Metrology is a Greek derivation and implies measure and therefore, metrology is often termed as a science of measurement. The field of metrology is concerned with establishment, reproduction, conservation and transfer of units of measurements and their standards. The practice of metrology includes precise measurements which require the use of apparatus and equipments (Instruments and necessary adjuncts) that permits the degree of accuracy required to be obtained.
Legal metrology on the other hand implies the ‘application of legal requirements to measurements and measuring instruments.’ In the science of measurement and measuring instruments there must be some kind of legislation as it helps in the protection of sellers and buyers in the commercial transaction. Practically all countries provide protection that includes metrology in their legislature.
The state used the application of legal metrology to organize, plan, defend and tax with efficiency and it also provided for necessary trust and confidence in measurement that are used in trade, manufacturing and building constructions. Globally there was a major force imposed on international trade for consistent measurement system. The dimension of legal metrology comprises both regulated measurements that are conducted by private individuals and those that are controlled by the State Authority.
Today in the modern time, measurements are included in almost every trade transactions and in order to ensure fairness of the parties, it must be able to consider it ‘acceptable’. In addition, representing the fair value for money, consumer goods must also be safe. For example-
1. The food must be free from hazardous contents such as toxins, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and others.
2. Weight of goods must be determined adequately to ensure fair financial transactions
3. The products need to be processed safely and accurately labeled
The non-regulated areas of trade need for compatibility of components and systems require consistency and uniformity in the way things are measured. Mostly, components are frequently manufactured in one country and then it is assembled with parts or systems that are manufactured in other countries. Mostly countries at present look for partial manufacture of components in another country. Of course such is possible when uniform global system of measurement is in place.
Strong measurement system is an important element in achieving global scale calibration and testing results. The sound measurement system will have factors such as-
1. Traceability to the international system of Units or SI
2. Regulated measurements and measuring instruments
3. Confidence in testing and measurement results with the process of certification, standardization, accreditation and calibration
Having discussed in detail about legal metrology in detail, it is for companies to follow the guidelines laid down by the Department Affairs under Ministry of Consumer affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India. The biggest challenge that companies face in implementing the guidelines adequately is because they do not have a proper understanding of the guidelines. But proper consultation on Legal Metrology allows the companies to establish as well as enforce the standards of weight and measures as well as regulate trade without leaving behind any loop.
Keywords: application of legal metrology, consultation on Legal Metrology
By: Alok Sinhal
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