no calibration is necessary and the instrument specific parameters (type- and device specific parameters) remain unchanged. With respect to these parameters there will be no evidence of an intervention during a download and after installation of the software (In the unlikely event that the securing of the instrument specific parameters is the same as for software download a reverification is necessary!).
                  4. After the installation of the downloaded software the measuring instrument complies with the essential requirements.
                  5. No hardware seals need to be broken.

                  Inspections

                  In the Netherlands, there is a random inspection policy. Inspection visits are unannounced carried out by Agentschap Telecom.

                  There are no fees for such unannounced inspections; the Ministry of Economic Affairs and  

                  Climate Policy covers these costs. 

                  The permissible errors on inspection are for most instruments larger than the maximum permissible error (MPE) at initial verification. An exception is for petrol pumps; there is the MPE "in use" the same as the MPE at initial verification.

                  In case of a non-conformity the user is informed and instructed to solve the non-conformity within a certain period. The period depends on the severity of the non-conformity. If the user does not correct the non-conformity a fine can be applied. 

                  Instruments may be seized and forfeited by inspectors where traders do not cooperate or when fraudulent use is evident.

                  Serious offenses may be taken to court.  The maximum penalty is € 15,000 or six months detention.

                  Updated February 2018