Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

OWM Responsibilities and Authorities

As part of NIST and the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Office of Weights and Measures (OWM) has numerous responsibilities and authorities under Treaties, Laws, and Presidential Executive Orders that clearly define What We Do and Who Are Our Customers and Stakeholders.

Since 1836, OWM has been an integral part of the development of a national uniform system of weights and measures laws, regulations, and standards in the U.S., and is currently designated within the NIST Organic Act. These uniform standards are subsequently adopted, implemented, and regulated by the U.S. states and other local jurisdictions to ultimately achieve equity in the marketplace for consumers and businesses alike. OWM has also represented the U.S. legal metrology system in the international metrology community since the U.S. Senate ratified the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) Treaty in 1972. Through the Metric Conversion Act (1975) and Presidential Executive Order (EO) 12770 (1991), OWM is required to work with state and local governments and the general public to increase a better understanding and use of the metric system. OWM also works with the other regulatory federal agencies under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) in the areas of package labeling and net quantity of contents.


Created March 12, 2023, Updated June 5, 2023