First OIML Scheme A certificates issued!

The first 2 OIML-CS Scheme A certificates are issued by NMi for OIML R76 and R60. This new OIML Certification System, which came in operation from 1 January 2018, shall give manufacturers better opportunities to bring their products on the global market. The new system does not only assure that operation of OIML Issuing Authorities complies with the present international standards. It also strives for global acceptance by national or regional authorities to obtain a national approval for more categories of measuring instruments.

The basic OIML certification system is developed in the nineties. NMi also issued the first OIML certificate of conformity in 1992. As intergovernmental organization, OIML aims to harmonize the regulations and metrological controls applied by national metrological services. In order to establish international harmonization of metrological requirements for different kind of measuring instruments, OIML recommendations are developed by project groups linked to Technical Committees or Subcommittees of OIML. These recommendations are intended as model regulations for a number of categories of measuring instruments. OIML Member States are morally obliged to implement these as far as possible. At present, these recommendations are recognized by the European Commission as normative documents to demonstrate compliance with EU Directives. Corresponding tables are developed by WELMEC between the OIML Recommendations and the European Directives 2014/31/EU (NAWI) and 2014/32/EU (MID) for different category of instruments. By this approach the OIML Recommendation R76:2006 serves as normative document for the non-automatic weighing instruments under the 2014/31/EU directive. The same applies for e.g. automatic weighing instruments, utility meters and taximeters under the 2014/32/EU directive (more details on the corresponding tables can be found on the WELMEC website). Other Countries/regions also align their national regulations with OIML recommendations and accept OIML test results for national approval.

Manufacturers use NMi-OIML certifications already for many years to establish national approvals of their measuring instruments. The main approach in this system is that the instrument was tested according the OIML recommendation only once and accepted by different number of countries. The acceptance of OIML was in many cases based on Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA).Already in 2001 NMi established MRAs with e.g. China, Japan, Russia South Africa and Australia.

Although the system was working properly, improvements were desired. Where NMi performed her work under accreditation a number of Issuing Authority declared its competence on self-declaration. No requirements were set on accreditation and the application of manufacturer test results was not visible. These shortcomings endangered the acceptance of OIML Evaluation/test reports and certificates by a number of countries. To improve the system, the OIML Mutual Acceptance Arrangement (MAA) was established in 2005, having a Declaration of Mutual Confidence between different countries. The system was based on either ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation or peer assessment for the testing laboratory. Until December 2017, more than 4000 certificates are issued under the OIML system, of which more than 1000 under the MAA. More than 50% of the certificates was issued by NMi. However, the MAA was limited to only three categories of measuring instruments; water meters (R49), load cells (R60) and non-automatic weighing instruments (R76). Having this limited number category of instruments which could be issued under the Basic or MAA system, and having no requirements for the Issuing Authority, there was the need to revise the complete system. From 1 January 2018 the OIML Certification system (OIML- CS) is launched. The system consists of two schemes; Scheme A (comparable with MAA) and Scheme B (comparable with Basic). Furthermore, Issuing Authorities shall comply with ISO/IEC 17065 and the testing laboratories with ISO/IEC 17025. Scheme A starts in 2018 with non-automatic weighing instruments (R76) and load cells (R60). All other category of measuring instruments will start in Scheme B. In 2019, a number of category of measuring instruments will shift to Scheme A (OIML R49, R46, R117…). In 2020, all other instruments shall be under scheme A, meaning that no scheme B certificates will be issued anymore. By this approach, the OIML-CS upgraded all certificates to a level that meets the current international standards (instead of self-declaration). Meeting the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) accreditation requirements should encourage potential authorities to participate in the system and accept the Evaluation/test Reports and Certificates. All certificates issued under the Basic and MAA system remain valid; transition arrangements have been established to use “old” test data under the new system.

NMi took all preparations for the new system and is re-approved and recognized as OIML Issuing Authority under the new OIML-CS. With this recognition NMi was able to serve her clients with OIML Scheme A certificates from the start of the system in 2018 and will continue her activities under the OIML-CS to provide global access. China, Japan, Russia, Australia, with whom NMi has a signed MRA, continued their participation in OIML-CS. Other countries like Brazil, Cuba, Cambodia, Colombia, India and Egypt showed their interest or are even already in the process of participation. These developments will provide our customers more opportunities to place their products on a global market.

For more information on this subjct, you can check the OIML website. We created a white paper with detailed information. You can download it for free by filling in the webform. Do you still have questions after reading its content? Don’t hesitate to contact us by sending us an email to nmi@nmi.nl.

Request form White Paper "The new OIML Certification System"

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Cock Oosterman

Cock Oosterman

Head Certification Body, Netherlands

Over 30 years of international experience in fields of Quality, Metrology, Testing, Accreditation and Certification. Secretary of NoBoMet and Chairman of the management committee of the OIML Certification System.