Country Information Iceland

Iceland covers an area of 103,600 sq. km and has a population of some 350,000. Reykjavik is the capital and political and commercial centre with a population of around 125,000.

From October 1, 2021, the metrology Division of the Consumer Agency was transferred to the Housing and Construction Authority (HMS). National legal metrology in Iceland started with the "Bureau of legal metrology" in the year 1919. From 2005, metrology was a division in the Consumer Agency. Consumer Agency was formed by the merger of The State Electrical Inspection and the Agency for Legal Metrology in 1996 and of the Consumer Affairs Division of the Icelandic Competition Authority in 2005.

The Metrology Division of HMS is responsible for the maintenance and organization of Icelandic measurement standards and also provides accredited calibration services. The Metrology Division is also in charge of legal metrology, including certification of official weighers, of mainly fish catch, as well as other aspects of metrological supervision as required and stipulated by the legislation. The role of Metrology Division is to ensure that measurements in Iceland fulfill international requirements and to ensure that the International System of Units (SI) is used in Iceland.

The main tasks of the Metrology Division of HMS are listed in the Act No 91/2006, on Measurements, Measurement Standards and Official Weighers:

  • Advice, education and information concerning metrology and measurement standards
  • Maintenance of national measurement standards
  • Calibration services
  • Market surveillance of measuring instruments
  • Monitoring and surveillance of reverifications of measuring instruments
  • Certification of official weighers
  • National and international cooperation in the field of metrology

The Icelandic government is pursuing a policy of contracting out public service functions to the private sector if possible, thus most of the tasks of inspection and reverification are now being performed by accredited laboratories and inspection bodies in the field of metrology.

  • Non-automatic weighing instruments
  • Automatic weighing instruments
  • Water meters
  • Electricity meters
  • Measuring systems for fuel dispensers, road tankers and milk
  • Simple length measures
  • Medium accuracy weights
  • Capacity serving measures

NEST/ Agency for Legal Metrology has in the past issued a limited number of national type approvals, based on the TAA agreement of WELMEC. No original type approvals are presently issued by HMS, nor by bodies notified by Icelandic authorities.

Measuring instruments put on the market in Iceland do usually already have the CE-verification provided for by the manufacturer before the export to Iceland. Otherwise extra costs may result having service of notified bodies for few instruments in each case.

Mandatory reverification periods are set by Regulations:

  • Weighing instruments: every 2 years (except weighing brigdes every year)
  • Measuring systems: every 2 years

Error allowances are generally mpe (maximum permissible error) x 2 for instruments in use but they shall then be adjusted to mpe x 1 or better before reverification.

Utility meters are tested by taking samples from sets and using statistics and rules of failure of the set when probability indicates that too many instruments could drift outside the mpe x 2 margin in the foreseen time until next sampling test. 

Currently (2021) HMS employs 1 person for legal metrology work and 2 persons for measuring standards and calibrations. The inspection and reverification of legal measuring instruments is now being performed by accredited inspection body.

HMS is empowered by law to use various sanctions end enforcement measures if necessary e.g. sales bans, recalls, fines and other measures as laid down in the legislation. However prosecutions are an extremely rare event.

The Directive has been implemented through a corresponding regulation (877/2016).

Iceland is one gravity zone. Reykjavik: g=9,823 ±0,001 m/s2. Regulations make it an offence to use an instrument outside of its marked weighing range. No designated accuracy classes for specific applications are currently required.

The Directive has been implemented as it is through a corresponding regulation (876/2016), thus putting all ten instrument categories under legal control regarding marketing.

However, the control of instruments in use only applies to some of the categories and it then usually depends on the use of the instrument.

Special requirements regarding environment and accuracy classes apply to electricity meters and to measuring systems for liquids other than water.

The Directive 76/211/EEC has been implemented with the updates from Directive 2007/45/EC. Regulations no 437/2009 has been issued to regulate e-marked prepackaging on a national level.

The following is for information only:

We have been studying the gravity zones in Iceland in connection with article 3.3 Gravity zones in WELMEC 2, Issue 3 from October 2000.

We are in the good position to have very accurate values for the gravity all over the country in a report from Orkustofnun (The National Energy Authority).

Gunnar Þorbergsson, Ingvar Þór Magnússon, Guðmundur Pálmason 1990: Þyngdarmæligögn og Þyngdarkort af Íslandi. Orkustofnun, OS-90001/JHD-01.

The report describes a survey of the local with anomalies that was carried out in Iceland in the period 1967-1985 in order to produce an improved gravity map of the country. The work was the result of a very close collaboration between the U.S. Defence Mapping Agency, Washington DC and Orkustofnun and Sjómælingar Íslands í Reykjavík.

We choose to express the gravity zones according to article as follows:
The reference value for Iceland: gis = 9,82308 m/s2

All gravity values for the country* lie inside the deviation limits Δgis = 0,00112 m/s2
*No habitation is over h = 100 m.

Iceland is one gravity zone for non automatic weighing instruments (NAWIs) of class III with 3000 division or less and the above mentioned reference value gis = 9,82308 m/s2.


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