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Measuring instruments

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Measuring instruments

This Directive ensures the free movement of measuring instruments in the internal market. It guarantees, through the use of CE marking, a high level of confidence through essential specifications which are applicable in all Member States.


Directive 2004/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on measuring instruments. [See amending act(s)].



The directive applies to the following measuring instruments *:

  • water meters;
  • gas meters and volume conversion devices;
  • active electrical energy meters;
  • heat meters;
  • measuring systems for continuous and dynamic measurement of quantities of liquids other then water;
  • automatic weighing instruments;
  • taximeters;
  • material measures;
  • dimensional measuring instruments;
  • exhaust gas analysers.

It establishes the essential requirements that the measuring instruments will have to satisfy if they are subject to legal metrological control * in a Member State, and the conformity assessment that they have to undergo prior to their placing on the market and putting into use.

Essential requirements

The essential requirements are defined in the Annexes to the directive. Annex I establishes the essential requirements which must be met by all measuring instruments, whilst the specific annexes describe the particular requirements which are applicable to the instruments in question.

Conformity marking

The conformity of a measuring instrument with the Directive is indicated by the "CE" conformity marking and the supplementary metrology marking (specified in Article 17).

Placing on the market

Member States may not impede the placing on the market and putting into use of any measuring instrument that carries the CE conformity marking and supplementary metrology marking.

Assessment of conformity

The assessment of conformity should be carried out by the application, at the choice of the manufacturer, of one of the conformity assessment procedures listed in the specific annex concerning that instrument. The conformity assessment modules which make up the procedures are set out in the Annexes.

Technical documentation

The technical documentation clearly describes the design, manufacturing and operation of the measuring instrument. It should allow for the conformity assessment to be measured against the appropriate provisions of the Directive.


Member States should notify to the other Member States and the Commission the bodies which they have designated to carry out the tasks pertaining to the conformity assessment. The Commission then publishes the list of bodies notified.

Presumption of conformity

Member States should presume that an instrument conforms with the essential requirements if it complies with the national standards implementing the European harmonised standards in question. The references for these standards are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Market surveillance

The Member States should monitor their markets and take all appropriate measures to prevent the placing on the market or use of instruments which do not comply. Moreover, Member States should help each other fulfil their obligations regarding market surveillance, in particular by the exchange of information between the competent authorities. A safeguard clause ensures that a measuring instrument bearing the 'CE' marking can be withdrawn from the market if it is established that the instrument does not meet all the essential requirements of the above-mentioned Directive.


The Commission shall be assisted by a Committee whose tasks will be defined by the Directive.

Repeal of previous directives

This Directive repeals these directives:

  • Directive 71/318/EEC (gas meters);
  • Directive 71/319/EEC (meters for liquids other than water);
  • Directive 71/348/EEC (meters for liquids other than water - ancillary equipment);
  • Directive 73/362/EEC (material measures of length);
  • Directive 75/33/EEC (cold water meters);
  • Directive 75/410/EEC (continuous totalising weighing machines);
  • Directive 76/891/EEC (electrical energy meters);
  • Directive 77/95/EEC (taximeters);
  • Directive 77/313/EEC (measuring systems for liquids other than water);
  • Directive 78/1031/EEC (automatic checkweighing and weight grading machines);
  • Directive 79/830/EEC (hot-water meters).

Directive 75/33/EEC (cold water meters) is a special case as it has only been partially repealed for meters defined in Annex MI-001 of the new Directive (for clean water meters, for example in residential areas, commercial or light industrial use).

Key terms of the Act

  • Measuring instrument: any device or system with a measurement function.
  • Legal metrological control: the control of the measurement tasks intended for the field of application of a measuring instrument, for reasons of public interest, public health, public safety, public order, protection of the environment, levying of taxes and duties, protection of the consumers and fair trading.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2004/22/EC



OJ L 135, 30.4.2004

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008



OJ L 311, 21.11.2008

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2004/22/EC have been incorporated in to the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Last updated: 22.06.2011