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Laws and Metric Program

Welcome

Laws and Regulations

The group provides technical information, assistance, and training in the areas of packaging and labeling, methods of sale, uniform laws on legal metrology, net quantity of contents, price verification and engine fuel quality. The group collaborates with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other agencies to ensure uniform interpretations and enforcement of packaging and labeling, net content laws and other regulations including those issued under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA, 15 U.S.C. § 1451-1461).

Handbooks and International Recommendations

The group's technical staff serve as editors of NIST Handbook 130 "Uniform Laws and Regulations in the Areas of Legal Metrology and Engine Fuels Quality" and NIST Handbook 133 "Checking the Net Contents of Packaged Goods." The staff serve as technical advisors to the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) Laws and Regulations Committee and its Fuel and Lubricants Subcommittee and as the U.S. representative to Technical Committee 6 (TC6) "Prepackaged Products" of the Organization for International Legal Metrology (OIML).

Metric System

The group has a Metric Program that helps implement the national policy to establish the SI (International System of Units, commonly known as the metric system) under the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 (15 U.S.C. 205a-2051) and Presidential Executive Order 12770. In 1988, Congress declared that the SI is the preferred system of weights and measures for trade and commerce. The group provides leadership and assistance on SI use and conversion to federal agencies, state and local governments, businesses, trade association, standards development organizations, educators, and the general public.

The NIST Metric Program works with private sector organizations, such as the U.S. Metric Association (USMA), sharing a wide variety of SI information and metric transition activities.

Highlights

Unit Pricing Labels Working Group

The NIST Office of Weights and Measures (OWM) is seeking volunteers to participate in a workgroup that will develop industry best practice guidelines to improve the accuracy and usability of unit pricing information offered on retail store shelves. The workgroup will convene as needed through the use of online web meetings and will include representatives from industry and trade associations, weights and measures officials, consumers and consumer groups, and other key stakeholders. OWM is planning to begin the meetings in late March, 2012. To Learn More contact David Sefcik (david.sefcik@nist.gov, 301-975-4868)

Webinars

Two new training Webinars have been added as education resources.

First one is on "Good Quality Control Practices" taken from NIST HB 130, "Uniform Laws and Regulations". This is a recording of a presentation that was given to the members of the National Fisheries Institute.

The second one is on "Ensuring Accurate Net Weights in Retail Stores". This is a recording of a presentation that was provided to the members of the Food Marketing Institute.