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WELMEC Information

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What is Legal Metrology?

Metrology is the scientific study of measurement. Legal Metrology is the entirety of the technical and administrative procedures established in law by the public authorities in order to guarantee the quality of measurements made in the course of commercial transactions and official controls, and in relation to health care, safety, etc.


WELMEC background

WELMEC was founded on 8 June 1990 with 13 representative Members from national authorities responsible for legal metrology in European Union and EFTA Member States signing up to a Memorandum of Understanding [Photograph]. Soon after Greece, Ireland and Spain also signed the MoU. Luxembourg and Italy signed the MoU in 1993.

WELMEC is the European Cooperation in Legal Metrology. When it was founded, the acronym WELMEC stood for Western European Legal Metrology Cooperation. However, today WELMEC extends beyond Western Europe and includes representatives from Central, Eastern, Northern and Southern Europe. The acronym WELMEC has been retained.

The WELMEC Committee comprises three categories of individuals: Members, Associate Members and Observer Organisations. There were at the beginning 18 Members and 10 Associate Members. The Associate Members were representatives of Central and Eastern European countries.

In May 2004 the 10 new EU member countries Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia signed the MoU during the 20th Committee meeting in Casta-Papiernicka, Slovakia. In 2005 during the 21st Committee meeting in Edinburgh, Turkey was unanimously accepted as Associate Member and in 2006 in Bulgaria in addition Croatia was welcomed as Associate Member. In 2007, Bulgaria and Romania signed the Memorandum of Understanding during the meeting in Sinai, Romania. The Committee meeting in 2008 was held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and on this occasion The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was welcomed as an Associate Member. Later the Republic of Serbia and Montenegro were accepted as WELMEC Associates as well. In 2009 the Committee meeting was held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania were also welcomed as Associate Members. In 2016 during the Committee Meeting that was held in Helsinki, Finland, Kosovo was welcomed as Associate Member. The Republic of Moldova was welcomed as Associate Member during the 33rd Committee meeting that was held in Madrid, Spain.   Currently there are 31 Members and 8 Associate Members in the WELMEC Committee.

WELMEC also corresponds with various organisations such as European Trade associations and other regional metrology organisations.

The principal aim of WELMEC is to establish a harmonised and consistent approach to European legal metrology. WELMEC is concerned with the establishment, maintenance and improvement of channels of communication between its Members and Associate Members and aims to develop mutual confidence through participation in common activities.

WELMEC also actively develops links with other regional and international bodies which have an interest in European metrology. WELMEC’s work is carried out by its Working Groups. These groups provide guidance documents (WELMEC guides) which are available on this website. For further information about WELMEC read WELMEC 1 – An introduction.


Objectives of WELMEC

  • Develop mutual confidence between legal metrology services ;
  • Achieve harmonisation of legal metrology activities ;
  • Identify any special features of legal metrology which need to be reflected in the European metrology, certification and testing framework ;
  • Organise the exchange of information ;
  • Promote the removal of barriers to trade in the field of measuring instruments ;
  • Promote consistency of interpretation and application of normative documents and propose actions to facilitate implementation ;
  • Identify technical problems which might form the subject of collaborative projects ;
  • Maintain working links with other relevant bodies with an interest in legal metrology ;
  • Debate trends and establish criteria for the scope of legal metrology and maintain channels for a continuous flow of knowledge.


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