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India can now issue OIML certificates: What this means, its significance

India has become an OIML certificate-issuing authority, the Union Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said Thursday. Addressing a press conference, Singh said that the Legal Metrology Division, Department of Consumer Affairs, is now authorised to issue OIML certificates.

What is the OIML?

The OIML stands for International Organisation of Legal Metrology. Established in 1955 and headquartered in Paris, the OIML is an international standard-setting body. It develops model regulations, standards and related documents for use by legal metrology authorities and industry.

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It plays a crucial role in harmonising national laws and regulations on the performance of measuring instruments like clinical thermometers, alcohol breath analysers, radar speed measuring instruments, ship tanks found at ports, and petrol dispensing units.

When did India become a member of the OIML?

India became a member of the OIML in 1956. In the same year, India signed the metric convention.

What is the OIML certificate?

The OIML-CS is a system for issuing, registering and using OIML certificates, and their associated OIML type evaluation/test reports, for instruments like digital balance, clinical thermometers, etc. With the addition of India, the number of countries authorised to issue OIML certificates has increased to 13.

Elaborating on the OIML certificate, Singh said, “It is a single certificate accepted worldwide. For example, suppose there is an equipment-manufacturer making digital balances in Noida, and he wants to export to America or to any other country. Earlier, he would be required to go to one of the 12 other countries for certification. Now, the certificates can be issued in India and the equipment will be exportable, acceptable to the entire world.”

When did India apply to become an issuing authority?

India applied to become an OIML certificate-issuing authority in March 2023.

How will this help the Indian economy?

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The move is expected to help the Indian economy in several ways, including an increase in exports, earning of foreign exchange, and generation of employment.

“Since only 13 countries are authorised, neighboring countries and manufacturers can come to India to get their certification done. So it will be a revenue earner for us in terms of foreign exchange. And it will also generate employment. We have already been approached by manufacturers in many countries. We are also thinking of creating a special unit within our ministry to facilitate this, as a big foreign exchange earner, and also getting on to the international stage in this domain,” Singh said.

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Besides, it will help in reducing redundancy and saving resources.

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