The NIST Office of Weights and Measures (OWM) provides documentary standards and services for legal metrology – the practice and process of applying regulatory structure and laws enforcement to metrology. This is directly aligned with our activities as the National Metrology Institute (NMI) for the U.S. to advance measurement science, standards, and technology and promote equitable standards worldwide, as well as our NIST mission to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness to enhance economic security.
Nearly 50 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product is impacted by the sales of products and services based on weights or measures. Our staff works with a range of industry sectors -- such as the retail food sales, petroleum and chemical products, and transportation, including emerging commercial market sectors such as charging of electric vehicles and e-commerce. We promote SI use and traceability, promote and deliver documentary standards, develop technical guidance for legal metrology, and provide training for laboratory metrologists and weights and measures officials.
OWM Programs aim to ensure consumers get what they pay for, and sellers get fair payment for the goods and services they sell based on weight or measure through a uniform measurement infrastructure. This, in turn, promotes consumer confidence and helps ensure fair competition spanning local business operations to commerce on a global scale. Join OWM in celebrating Weights and Measures Week from March 1 to 7.
Originally established in 1836 as the “Office of Construction of Standard Weights and Measures”, OWM also remains the oldest office at NIST. For more information, see A Brief History of OWM.