August 2008 NWML Publishing Type Approval Certificates on Line
As from 1st July this year NWML have been publishing all Type Approval Certificates that they issue, including revisions and amendments, online. They can be accessed through the NWML website home page and you can if you want sign up to an email alert service that will notify you each time a new TAC is issued. There are four categories of Certificates being published this way;
- NAWI Certificates
- MID Certificates
- UK National Certificates
- EEC Amendments and Revisions
As we understand it there are at the moment no plans to publish earlier TACs.
The UK has always regarded Type Approval Certificates as public documents and this has continued to be the case under the NAWI Directive and MID. Unfortunately that is not the situation in some other Member States where publication of TACs is not commonplace and anyone wishing to gain access to TACs issued in those Member States has had to subscribe to EMETAS to obtain copies. The move by NWML to publish TACs that they issue on line as freely available documents is very welcome and NWML should be congratulated for moving forward in this way.
Reform of the Weights and Measures Act
Readers may be forgiven for being confused over what the plans are for revising and reforming the current weights and measures legislation. NWML began a consultation process back in October 2007. This followed a false start in June of that year when the initial plans for a project were announced to be followed shortly afterwards by an announcement that NWML was to become part of the newly formed Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills - DIUS.
NWML published a number of consultation papers and held a number of Workshops with various interested parties to discuss whether reform of the weights and measures legislation was necessary and if so what changes were needed and how should they be implemented. At the same time BERR (the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) announced they were undertaking a review of all Consumer Law - including the Weights and Measures Act! Confused? You will be.
In its consultation process NWML considered a number of specific aspects: Enforcement, Measurement standards and Traceability, Statutory Weights and Measures Qualification, Verification and the Prescription of Weighing and Measuring equipment. They presented the findings from their consultations and discussions to the DIUS Ministers and the conclusion was that there is a need for reform of both the legislation and the means of enforcing it.
NWML will be moving this forward but will also have to take into account the responses to the BERR consultation on Consumer Law Review. That review asked a number of specific questions about weights and measures:
- What can be done to reduce the costs to business of weights and measures legislation?
- Are the "short weight/measure" criminal offences still needed?
- To what extent are regulations/controls needed on weighing and measuring instruments?
- Is it still necessary to control the way some products are sold (pre-packing, sale by weight or measure)?
- How should measurement standards be controlled and what traceability requirements are necessary?
So we await the issue of some proposals for reform. When we will see them, and what they will be we can't say at the moment. One thing is for sure. The "Good Old Days" of the local Weights and Measures Inspector regular carrying out routine inspection of every piece of weighing and measuring equipment in his area are well and truly gone and they will never return. The consensus of NWML's consultations seemed to be that weights and measures legislation is still needed in some revised form and its enforcement needs to be rethought and streamlined. What was positive for the measuring equipment industry was the very strong response to the Prescription Review that weighing and measuring instruments do need to be controlled by means of Type Approval, Verification and on-going inspection.
As and when NWML issue new consultation documents we will bring them to your attention, please keep an eye out for them and be sure to let us have your views. Review and reform of the legislation happens infrequently, and we need to make sure that we do all we can to get the best possible result for our industry and our customers!
Most members will be aware of the recent chaos and confusion caused by the issue by the Department of Health of a number of "Alerts" relating to medical weighing. It all goes back to the launch by LACORS of a Medical Weighing Project in the early part of the year. LACORS wanted to see the extent to which hospitals and others in the medical field were complying with the requirements of the NAWI Directive in relation to medical weighing, and to get some idea of the standard of equipment being used in hospitals throughout the UK. TSOs were invited to contact their local hospitals to arrange to carry out surveys of the equipment in use during the first part of the financial year and then to return at the end of the year to see whether any improvements had been made. Whether this project caused the Department of Health to think about medical weighing or whether it was just coincidence we will never know but they issued an Alert advising hospitals and others about weighing equipment. Unfortunately they got it wrong. Not only did they get it wrong they published, without asking us or warning us, the Federations name and contact details to help with technical queries. As a result we were inundated with telephone calls and emails from hospitals and medical practices wanting advice and guidance.
The Department then issued a follow up Alert hoping to correct their earlier errors but sadly this was also wrong, resulting in even more calls and emails! Finally they issued another Alert, telling hospitals to take no action until such time as LACORS produced its interim report on medical weighing but in the meantime any hospital wanting to buy new equipment was to contact its local Trading Standards Department for advice!
We asked them to rescind that part regarding seeking advice from TSO's about new equipment but they have so far not done so. As it stands at the moment we are all waiting for the publication of the LACORS interim report on medical weighing: once that is published then the Department of Health, LACORS, TSI and the UKWF will sit down together to produce a new Alert that the Department can issue giving clear concise and accurate information to hospitals.
Review of EN45501
Many members will be familiar with EN 45501, the European Standard for non-automatic weighing instruments. The standard underpins the NAWI Directive and amongst other things lays down the testing requirements for verification.
The Standard is now some 16 years old and the European Commission recently issued a Mandate to CEN/CENELEC to produce an updated harmonised standard. The first draft of the new standard has just been circulated by BSI. It is based very closely on the 2006 version of OIML R76 and it is hoped that it will be finalised before the end of the year.
Medical Devices Directive and Medical Weighing Equipment
The UK position on the application of the Medical Devices Directive (MDD) to medical weighing equipment has been clear since 2002 when we discussed the matter with the Medical Devices Agency and they sent us the advice that we have published in the Members Area of the website. Their view was that weighing devices used in a medical environment are not normally covered by the MDD. The position in some other Members States is different however with the authorities there taking the view that the Medical Devices Directive was the prime control and that the NAWI Directive did not really apply.
It now appears that the European Commission has given this matter some thought and has come to the conclusion that where non-automatic weighing instruments are used for certain purposes the MDD applies whilst in all other cases the NAWI Directive applies.
In essence where a product is mainly intended for a medical purpose and meets the conditions for a medical device; and in order to achieve its main medical function it is assisted by a weighing function which is secondary compared with its medical function, for example computer tomagraph, baby incubator, dialysis system, then the Medical Devices Directive applies and the NAWI Directive does not.
The source of this opinion from the European Commission is being checked along with the validity of the documents that have been circulated and we will bring you full details and information as soon as we have it. If the documents prove to be valid we will place copies on the UKWF website.
|11 Sep 2007
||METRICATION - THE FACTS|
There have been several misleading news stories today (11 September 2007) to the effect that the EU has given up on metric Britain and the so-called metric martyrs have secured a notable victory. Even the usually reliable and factual BBC has given in to the temptation to make mountains out of molehills and generate eye-catching but misleading headlines.
Let's look at the facts... .....
4 Apr 2007 WEEE Directive
After a considerable delay the Regulations implementing the European Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) were published in December 2006. They affect many Federation members in one form or another.
The biggest effect will be on members who are "Producers" under the definition in the Regulations. You are a producer for the purposes of the Regulations if you are:
- A manufacturer of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) selling under your own brand in the EEC, or
- A business based in the UK selling under your own brand EEE manufactured by another person, or
- A professional importer introducing EEE to the UK market, or
- A business based in the UK that places EEE in other European Member States by means of distance selling.
If you are a producer then you have a number of obligations under the Regulations. You must:
· Join a Producer Scheme
· Mark your products with the crossed out wheelie-bin symbol and a date mark,
· Make information available to the treatment facilities in respect of new EEE put onto the UK market
Members were sent information about the Producer Scheme available through BHHMA (WEEE Link) though there are a number of other schemes available. The registration date was 15th March 2007, so if you are a producer and you have not already joined a scheme you should do so immediately. The information you need to supply when registering with a scheme concerns the weight of EEE placed on the UK and EC markets during 2006. There is considerable confusion over what weighing equipment is or is not covered by the WEEE Directive and sadly, despite questions to the DTI at the recent seminars they held around the country, that confusion is far from being resolved. The only advice we can offer at this stage is to consult with the scheme provider and get their advice.
If you have any questions about what is or is not covered, or whether you fall within the definition of producer or not please pass them to the Technical Officer. What we want to do is compile a list of problems and queries which we can place before the DTI or the Environment Agencies to see if we can get some clear guidance. There are, incidentally, Guidance Notes published by DTI which are available through their web-site at:
What the Regulations are not very clear on are the obligations and responsibilities with regard to the "take-back" and disposal for producers and distributors of EEE used for business purposes. The Federation is still attempting to get this clarified but again, if you have any questions or concerns please pass them through to the Technical Officer. We would like to put all our questions to the DTI at the end of April, so if you have any query you need an answer to please let us have it by the 15th April.
14 Nov 2006 Measuring Instruments Directive
The MID is now in operation. We now have a new system of Type Approval and Verification for automatic weighing instruments, and the old national system, that served us well for more than a century is now no longer available for new equipment. (It stays in effect for instruments that are already in service and any Type Approvals that have not yet expired, but there will be no new Approvals to that legislation.)
For our industry the products affected are:
Automatic Gravimetric Filling Machines
In-motion Rail Weighbridges
Each of these instruments will still be required to be Type Approved, but the Approval will now be under the Directive and will be valid anywhere in the European Union. Manufacturers will be able to be accredited to carry out the initial verification of these instruments and again verification will be valid anywhere within the EU.
Checkweighers will also be controlled in most of the EU, although the UK has exercised its option under the Directive to have no controls on these instruments. However, anyone wishing to manufacture or sell checkweighers elsewhere in the EU will be able to get a Type Approval from NWML and will be able to carry out initial verification if they are accredited to do so.
One of the most significant differences between the old legislation and the MID is the ability for a manufacturer to get a different form of Type Approval, known as Design Examination. This new system will allow manufacturers to submit design details and test results to the Notified Body, without the need to submit a model for examination and test. Manufacturers wishing to follow this path must
be have an accredited Quality System covering both design and manufacture, and they will need to make sure that the system covers their procedures and processes for ensuring that all the requirements of the MID are met. At the moment Design Examination is only available for automatic weighing instruments, NAWI will still require the Type Approval Certificate that we are used to, however there are many advantages to the Design Examination system and the Federation will be working with CECIP and others to explore ways of having it available for NAWI at some time in the future.
Guidance Notes for the new Regulations implementing the MID will be available from NWML though at the moment we cannot give you an exact date on when that will be. Also there are currently no "harmonised standards" or "normative documents" supporting the MID, but NWML have advised us that they are following the existing versions of the appropriate OIML documents to judge compliance with the essential requirements. As soon as the Guidance Notes are published, or the standards/normative documents are issued we will let you know.
Initial Verification under the MID can only be carried out either by the accredited manufacturer or a Notified Body. Whilst many local Trading Standards Departments are Notified Bodies for Initial Verification under the NAWI Directive it is likely that many will not choose to be Notified for automatic weighing instruments. We will shortly be providing a link from the UKWF web-site to the EC web-site where you will be able to see which TS Departments are able to verify under the MID.
Like the NAWI Directive we can expect some teething problems with MID; if you have any questions or queries please contact the Technical Officer for advice
Packaged Goods Regulations
In the last issue of Weighlog we updated you on the effect of these new Regulations, which came into force on 6th April this year. To recap, the Regulations re-implement the so-called "Average Weight" Directive. The Regulations repealed and replaced the previous regulations and Part V of the Weights and Measures Act 1985. The new Regulations are simpler, clearer and more in line with the interpretation of the Average Weigh Directive that applies in the rest of the EU.
The UK has differed from the rest of the EU in one major way up to now, in allowing the use of NAWI that was neither Type Approved or Verified to be used for "checking" packages packed to the average system. Our initial understanding was that this would continue under the new Regulations and that was the advice we gave in the last issue of Weighlog. However DTI and LACORS have taken a different view and their belief is that NAWI used for checking packages is now required to be both Type Approved and Verified. Whilst the Federation does not fully accept that view, it has been decided that in the interest of conformity and common interpretation we will go along with it. So to clarify:
Packers who were using unapproved and unverified NAWI for checking packages before 6th April 2006 will be able to continue using them in the future (and will be able to have them repaired and maintained to continue in use without time limit);
Packers who are now buying new NAWI for checking packages will need to purchase Type Approved and Verified instruments. (There is a greyish area for those packers and equipment suppliers where the NAWI was supplied after 6th April 2006 but before this new interpretation was made widely known- if this affects you please contact the Technical Officer for advice.)
The WEEE Directive
This Directive, which deals with the disposal/recycling of electronic and electrical equipment in an environmentally responsible way should have been implemented into UK legislation in 2005. However during the consultation process for the implementing legislation it became clear that there was little, if any, agreement on how the Directive should be implemented. The DTI have recently finished consulting on their latest proposals for implementing the Directive. There is little reason to think that these new proposals will not be adopted so we can now be fairly certain that the following requirements will apply:
As soon as the Regulations are adopted and published we will be studying them and putting some guidance on the web-site. There are a number of potential problem areas - e.g. are weighbridges "fixed installations" and therefore exempt from the Directive? - which we will need guidance on from the legislators and enforcement agencies. As soon as the Regulations are in place we will start to chase for responses to these problems. If you have any areas of concern about your obligations under the Directive please let us know so we can add them to our list.
- Producers will need to join a WEEE scheme by 15th March next year (Schemes will be approved by the government agency from mid January onwards)
- Producers will need to supply the Scheme with details of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) placed on the UK market in 2006. Those details will be the weight and number of EEE placed on the market for use by consumers and the weight and number of EEE placed on the UK market for business users.
- Producers who supply EEE directly to consumers/business users elsewhere in the EU will also need to supply details of that supply. (This does not include EEE sold through distributors in the EU)
- Producers must mark EEE with the crossed out wheelie bin symbol to indicate that it should not be disposed of through the normal waste stream
- Producers must make relevant information regarding recycling available to the designated treatment facilities that will be processing the EEE at the end of its useful life.
- Distributors will be required to offer either a take-back system or access to authorised collection points where household users can dispose of waste EEE without charge.
- Distributors can join a Scheme or operate their own systems.
- Distributors will not be required to operate a "take-back" system for business EEE.
20 Jul 2006 WEEE DIRECTIVE
Like many industries in the UK the weighing industry is waiting (and has been for some time) for the publication of the Regulations implementing the WEEE Directive. For those of you who have forgotten what this is about, and who can blame you after all this time, the WEEE Directive deals with the removal of waste electrical equipment from the market place. The idea is that waste electrical /electronic equipment should be re-used or recycled wherever possible, and that it should not find its way into landfill at the end of its useful life. The overall principle in the Directive is that it is the "producer" who should pay the costs of safe removal of the product from the market.
One of the options that producers will have to do to ensure they meet their legal obligations will be to join a Compliance Scheme. A number of schemes are already in existence, others are planned. However because the implementing regulations have still not yet been published none of them can give any real indication of what the registration costs and financial obligations will be. At this stage therefore it is probably worthwhile holding back from joining a scheme until there is more information on likely costs.
What we can be almost certain of is that "producers", be they manufacturers, importers, or brand owners will have to provide when registering. The weight and number of products placed on the UK market during the previous year. Supplying this data will be compulsory, and it will have to be split into one of two categories, Business to Consumer sales and Business to Business sales. Whilst we do not have any detailed knowledge of any forthcoming regulations we can be sure the arrangements for Business to Consumer products will be different to those for Business to Business products. There is a memo and simple survey form enclosed with this edition of Weighlog which should give you some idea of the data you will need to supply at the time of registration. As soon as there is any news on the regulations we will bring it to you; so check the UKWF web-site regularly for updates.
Measuring Instruments Directive
Its almost here! The Directive comes into operation throughout the EU on 30th October 2006. For the weighing industry this means that all types of automatic weighing instruments currently controlled by national legislation will, from that date, be subject to the implementing regulations. However instruments that are currently in use will continue to be controlled by the national regulations although no new types of equipment can be approved to those regulations after 30th October. Existing national type approvals will continue in force until their normal expiry date but they will not give access to those EU markets where they are not in effect at the moment.
The UK implementing regulations are now available, they are:
The Measuring Instruments (Automatic
Discontinuous Totalisers) Regulations 2006
The Measuring Instruments (Automatic Rail-
weighbridges) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/1256
The Measuring Instruments (Automatic
Catchweighers) Regulations 2006
The Measuring Instruments (Automatic
Gravimetric Filling Instruments) Regulations
2006 SI 2006/1258
The Measuring Instruments (Beltweighers)
Regulations 2006 SI 2006/1259
They can be downloaded from the Office of Public Sector Information website at
NWML leaflets giving basic information on the impact of the regulations should be available from their website at
More information for members will be available at the Southern Regional Meeting in October.
Packaged Goods Regulations
New Packaged Goods regulations simplifying and tidying up the implementation of the "Average Quantity" Directive came into effect in April 2006, although the old requirements, which were contained in Part V of the 1985 Weights and Measures Act will run alongside them for 12 months to give packers the opportunity to change their processes at a reasonable pace.
The new regulations are indeed simpler than their forerunners. The three Packers rules regarding average quantity allowed minor deficiencies and prohibited major deficiencies are now very clearly spelled out. Also the requirements on the types of weighing or measuring equipment that can be used for making up packages has also been simplified; all the regulations now require is that the packer uses "suitable equipment". This provision still requires the use of type approved and verified equipment but it now allows greater scope of the type of equipment.
One point of confusion has arisen; do packers who use weighing or measuring checking equipment to check packages after packing need to use type approved and verified equipment to do this? The answer is no. They can use type approved and verified equipment if they want, but there is no legal obligation to do so, as checking packages does not come under the definition of Use for Trade in the Weights and Measures Act nor is it a controlled application under the NAWI Directive or the MID.
The regulations can be downloaded from http:// www.opsi.gov.uk//stat.htm and Guidance Notes should be available from the DTI web-site, although the site is currently being revamped and access is difficult at the moment.
In case of doubt it should be appreciated that weighing or measuring equipment that was considered suitable under the previous legislation will also be considered as suitable under these regulations, though certain software packages that calculated the various statistical data needed to demonstrate compliance with the requirements may need to be modified.
1 Mar 2006 Measuring Instruments Directive
At the time of writing this we are still waiting for the final Regulations that will bring the MID into effect on 30th October this year. The Regulations will not only set out the technical requirements that automatic weighing instruments will have to meet (non-automatic instruments are not affected) they will also put the mechanism in place for appointing the Notified Bodies for Type Approval and Verification.
We can be certain that NWML will be notified for Type Approval, but it is by no means clear which Trading Standards Departments will want to take on the role of verifiers. Not all TSDs are notified as verifiers under the NAWI Directive and that causes problems for Members and their customers in some areas. It is likely that even fewer TSDs will want to be notified under the MID, we will have to wait and see. But don't be surprised if you find yourself going down the road of becoming a "self-verifier" simply in order to be able to give your customers the service they need.
We had expected to be able to bring you details of how the WEEE Directive was operating, and what your obligations and responsibilities were regarding registration, fees, compliance schemes etc in this issue of Weighlog. Sadly we cannot do that. Despite the fact that the Directive should have come into effect in the UK two years ago, there is still no firm date for the regulations to be issued. After a lot of consultation, arguments, disagreement and confusion, the Government announced that they were going to go back to the drawing board and rethink the whole implementation. When we can we expect the Regulations? Your guess is as good as ours; DTI tell us that they hope to go out to consultation with draft Regulations shortly. We'll see! As soon as there is some news we will let you know.
Medical Devices Directive
Some Members have recently been advised by their ISO 9001 certification body that because they are supplying medical weighing equipment they need to be assessed under the Medical Devices Directive as well as ISO 9001 and the NAWI Directive. The Federation disputed this; our reading of the MDD was that Members assessed to the NAWI Directive did not require any additional certification under the MDD. The question was raised at the recent joint meeting of the certification bodies and NWML which the Federation also attends. NWML agreed to take the matter up with the appropriate authorities and we now understand they have indicated that the Federation view is the correct one. A copy of the formal response will be posted on the Federation web-site as soon as it is available.
16 Dec 2005 WEEE and RoHS Directives
It's rather sad and disappointing that in this time of environmental concern and worry about the sustainability of the earth's resources that the implementation of two such important pieces of legislation as the WEEE and RoHS Directives has been plagued by problems.
We now finally have the Regulations implementing the RoHS (Removal of Hazardous Substances from Electronic and Electrical Equipment) Directive and what's more some Guidance Notes from the DTI to explain them. The Regulations come into effect next year and anyone who thinks they may be affected can download a copy of them from http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20052748.htm
Copies of the Guidance Notes can be downloaded from: http://www.dti.gov.uk/sustainability/weee/RoHS_regs_Draft_Guidance_3_August2005.pdf
Measuring Instruments Directive
On 22nd August, NWML published the draft regulations that will implement the MID. In line with their original proposals and the positive comments received to the original consultation document they issued 11 sets of draft regulations in all. Five of these related directly to automatic weighing instruments, and one set dealt with all those measuring instruments included in the MID but which NWML do not propose to regulate; automatic checkweighers being one of those classes of instrument.
The regulations cover all the aspects of the MID and the in-service use provisions that apply once the equipment has been placed on the market and taken into service.
The Federation made a number of comments about the draft regulations before the consultation period closed on 14th November. The situation whereby initial verification can only be carried out by the "manufacturer" will prevail but we asked for the regulations to be amended so that any UKWF member who is able to be certified to carry out re-verification of existing equipment under the National Type Approval will still be able to do so under these regulations. We also commented adversely that we disagreed with the provision in the regulations that would allow Trading Standards Departments to set the fees for re-verification, including re-verification by the industry. (To be fair we don't think this was ever the real intention of the regulations but it just shows how carefully these things have to be read when making comments.)
NWML and their lawyers will now consider all the comments they have received, make any necessary amendments to the drafts and then present them to the Government for adoption.
The intention is that the regulations will be in place by 30th April 2006. NWML will also be taking steps to make sure that the Notified Bodies for Type Approval, Design Examination, Initial Verification and Quality Assessment are all in place so that manufacturers and others can ensure that they have everything in place for 30th October next year when the Directive finally becomes effective. Whilst measuring equipment which has National Type Approval will still be able to be produced and verified as long as its National Type Approval remains in force, there is no doubt that manufacturers and others will want to take advantage of the marketing opportunities that the MID will give them and will therefore want to have equipment available from day one of the new regime.
Once the regulations are finalised we will explore the possibility of holding a one-day seminar, with NWML, on the effect of the regulations and how members can get their approvals and accreditations in place to be ready for 30th October.
Self-Verification under the NAWI Directive
We reported in the Supplement to the July issue of Weighlog on the situation regarding "self-verification" and the problems being experienced with the definition of "manufacturer". There have been no further developments since that report, though we have contacted the European Commission to see if they can either modify the Directive or publish guidance to ensure that the widest possible interpretation is given to the term. NWML tell us that no amendments can be made to the NAWI Regulations until the MID Implementation regulations are completed, but we will continue to remind them of the problem and make sure it stays high on their agenda.
In the meantime if you find that the new approach being adopted by the Notified Bodies is causing you difficulties or you want to give us examples of what problems this is causing you in your day to day business please contact the Secretariat. Your details will remain confidential, but the information you give us will help the cause.
25 Jul 2005 WEEE and RoHS Directives
There is still no firm news on the implementing legislation for these two Directives. The WEEE Directive should be in effect from 13th August this year, but without the Regulations that is not going to happen. The best estimate at the moment is that the legislation will be in place for implementation of the Directive in January 2006. All we can advise for the time being is that Members who are "producers" under the Directive should start to gather together the data they will need for registration, i.e. the number of items and the weight of those items that they placed on the UK market in 2004 and 2005.
Registration costs are still not clear, but "producers" can expect to pay between £350 and £750 depending upon whether they register through a Compliance Scheme or as an individual company. What the ongoing costs will be is anyone's guess at the moment. We will do our best to keep you up to date.
The RoHS Directive is not due to become effective until 1st July 2006. Here, at least, the picture is a little clearer. Many but not all of the categories of electrical/electronic equipment covered by the WEEE Directive are also covered by the RoHS Directive and for some time the Federation has been seeking for a clear statement from Government in relation to weighing instruments. As Members may know, NWML has been chosen as the organisation to enforce the RoHS Directive and so the Federation took the opportunity to ask for their opinion on the scope of the Directive in respect of weighing instruments. Their reply was as follows:
"We have spoken with DTI and looked at carefully the applicability of RoHS regulations to weighing instruments. Our view is:
- Scales and weighing machines used in a domestic environment (for example, kitchen and bathroom scales) are covered by the regulations and must comply
- Stand alone weighing instruments or primary function weighing instruments/machines used for trade or Schedule 3 applications in a professional environment will normally be considered Category 9 and therefore exempt.
- Medical weighing instruments are Category 8 and therefore exempt
- Weighing instruments that are included in a larger system which has a primary function other than weighing that fits within another Category within the regulations (for example, an EPOS as IT and data control equipment) are included within the scope of the regulations and must comply."
If there is any change in this view, or further guidance from NWML we will let you know.
Measuring Instruments Directive
At the time of writing there is no sign of the draft Regulations to implement the Measuring Instruments Directive. There is no need to panic just yet, NWML still has time to get the Regulations out for comment, and once they are issued we will let you know. Implementation date will be 30th October 2006, which will mean that from that date automatic weighing machines having a European Type Approval will be legal for use anywhere within the European Economic Area including the UK. Members who are interested in exporting equipment to the rest of Europe, or importing equipment from manufacturers outside the UK should now be thinking about how to take advantage of the new opportunities that will be available to them from October next year.
Modernising Metrology Enforcement
The DTI study on modernizing Weights and Measures enforcement is now drawing to a close. Dudley Guest, the Project Manager has just circulated his draft report and subject to final comments it will be published in September.
The Report highlights the lack of consistency in metrology enforcement across the UK. The key to consistency is, in the words of the Report, Communication, Co-ordination and Co-operation, and the report makes a number of wide ranging Recommendations to improve these aspects. In dealing with the weighing industry the Report recommends:
that at - National level, a working party be established under the direction of the central organisation to examine the potential for closer co-operation between trading standards and trade and business organisations, with a remit to report and recommend before the end of 2007.
Regional level, metrology groups should include in their work programs for 2006/07 project and other work to test and progress ways of achieving closer working with the trade and alternative methods of business inspection.
Local level, current examples and methods of co-operation should be more fully documented and reported to their regional chairs for onward reporting to the national working party.
In many ways the Report complements the Hampton Report which was recently adopted by the Government. Hampton recommended the establishment of a Consumer and Trading Standards Agency, comprising of the NWML, the consumer activities of OFT, The British Hallmarking Council and the Hearing Aid Council, and the Chancellor stated in his Budget speech that the Agency would be set up and working by 2009. Many of the functions of that Agency are foreseen in the Recommendations of the Modernising Metrology Report and hopefully the new Agency will be the vehicle for their adoption.
We unfortunately do not have time to circulate the draft Report before the closing date for comments on 28th July, but if you wish to add anything to any earlier comments you made please e-mail Dudley Guest at . We will of course be submitting a Federation view on the draft Report.
Self -Verification under the NAWI Directive
The situation over "self-verification" under the NAWI Directive is becoming clearer, although sadly it is not turning out the way we would like. You may remember we explained the problem in some detail in the March issue of Weighlog, but let's just recap on it.
Under the NAWI Directive there are three options for "verification"; the traditional verification by a Trading Standards Officer (if you can find one that is authorised to do it!), unit verification where the verification and the Type Approval are combined (available for unique installations and one-off systems, only one or two such verifications have been made since the Directive came into force in January 1993) and "self-verification" available for manufacturers with a quality system accredited by a Notified Body. (The correct name for this is "EC Declaration of Type Conformity (guarantee of production quality)" but we will use "self-verification" or "SV" as shorthand).
The Directive makes it clear that only the manufacturer can be accredited to self-verify. The manufacturer can allow others to operate under his accreditation but they must follow his procedures, meet all the requirements of his accreditation, and work under his control as far as verification is concerned.
Over the years a number of UKWF Members have been accredited to carry out SV and have been allowed by the Notified Bodies to include in the scope of their accreditation weighing equipment manufactured by others. The Notified Bodies have now realised that they went further than they should have in allowing this and that they had no legal authority to do what they did. As a result a number of Members are now facing the prospect of having the scope of their accreditation reduced by the removal of any equipment that they are not the manufacturer of from the list of equipment that they are allowed to verify.
So who or what is the manufacturer? This was the subject of a meeting between NWML, the Notified Bodies and the UKWF last month. In general terms the meeting agreed, after a long and intense discussion that the manufacturer is:
The organisation that undertakes the physical task of making or manufacturing an instrument, or
The organisation that places an instrument on the market under its own name and takes legal responsibility for the item. (In this case the organisation must have some level of control of the manufacturing process).
In order to help understand who is or is not a manufacturer, NWML have published a document with the title "Guidance on the Designation of Manufacturers". This Guidance, together with a flow chart type decision tree is available on the UKWF web-site. Members are encouraged to use the Guidance and the flow chart to see how they are affected by the definition of manufacturer, and to contact the Federation if they have any questions.
These are some examples that might help.
A distributor or dealer who buys in a complete self contained weighing machine (e.g. a retail counter scale or a bench scale) from a supplier cannot be regarded as the manufacturer of that machine even if he marks it with his own brand name, because he has no level of control over the manufacturing process.
A distributor buys in a self contained weighing machine from a supplier and then modifies it in such a way that it is now a "different" machine from the one he originally purchased, e.g. he adds another load receptor or incorporates the machine into another system. He can be regarded as the manufacturer if he marks the machine with his own name and issues an EC Declaration of Conformity for the "new" machine or system.
A dealer buys in an indicator and load cells. He then has a bottomwork built, - it may be anything from a small platform to a weighbridge- and incorporates the load cells into it and connects it to the indicator. The dealer is the manufacturer. He must put his name on the machine and issue the EC Declaration of Conformity.
So where do we go from here? The Federation is acting on two fronts. Firstly we have asked NWML to introduce amendments to the existing Regulations as a matter of urgency. Whilst NWML cannot do anything that is not permitted by the Directive and therefore cannot allow organisations that are not manufacturers to carry out self-verification on new machines, they can, with an amendment to the Regulations, allow installers, dealers and repairers to carry out re-verification after the machines have been placed on the market and taken into service. NWML have indicated that they are sympathetic to this and will explore how quickly the amendments can be introduced, although they are committed to dealing with all the necessary legislation to implement the Measuring Instruments Directive as their first priority.
Secondly, through CECIP the Federation is contacting the European Commission to see if it is possible to get the Directive modified. CECIP raised the question about the definition of manufacturer at the last WELMEC Working Group 2 meeting in June. The Commission were represented at the meeting, and advised CECIP to write to the Commission Group that is currently looking at how Directives are implemented. The Commission representative also said that it was time that the NAWI Directive was reviewed, as it is now 15 years old, and that this topic could form part of that review. Any such review is however likely to be a long process.
Both NWML and the Notified Bodies are aware of the problems that this change of interpretation will cause for UKWF Members. They are committed to adopting as wide a definition of manufacturer as they possibly can whilst staying within the limits set down in the Directive, and they will deal with all questions and queries as sympathetically as possible. The Federation will continue to work towards getting the facility to carry out verification available to as many Members as possible. It will however take time. Please bear with us; this will be at the top of our agenda until it is resolved.
National Measurement Office - December 2013 Newsletter
NMO Section 70 Returns Published
New Version of R1069 Published
Changes to Weights and Measures Law with regard to cosmetics.
Changes to chapters 41 and 1251 of the United States Pharmacopeia
New draft of the Blue Guide
A new guidance on Measuring Container Bottles.
July version of the OIML Bulletin.
The NMO have issued the market surveillance report on a range of instruments.
The NMO have issued an updated guidance for the re-verification of equipment using a crown stamp.
The latest version of the National Measurement News
The affixing of the last two digits of the year in which the CE marking was affixed
The NMO is looking for additonal comments on the OIML R50 Consultation
Government Response on the consultation on Consumer Rights
UKWF Update relating to EN45501 and Existing Type Approvals
Establishing a new partnership for the National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
Latest Bulletin from OIML (The International Organisation of Legal Metrology)
The latest news article, published from the NMO (National Measurement Office)