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Metric Program

The Metric Program helps implement the national policy to establish the SI (International System of Units, commonly known as the metric system) as the preferred system of weights and measures for U.S. trade and commerce. It 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 Metric Program is focused on increasing the International System of Units (SI) use in:

Trade and Commerce

Because of the importance of the SI (metric system) as an international standard, its use in product design, manufacturing, marketing, and labeling is essential for U.S. industry's success in the global marketplace. The NIST metric program encourages the use of the SI in all facets of education, including honing of worker skills.

All Levels of Government

The Metric Program coordinates metric transition activities under the Metric Conversion Act, including transition of all federal agencies (Executive Order 12770). U.S. metric legislation and policy authorizes 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.

In collaboration, NOAA and NIST are preparing to discontinue the use of the U.S. survey foot and adopt the international survey foot in a move towards more precise positioning in surveying, mapping, and engineering is a practical solution to a long-term problem. Ending this will eliminate confusion and unnecessary costs. Improved measurement uniformity and accuracy will benefit stakeholders, including the States and professionals in the surveying, mapping, and engineering fields. NOAA National Geodetic Survey (NGS) has long used the meter as its official unit of measurement and this will not change. Currently, both the international foot and U.S. survey foot are based on the meter, and in fact all U.S. customary units are based on the International System of Units (SI).

Everyday Life within the United States

Progress toward greater use of the SI (metric system) continues in the United States. Learn more about everyday use of metric measurements.



5841 Mass Metrology Seminar

Mon, Apr 10 - Fri, Apr 21 2023
The Mass Metrology Seminar is a two-week, "hands-on" seminar. It incorporates approximately 30 percent lectures and 70


Press Coverage

The Deprecation of the US Survey Foot

The American Surveyor
Some of you know about the deprecation of the U.S. survey foot already, and some may be asking “What the heck is deprecation?” So let’s start with a definition


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