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EU rules ensuring that measuring instruments are accurate

EU rules ensuring that measuring instruments are accurate

 

SUMMARY OF:

Directive 2014/32/EU relating to measuring instruments

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DIRECTIVE?

It lays down uniform, EU-wide rules on the sale and putting into use of measuring instruments (MIs). MIs are important for trade, consumers and industry as they ensure the accuracy of measurements and help the transparency and fairness of commercial transactions.

It aims to:

  • establish the essential requirements that instruments or systems with a measurement function have to satisfy;
  • introduce simpler, clearer and more-consistent rules and ensure traceability;
  • reduce administrative burdens for manufacturers, importers and distributors;
  • ensure that instruments compliant with the essential requirements can circulate freely within the EU.

Benefits should include:

  • compliant and more-accurate measuring instruments on the EU market and increased levels of public trust in them;
  • fewer non-compliant instruments and distortions of competition on the market arising from different enforcement practices;
  • protection of the public from wrong measurements;
  • increased room for technological innovation, by adopting a modern regulatory approach.

The directive recasts and repeals Directive 2004/22/EC.

KEY POINTS

The directive brings the MI legislation into line with the EU’s ‘new legislative framework’. This framework comprises 2 complementary texts:

Scope

Legally controlled measuring instruments are used for a variety of measurement tasks in the areas of public health and safety and of fair trading. The directive applies to:

  • utility meters (water meters, gas meters and volume-conversion devices*, active electrical energy meters and thermal energy meters);
  • measuring systems for the continuous and dynamic measurement of quantities of liquids other than water (e.g. petrol pumps);
  • automatic weighing instruments (e.g. rail weighbridges or automatic packaging lines);
  • taximeters;
  • material measures and dimensional measuring instruments (e.g. for metalworking or woodworking); and
  • exhaust gas analysers (e.g. to check engine performance).

The directive applies to all MIs that are new to the EU market when they are placed on that market or put into use, that is that they are:

  • new MIs made by a manufacturer established in the EU; or
  • MIs imported from a non-EU country, whether they are new or second hand.

It applies to all forms of supply of MIs, including distance selling.

Responsibilities of manufacturers, importers and distributors

Manufacturers must ensure that:

  • all MIs on sale in the EU bear the conformity marking consisting of the European conformity (CE) marking plus the supplementary metrology (M) marking, with the last two digits of the year of its affixing and the notified body* number(s), indicating that they meet all the essential requirements of EU legislation (set out in Annex I of the directive and in the relevant instrument-specific annexes);
  • they conduct a risk and conformity assessment and draw up technical documentation for the MI before affixing the CE + M markings (see Annex II of the directive);
  • they (and if they appoint an authorised representative*) keep the technical documentation and the EU declaration of conformity (as set out in Annex II of the directive) for 10 years after the MI has been placed on the market;
  • they indicate on the MI their name, registered trade name or registered trade mark and the postal address where they can be contacted to ensure traceability;
  • in the event they believe that MIs they have placed on the market do not conform, take corrective measures to bring them into conformity, withdraw or recall them;
  • instructions and information accompanying the MI are written in a language easily understood by its end users and that they, as well as any labelling, are clear and understandable.

Importers must ensure that:

  • MIs they place on the market comply with the essential requirements;
  • manufacturers have carried out conformity assessments correctly and inform the market surveillance authority if they consider that the MIs do not comply;
  • they indicate on the MI their name, registered trade name or registered trade mark and the postal address where they can be contacted;
  • marking of MIs and documentation drawn up by manufacturers are available for inspection by the competent authorities.

Distributors must ensure that:

  • MIs under their responsibility, or MIs’ storage or transport conditions do not place at risk their compliance with the essential requirements;
  • MIs bear the necessary markings;
  • in the event they believe that MIs they have made available on the market do not conform, take corrective measures to bring them into conformity, withdraw or recall them.

In addition, the directive:

  • introduces requirements for notifying authorities and the procedures for notification of conformity assessment bodies;
  • specifies how national market surveillance authorities must identify and prevent the sale of MIs which present a risk to aspects of public interest protection, including their import from non-EU countries;
  • includes rules on penalties for infringements by manufacturers, importers and distributors which may include criminal penalties in serious cases.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?

Directive 2014/32/EU revised and replaced Directive 2004/22/EC and had to be applied in the EU countries as of 20 April 2016.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

KEY TERMS

Volume-conversion device: a device used to convert the measurement flow, temperature, pressure and gas composition under operating conditions into base conditions.
Notified body: an independent organisation designated by an EU country to assess the conformity of certain products before they are placed on the market. It carries out tasks related to conformity assessment procedures set out in the relevant legislation, when the intervention of an external authority is required.
Authorised representative: any individual or organisation established in the EU with a written mandate from a manufacturer to act on their behalf.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Directive 2014/32/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of measuring instruments (recast) (OJ L 96, 29.3.2014, pp. 149-250)

Successive amendments to Directive 2014/32/EU have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 339/93 (OJ L 218, 13.8.2008, pp. 30-47)

Decision No 768/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 on a common framework for the marketing of products, and repealing Council Decision 93/465/EEC (OJ L 218, 13.8.2008, pp. 82-128)

last update 12.11.2019

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