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European Union and USA to measure together

An agreement on the mutual acceptance of product and process-related measurements was signed in Brussels on 5 October 1999 by the Director-General for Research Jorma Routti and the Director of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Ray Kammer.

This new a...
An agreement on the mutual acceptance of product and process-related measurements was signed in Brussels on 5 October 1999 by the Director-General for Research Jorma Routti and the Director of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Ray Kammer.

This new agreement is a major step toward eliminating redundant product testing and other technical obstacles that can impede the flow of goods between the world's largest trading partners. The 'Implementing Arrangement for Cooperation in the Fields of Metrology and Measurement standards' will lead to a transatlantic system for assessing measurement equivalence, allowing regulators in the United States and Europe to determine whether imported products meet the importing country's requirements, without additional testing.

An 18-month study preceded the agreement which involved NIST, national metrology institutes (NMI's) in Europe, and more than 70 regulatory agencies in 18 nations. Researchers compared the capabilities of NIST and the other NMI's in performing measurements critical to securing regulatory approval of products in five of the six categories included in the agreement.

This agreement is one step in the implementation of the EU-US Science and Technological Cooperation Agreement (MRA), which entered into force in October 1998.

Measurement standards are crucial to the health and safety of citizens and commercial needs. In today's world there is an ever-increasing demand for new measurements, greater accuracy, improved reliability, faster results and lower costs. Alongside the scientific and technical requirements there is a need to build confidence in each other's capacity to measure. It is expected the cooperation agreement will go a long way towards achieving these aims.

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