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woman-worldMetric Policy Resources

The Metric Program coordinates metric transition activities under the Metric Conversion Law (View the current one by searching for the terms: Metric Conversion Act, Metric System or Weights and Measures.), including transition of all federal agencies (Executive Order 12770). U.S. metric legislation and policy authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to direct and coordinate the federal agency metric transition and to assess progress. Federal agencies implement formal policy and plans for using the SI (metric system) and report transition progress. The use of the SI in federal agency programs relating to trade, industry, and commerce is intended to support industry's voluntary adoption of the SI.

U.S. Metric System (SI) Legal Resources

Diplomatic Treaties

The Convention of the Meter Signed in Paris in May 20, 1875 by seventeen countries, including the United States. May 20th is now celebrated as "World Metrology Day"


Federal Policies and Regulations

Federal Agency Metric Transition

The Executive Order and the Metric Conversion Law designates the SI (metric system) of measurement as the preferred system of weights and measures for use in trade and commerce, and requires the use of the SI system, to the extent economically feasible, by each federal agency and department in its procurements, grants, and other business-related activities. Metric usage is not required if its use is impractical or is likely to cause significant inefficiencies or loss of markets to United States firms. Guidance on implementation of Federal Government Metric Conversion Policy can be found in NIST SP 814.

Federal agencies and departments are required to formulate transition plans and to communicate them to the Metric Program at NIST. Heads of departments and agencies must establish effective process for a policy and program level review of proposed exceptions to metric usage, as well as to take initiatives to increase use of SI in industry, and seek out ways to increase understanding of the metric system of measurement through educational information and guidance and in government publications.

Progress Reports

Guidelines for Preparation of Simplified Annual Metric Reports (FY2015) DOCX PDF - Deadline: May 1, 2016

Guidelines for Preparation of Simplified Annual Metric Reports (FY2014) DOCX PDF - Deadline: May 1, 2015



Examples of Federal Agency Metric Policy Implementation

Acquisition and Assistance Policy

Veteran Affairs

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"No contract or dealing or pleading in any court, shall be deemed invalid or liable to objection because the weights or measures expressed or referred to therein are weight and measures of the metric system."

The Metric Act of 1866 - United States Congress