Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Transition should take longer for labelling measurements

The European Commission has proposed extending until the end of 2009 the transitional period during which units of measurement in Europe can be indicated not only in
accordance with the metric system but also in other units.

Directive 80/181/EEC harmonised the utilisation of ...
The European Commission has proposed extending until the end of 2009 the transitional period during which units of measurement in Europe can be indicated not only in
accordance with the metric system but also in other units.

Directive 80/181/EEC harmonised the utilisation of units of measurement in the EU, and, with the exception of certain areas (such as air and sea transport in all Member States, and the indication of distances and draught beer in the United Kingdom and Ireland) the metric system alone must be used.

For a transitional period, however, running until the end of 1999, other units (such as American pounds and inches) could be indicated in addition to the metric units. But both European and American firms now fear that, after the end of the transitional period - that is from the year 2000 - they would have to arrange for different labels, if they wanted to market goods in both the European and American markets.

As this could entail additional costs and problems, the Commission is proposing to extend the transitional period by ten years to the end of 2009. It hopes that, by then, the USA will have followed the other industrialised countries and have adopted the metric system for all major units of measurement.
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