The Office of Weights and Measures promotes uniformity in U.S. weights and measures laws, regulations, and standards to achieve equity between buyers and sellers in the marketplace. This enhances consumer confidence, enables U.S. businesses to compete fairly at home and abroad, and strengthens the U.S. economy.
OWM partners with the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM), an organization of State and local weights and measures officials and representatives of business, industry, consumer groups, and Federal agencies, to develop U.S. standards in the form of uniform laws, regulations, and methods of practice. OWM serves as the U.S. representative to the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) to bring efficiency and cost savings to U.S. manufacturers and other stakeholders doing business overseas, through the promotion of harmonized international standards and regulatory practices.
OWM ensures traceability of state weights and measures standards to the SI; develops procedures for legal metrology tests and inspections, and conducts training for laboratory metrologists and weights and measures officials. OWM provides guidance on the model weights and measures laws and regulations adopted by the NCWM and coordinates the development and publication of key NCWM publications.
It is estimated that sales of products or services impacted by weights and measures laws in the United States represent approximately 50 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Industry sectors potentially affected by the decisions of the NCWM include retail food sales, other retail sales, petroleum products, transportation, and chemicals.
The NIST Office of Weights and Measures analyzes weights and measures training needs, obtains input from the weights and measures community, designs and delivers training for laboratory metrologists and weights and measures officials, measures the impact and effectiveness of training to ensure ongoing continual improvement, and consults with the weights and measures community to ensure ongoing professional development.