Below please find an overview of the most important terminology and abbreviations used within the legal metrology.
International VIM Vocabulary
You can find a complete list of terms in English and French in the ‘International Vocabulary of Basic and general terms in Metrology’, VIM. The document can be ordered from the Netherlands Standardization Institute NEN.
The Measuring Instruments Directive (MID) is a European directive under which almost all legal measuring instruments have been regulated. Since the introduction of the MID in 2006, it is possible for you to sell your product in all EU and EFTA countries with one approval. This means that you need only one approval, which is valid in over 30 European countries. This way, the trade barriers are reduced and only one approval process is sufficient.
The NAWI directive is a European directive which regulates Non Automatic Weighing Instruments (NAWI). With one approval, you can sell your products in all the EU and EFTA countries. This means that you need only one approval, which is valid in over 30 European countries. This way, the trade barriers are reduced and only one approval process is sufficient.
The property of a phenomenon, a body or a substance which can be distinguished qualitatively and determined quantitatively. The International System of Units, or the SI system, is usually used as the starting point. The basic units of the SI system are: metre, kilogramme, second, ampere, kelvin, mol and candela.
Parameter, related to the result of a measurement that characterises the dispersion of the values that could reasonably be attributed to the measurement quantity. For example, the parameter may be a standard deviation (or a certain multiple of it), or half of an interval that has a certain level of reliability.
Examination of a type (model) of a measuring instrument that is carried out to determine whether the type (model) can be approved or should be rejected.
Type or model approval
Decision that confirms that the type (model) of a measuring instrument meets the legal requirements.
A procedure (other than a type approval) which entails the examination, marking and/or issuing of a calibration certificate, which is used to determine and confirm that the measuring instrument meets the legal requirements. In the old calibration law this was called calibration.
Mark applied to a measuring instrument as an indication that the measuring instrument has passed the verification with satisfactory result.
Mark applied to a measuring instrument in a noticeable manner to indicate that the measuring instrument does not meet the legal requirements. Calibration marks that were applied earlier are rendered invalid.
Calibration means to determine the metrological characteristics of an instrument. This is done using a direct comparison with (measurement) standards. A calibration certificate is issued and a calibration sticker is (usually) attached. Based on this information, a user can decide whether the instrument is suitable for the application in question.
Mark that protects the measuring instrument against forbidden modifications, removal of parts, et cetera.
The International Organisation for Legal Metrology, OIML, works on the global harmonisation of requirements.
Within the European Union and the European Free Trade Association, consultation takes place between the legal metrological organisations within WELMEC. Central European organisations participate as associate member. There are also similar organisations on other continents.
In legal metrology, independent conformity assessment and verification organisations play an important role. In the open European market of the EU, most are designated in Brussels as Notified Body. On the website of Nando an overview is available of all Notified Bodies for the different regulations.
European Standards (EN) are drawn up under the supervision of the European Committee for Standardization CEN (fr: Comité Européen de Normalisation) in Brussels.
A pre-package consists of the product and the individual packaging in which it is pre-packaged.
Packaging is that which is intended to be left over after use, except for items naturally present in the product. Use includes consumption and subjecting to a treatment. Packaging is also understood to mean packaging material. Product is also understood to mean ‘good(s)’.
A product is pre-packaged when it is packaged in any kind of packaging without the purchaser being present and is packaged such that the quantity of product in the packaging cannot be altered without the packaging having to be altered.
Contents (of a pre-packaging)
The contents (of a pre-packaging) is the quantity of product in the packaging.
Nominal quantity (product in pre-packaging)
The nominal quantity of the product in a pre-packaging is the quantity indicated on the packaging.
Note: the symbol Qn is used to indicate ‘nominal quantity’.
Maximum permissible error (of a pre-packaging)
The maximum permissible error in minus of a pre-packaging is the difference, in a negative sense, between the actual quantity and the nominal quantity of a product in this pre-packaging. The maximum permissible error in minus is also indicated as “Fmax”. There are different abbreviations for the limit that results when the nominal quantity is reduced by the maximum permissible error in minus. Examples of which are the To limit and TU1 limit and Tabs limit and TU2 limit.