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Organisational Structure and Background

According to the Law on Measurements (effective since 2002, revised in 2005) the governmental policy in metrology is executed by the Bulgarian Institute of Metrology (BIM) and the State Agency for Metrological and Technical Surveillance (SAMTS).

BIM is the national metrology institute and responsible for the execution of national metrology legislation.

Currently BIM consists of three main directorates:

  • Directorate General "National Centre of Metrology" (DG "NCM")") is a part of the specialized administration of BIM which is responsible for maintenance of national measurement standards, traceability and dissemination of measurement units;
  • Directorate General "Measures and Measuring Instruments" (DG "MMI") is a part of the specialized administration of BIM, which carries out activities on realization of legal control of measuring instruments, control of gambling machines and fiscal devices, conformity assessment of non-automatic weighing instruments, calibration of some types of measuring instruments, and testing of products for electromagnetic compatibility;
  • Directorate General Administration (D “GA”) is responsible for activities like Human Resources, Accountancy, Administrative and Legal Activities, Properties Management, International Cooperation, etc.

SAMTS is responsible for: supervision of manufacturers, importers, repairers and users of measuring instruments subject to control under the Law on Measurements; authorisation and surveillance of verification laboratories; market surveillance on measuring instruments under MID and NAWI; control of prepackages and MCB. These activities are performed by Directorate General “Metrological Supervision” (DG “MS”). DG “MS” is also responsible for: approval and surveillance of tachograph workshops under Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85; registration of repairers of fiscal devices; licensing of repairers of electronic taximeters with fiscal memory.

In addition, two national advisory bodies have been established:

  • National Council of Metrology to the Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism for reviewing drafts of legislation, programs and concepts for metrology development;
  • Scientific Council of Metrology to the President of BIM for reviewing drafts within the long-term development programme for the national measurement standards, the national system of certified reference materials.

The first Law on Weights and Measures in Bulgaria was adopted in 1888.

Bulgaria joined the Metre Convention in 1910 and OIML in 1956.

BIM signed the Memorandum of Understanding of WELMEC and is a member of EURAMET.


Equipment Subject to Legal Metrological Control

  • Material length measures
  • Automatic weighing instruments
  • Non-automatic weighing instruments
  • Weights
  • Clinical thermometers:

    • electrical with maximum device
    • electrical for continuous measuring

  • Heat meters
  • Blood pressure measuring instruments
  • Manometers used in high-risk equipment
  • Tyre pressure gauges
  • Volume measures used in trade
  • Water meters
  • Flow meters for liquids other than water and ancillary equipment
  • Measuring systems for liquids other than water
  • Gas volume meters
  • Braking trace measuring stations
  • Alcohol meters and alcohol hydrometers
  • Thermometers for use in alcoholometry
  • Opacimeters
  • Vehicle exhaust emission meters
  • Instruments for measuring the hectolitre mass of cereals
  • Dosimeters
  • Various instruments and systems in the field of ionising radiation for personal safety, health and environmental protection
  • Electric energy meters
  • Electrocardiographs
  • Clocks for multi-tariff energy meters
  • Audiometers
  • Traffic control radars
  • Evidential breath analyzers
  • Focimeters


Type Approval

Type approval of measuring instruments is performed in compliance with Directive 2009/34/EC, which is implemented in the national legislation. DG “MMI” carries out type approval activities for those instruments subject to legal metrological control. Type approval of measuring instruments with non-approved type is carried out at the stage of manufacturing or import in order to be allowed for verification.

Approved types of measuring instruments are entered in a public register and information about them is monthly published in the “Official bulletin of BIM”.



Initial Verification

The initial verification and the reverification of measuring instruments are performed by BIM or by verification laboratories authorised by SAMTS.

Authorisation of laboratories for verification of measuring instruments is possible if they are third independent party in view of the verifications they apply for and dispose of: measurement standards of guaranteed traceability, and valid certified reference materials; premises or mobile laboratories allowing the implementation of the specified verification methods; appropriately educated and qualified personnel; quality system in compliance with EN ISO/IEC 17025. Manufacturers of measuring instruments having certified quality systems can be authorised for initial verification (and reverification after repair) of their own production.

The reverification intervals are determined on a proposal of the President of BIM and are laid down in an ordinance of the President of SAMTS, which is announced in the State Gazette. The reverification intervals for some kinds of measuring instruments are:

Water meters 2 years or 5 years depending on the nominal flowrate
Heat meters 2 years or 5 years depending on the place of installation
Gas meters 2 years or 4 years depending on the type
Electricity meters 1 to 6 years depending on the type of operation (direct or transformer operated)
Weighing instruments for trade use 1 year or 2 years depending on the accuracy class
Traffic control speed meters 1 year
Vehicle exhaust emission meters 1 year
Fuel dispensers 1 year


For utility meters there is a possibility to extend the reverification interval by applying statistical sampling methods.

The maximum permissible errors for measuring instruments in service are generally the same as the ones for initial verification.

The fees for all metrological services within BIM are determined in a tariff adopted by a governmental decree. The authorised verification laboratories set their own verification fees.


Legal Metrology Practitioners and Scope

The General Directorate “Measures and Measuring Instruments” employs 214 people, 22 of them are occupied with type examination of measuring instruments, control of gaming machines and fiscal devices, conformity assessment of non-automatic weighing instruments, calibration of some types of measuring instruments, and testing of products for electromagnetic compatibility and 185 works at the regional offices as verification officers.

The personnel of DG “MS” consist of 78 engineers, physicists and chemists who perform all tasks of SAMTS related to legal metrology. They have past training in EN ISO/IEC 17025 and EN ISO 19011. The majority of inspectors have previous experience as verification officers.



Sanctions are based upon a system of administrative penalties imposed by SAMTS. The amount of the financial penalties varies from € 100 to € 7500 depending on the violation nature, extent and repeatability.

In case of fraud criminal prosecution is possible.


Directive 2009/23/ЕC (90/384/EEC) Non-automatic weighing instruments


The Directive was transposed by an Ordinance (State Gazette, no. 52/ 2003) that became effective on 1 January 2007.

No administrative gravity values as referred in Annex II point 5.2 have been identified.

According to the Bulgarian law it is an offence to use an instrument outside of its marked operating conditions.

BIM is a notified body number 1957.

SAMTS is in charge of market surveillance and designation of notified bodies.


Directive 2004/22/EC Measuring Instruments Directive


The Directive was transposed by an Ordinance (State Gazette, no. 80/ 2006) that became effective on 1 January 2007.

This Directive is transposed for all categories of measuring instruments except for the dimensional measuring instruments.

SAMTS is in charge of market surveillance and designation of notified bodies.


Contact Points

Mrs. Dimka Ivanova Mrs. Stefka Hristova Mrs. Pavlina Danailova
President General Director General Director
52 B, Blvd G.M. Dimitrov 52 B, Blvd G.M. Dimitrov 52 A, Blvd G.M. Dimitrov
1040 Sofia, Bulgaria 1040 Sofia, Bulgaria 1797 Sofia, Bulgaria
Tel: +359 2 873 52 77 Tel: +359 2 873 52 98
Fax:+359 2 970 27 77 Fax: +359 2 873 52 98
e-mail: e-mail:







Updated July 2012