Measuring instruments

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you use or sell measuring instruments in the Netherlands? These instruments must comply with several requirements (in Dutch). The rules for metrology are laid down in, among others, the Dutch Metrology Act (Metrologiewet). Users should be able to trust that measurements are correct.

Measuring instruments should:

  • be approved measuring instruments
  • display the legal units of measurement (for example in grams and not ounces)
  • use the measuring standard: a kilogram is a kilogram everywhere as is agreed upon worldwide

The legal units of measurement are the same throughout the European Union (EU).

Monitoring measuring instruments

In the Netherlands there are 5 designated bodies that assess new measuring instruments brought to market. These are:

These institutions make sure all measuring instruments that are for sale comply with the rules. The Dutch Authority for Digital Infrastructure for instance also checks petrol station’s fuel pumps and weighing devices in shops and other businesses (in Dutch). The Health and Youth Care Inspectorate is responsible for the monitoring of scales and weighing systems for medical use.

Rules within the EU

Legal measurement units are the same in all EU countries. The European Union makes use of the International System of Units (SI). This ensures Dutch companies use the same measuring units as companies in other member states.The technical requirements that apply in the Netherlands to measuring instruments differ from those of other EU Member States. If a measuring instrument is already permitted in another EU Member State, the Dutch government may only prohibit its sale in the Netherlands in exceptional cases.