Country Information Portugal

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country with a population of 10,6 million, located on the Iberian Peninsula, in Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includes the archipelagos of the Azores, Madeira, and the Savage Islands. It features the westernmost point in continental Europe, and its Iberian portion is bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean. Lisbon is the capital and largest city by population.

Legislation is enacted by a Parliament (Assembleia da República) which is headed by a President appointed by the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic. Local administration in Portugal is carried out by several Regions which include the islands of Madeira and Azores. There are also 308 Municipalities (Municípios) and 3091 Parishes (Freguesias).

Portugal covers a land area of 92,212 km2 and is one of the oldest countries in Europe. The Republic was established in 1910 and modified by the new constitution in 1976.

The Instituto Português da Qualidade, I. P. (IPQ, (Portuguese Institute for Quality), created in 1986, is a public institute, under  the Ministry of Economy, with legal personality, financial and administrative autonomy, according to its organic law approved by the Decree-Law n.º 71/2012, of March 21, with the changes introduced by the Decree-Law n.º 80/2014, of May 15. IPQ's mission is to ensure the coordination of the Portuguese Quality System (SPQ) and other regulatory conformity assessment systems conferred by law, and to promote and coordinate the activities which seek to contribute to demonstrate the credibility of the action of economic agents, as well as the development of the activities inherent in its duties as the National Institution of Metrology.

The Metrology Department of IPQ includes the National Metrology Laboratory Unit and the Legal Metrology Unit. The Legal Metrology has the competence to ensure the coordination of metrological control, carrying out the qualification and the coordination of metrological verification entities. It has also the competence to perform type approvals of measuring instruments (MI), develop metrological legislation for the different areas of the economic activity and monitoring the European Union directives, namely in the fields of Trade, Fiscal Operations, Safety, Environment and Health Protection.

The metrological control of measuring instruments is the main objective to assure the accuracy of measurement results inside the legal regulation limits.

Portugal has a long history of legal metrology; the first general law creating a uniform system of standards was introduced in 1253. In 1499 local authorities were issued with copies of the national volume and weight standards in order to check grain, olive oil and wine. The metrology system was reformed to a decimal system in the 19th century.

The Legal Metrology plays an essential role in economy and welfare of the population, contributing for the accuracy, the credibility and the transparency of measurements, being a key element in the economic and social development as part of the Portuguese Quality System under the auspices of IPQ.

In Portugal, there are actually 28 different categories of measuring instruments subject to metrological control. In addition to these MI, the pre-packages and bottles-measures are also under the metrological control, according to the following distribution:


  • Road and rail transport tankers
  • Fuel dispensers and meters of liquids different from water
  • Cold Water meters
  • Hot water meters
  • Electricity meters
  • Gas meters
  • Time counters
  • Bottle-measures
  • Length MI
  • Manual and automatic level indicators
  • Non-automatic weighing instruments
  • Length material measures
  • Park meters
  • Weights
  • Surface meters
  • Pre-packages
  • Drink flasks
  • Refractometers
  • Automatic weighing instruments
  • Taximeters
  • Continuous weighing systems

Tax Operations

  • Fixed Storage Tanks  


  • Breath Analysers
  • Speed Meters
  • Tire pressure meters (without fixed value)
  • Tire pressure meters (with fixed value)
  • Pressure and vacuum meters
  • Mechanical testing machines
  • Tachographs

Environment protection

  • Exhaust Gas Analysers
  • Opacimeters
  • Sound Lever Meters


  • Ionising Radiation Meters
  • Measuring Instruments for Temperature recording of deep frozen foods

All the instruments are generally subject to type approval, initial verification and mandatory periodic verification.

The Portuguese Institute for Quality is also responsible for type approval, which is necessary for all instruments subject to the legal metrological controls. Fees are calculated on a cost recovery basis for each approval, which are published in the IPQ website.

IPQ performs the metrological control of Speed Meters, Breath Analysers and Length Measures. The laboratory accreditation scheme is based fully upon EN ISO/IEC 17025:2018. Verification fees are set by law.

A mandatory periodic reverification system is applied in Portugal, carried out by the Metrological Verification Bodies and 89 local authorities. Accredited repairers are also permitted to verify repaired instruments.

The monitoring of all these entities qualified and recognized by IPQ is carried out through annual audits.

Gravity information not yet available for this country on this website.

Directory Contact Point
António Mira Dos Santos
Instituto Português da Qualidade (IPQ)
Portuguese Institute for Quality
Rua António Gião, 2, 2829-513 Caparica
Phone: + 351 21 294 81 84
Fax: + 351 21 294 81 01


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