Measuring instruments; Source: istockphoto.com/Fertnig

© istockphoto.com/Fertnig

Maintaining a sophisticated and reliable metrology system is key to developing new technologies, trading fairly, and safeguarding citizens' quality of life. Statutory metrology sets out provisions that serve these objectives and ensure that technical developments (e.g. "smart" metering devices) are also given sufficient consideration. The Verification Act and the Verification Ordinance have therefore been replaced by more modern rules. The primary aim here is to keep pace with rapid technological developments. At the same time, we want to make rules more flexible, reduce costs for industry, and make procedures more cost-effective.

New Measurement and Verification Act in force in 2015

The new Measurement and Verification act was drafted by the Economic Affairs Ministry following a 10-year discussion on how to redesign the statutory metrology system in Germany. The Act on the Re-organisation of Statutory Metrology was approved by the Bundesrat on 7 June 2013. The bill had passed the Bundestag on 18 April 2013. The new Act entered into force on 1 January 2015, giving all market participants enough time to adapt to the new legal environment.

On 4 November 2015, the Federal Government adopted the draft presented by the Economic Affairs Minister of an Act Amending the Measures and Verification Act. This amendment clarifies who has to report new or updated measuring equipment to the calibration authorities and the approach to be taken in the case of more than one item of measuring equipment. Also, some new points were added in the field of legislation on pre-packaged products.

The new Measures and Verification Ordinance also entered into force on 1 January 2015. The new rules include the following key elements:

  • In future, the same requirements will apply to measuring equipment governed by European and national law when they are brought to market. This will make life much easier for the market participants.
  • The type approval under national law and the initial verification of measuring equipment governed by national law have been replaced since 1 January 2015 by conformity assessment. These assessments are carried out by conformity assessment bodies.
  • The new regulatory system is open to innovations and aims to respond quickly and appropriately to future advances in technology.
  • The task of periodically re-verifying used measuring equipment will continue to rest with the calibration authorities of the Länder and the state-recognised test laboratories. Verification is the official testing of an item of measuring equipment at periodic intervals or in case of an error or an intervention in the measuring equipment.

The Ordinance on the Re-organisation of Statutory Metrology and Aligning It with European Case-Law entered into force on 18 December 2014.