Measurements In Commerce


On the 20th May 2009, Metrology (science of measurements ) Institutions and metrologists around the world will be recognizing World Metrology Day under the theme "Metrology: Measurements in Commerce". The following Press Release as adapted from one published by the International Institution of Weights and Measures (BIPM -, highlights relevant authorities and activities relevant to metrology underpinning economic development

Whenever we trade we measure, and the international trading system relies on these measurements being "correct" wherever they are made. But how do we know that these measurements are "correct"? That is the job of metrologists - scientists who specialize in measurement techniques and who provide the international framework for accurate measurement that consumers, retailers, industry, legislators, regulators and the general public can rely upon.

The World Measurement System is fairly simple and combines the efforts of a number of organizations. At the working level, measurement is made in a laboratory, accredited by an Accreditation Body within the Arrangement drawn up by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC). The measurement results must be traceable to the International System of Units (SI). The national realizations of these units are maintained by National Metrology Institutes (NMIs - the Antigua and Barbuda Bureau of Standards). The formal system for demonstrating equivalence of the SI realizations at the top-level is managed by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) through a Mutual Recognition Arrangement drawn up in 1999 by the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) and called the CIPM MRA. The International Organization for Legal Metrology (OIML) operates a similar Arrangement, for regulated measurements, known as the OIML Mutual Acceptance Arrangement (OIML MAA) which establishes m utual confidence in the evaluation of measuring instruments and mutual acceptation of their evaluation results.

After 10 years of exixtence, the CIPM MRA, continues to operate quietly behind the scenes with not much awareness of its importance and the confidence it provides. It is an unsung huge success in competitiveness, market access and trade facilitation. There is now much documented evidence that National standards are "more equivalent" than in the past.. Major regulators like the US Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) and companies like Boeing now rely on aviation industry measurements traceable to the SI through NMIs which are signatories to the CIPM MRA. There is an increasing number of case studies which show that international companies can save millions of dollars by using the calibration services of local CIPM MRA signatories rather than their own parent laboratory.

The WMD 2009 project celebrates the success of a decade of the CIPM MRA, acknowledges the contributions of thousands of metrologists throughout the world and encourages use of the MRA through awareness and a series of promotional events world-wide.

In recognition of this years theme "Metrology in Commerce", the Bureau of Standards will be hosting a seminar entitled "Accreditation for Market Access" in the first week of June. The Director and Staff of the ABBS wish you a most successful 2009 World Metrology Day.

To learn more about Metrology, World Metrology Day and the Accreditation Seminar kindly contact the Antigua and Barbuda Bureau of Standards, Corner Redcliffe Street & Corn Alley, P.O. Box 1550, St. John's, Antigua (W.I.) or Telephone 462-2424 or email:


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