(Federal state made up of 10 provinces and 2 territories)
Surface Area: 9 922 330 km2
Population: 27 000 000


The main Federal acts governing metrology are the:

The government bodies responsible for the application of these acts (all part of the Department of Industry) update and publish regulations which have legal force. These regulations are entitled the

1.1 Legal requirement for traceability

The concept of legal metrology is outlined in the British North America Act 1867, which provides the framework for present legislation and regulations.


The legal units of measurement in Canada are based on the International System of Units (SI) established by the General Conference of weights and Measures.

The basic units of measurement and supplementary and derived units, along with their symbols, are listed and described in Parts I, II and III of Schedule I of the weights and Measures Act.

In addition to the SI units, other customary units of measurement may also be used in Canada: Canadian units of measurement (Imperial System) and units of measurement to describe certain land in Quebec, found in Schedule II and III of the weights and Measures Act.


3.1 National organisation for legal metrology

The authority for legal metrology in Canada is:

Legal Metrology Branch

Industry Canada

301 Laurier Avenue West
5th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A OC9
Telephone No:       (613) 952-2625 (weights and Measures)  
                                               (613) 952-0635 (Electricity and Gas)
Fax No:                         (613) 952-1736

The national organization for legal metrology, the Legal Metrology Branch of Industry Canada, has 2 main components: weights and Measures and Electricity and Gas. Both have exclusive federal jurisdiction.

Weights and Measures is responsible for the enforcement of legislation to minimize inaccurate measurement and inequity in the trade of goods and services provided on the basis of measurement. It defines units of measurement to be used in trade, calibrates and certifies measurement standards, examines and approves prototype weighing and measuring machines, and through a field inspection program, certifies test equipment used by industry and government, verifies the accuracy and appropriate usage of weighing and measuring devices used in trade, verifies the net quantity of commodities sold on the basis of measure and resolves complaints from consumers.

Electricity and Gas is responsible for the enforcement of legislation to minimize inaccurate measurement and to ensure equity in the trade of electricity and natural gas. It defines units for energy measurement, establishes specifications for measurement devices and meter performance and use, calibrates and certifies measurement standards used by industry and government, examines and approves prototype meters, verifies meter performance prior to use, periodically reverifies meter performance, performs on-site verification of complex measuring systems, and maintains an accreditation program based on quality assurance principles for private meter verifiers. It also investigates and arbitrates disputes between the buyers and sellers of electricity and gas.

3.2 Custodian of national measuring standards

National standards are kept and maintained by:

National Research Council of Canada (NRC)

Montreal Road Ottawa, Ontario

Division of Physics

3.3 National organization responsible for maintaining reference standards

The reference standards and other standards of measurement that are kept in the Legal Metrology Branch of the Department of Industry for the purpose of determining the accuracy of local standards used by inspectors, are calibrated and certified by the National Research Council.

3.4 Regional and local verification organizations

Regioltal and Local Verification Services:

Each office is responsible for ensuring compliance with metrology acts and regulations for their particular geographical area.

3.5 Instrument calibration and evaluation systems

Only the Department of 1ndustry, through its Legal Metrology Branch has the power in Canada to issue official certificates of calibration and inspection for measuring instruments used in trade. However, the National Research Council of Canada may undertake the evaluation and calibration of measuring instruments other than those used in trade, in particular instruments used in scientific laboratories.


All devices measuring weight, volume, length and area, and electricity and natural gas meters that are used in commercial transactions are subject to legal control.


5.l Legal and technical requirements for type approval

Legal Metrology Branch, Industry Canada, is responsible for evaluating whether the design, composition, construction and performance of weighing and measuring devices intended for trade use comply with legislated requirements. Compliance with these requirements is intended to ensure a population of measurement devices that is reasonably accurate under conditions of normal use and to minimize the possibility of fraudulent usage.

Legal Metrology Branch carries out this responsibility by examining the designs of weighing and measuring devices and by testing sample devices. Once a device type has been approved, Legal Metrology Branch issues a Notice of Approval that bears an approval number. Production devices of an approved type must be marked with their approval number and must be initially verified before being sold or put into service for trade applications. The marking of the approval number on a production device is the primary indication to inspectors appointed under the weights and Measures Act and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and to users th3t the device is of an 3pproved model for use in trade.

Approval requirements are found in the following Legal Metrology Branch documents:

(a)   Documents published under the authority of the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act 

         LMB-EG-07     Specifications for the Approval of Type of Electricity Meters,
                                     Instrument Transformers, and Auxiliary Devices

         LMB-EG-08     Specifications for the Approval of Type of Gas Meters and Auxiliary  
                                     Devices and
Documents published under the authority of the weights and Measures Inspection  

The weights and Measures Regulations

The weights and Measures Ministerial Specifications

Sale Systems)

which SGM-1and SGM-2 apply

Metering Assemblies

Temperature Compensators

The weights and Measures Laboratory Procedures Manuals

5.2 Authority responsible for issuing type approvals

Under the weights and Measures Act and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act, the Minister of Industry is the authority responsible for issuing Notices of Approval, This authority is delegated to the respective Directors of Legal Metrology Branch's Weights Measures Division and Electricity and Gas Division and in the case of and Measures, this authority is further delegated to the Manager of the weights and Measures Laboratories.

5.3 Recognition/acceptance of OIML or other countries' certificates

Canada has negotiated mutual recognition of device type approval with the United States via the weights and Measures Division of LMB. This agreement allows the staff of approval laboratories in either country to perform type evaluations to the common and unique requirements of both countries. On the basis of the test results, each country issues its own approval certificate. The initial scope of the agreement covers electronic non computing scales and separate weighing elements with capacities up to 500 kg, and separate electronic indicating elements.

LMB's Electricity and Gas Division is drafting a framework document which will outline the conditions under which approval of type certificates issued by other countries could be recognized in Canada. Electricity and Gas accepts calibration certificates for high-pressure

high-flow gas meters from certain US. facilities as well as from the Netherlands Metrological Institute.

Due to differences between OIML and Canadian approval requirements and procedures and the desire to enter into bilateral and multilateral mutual recognition agreements, Canada does not recognize OIML certificates.

5.4 Authority responsible for testing for type approval

The Legal Metrology Branch, Industry Canada, is the authority responsible for testing for type approvals.

5.5 List of major test facilities available

5.5.1 Facilities operated in support of the weights and Measures Act:

Projected facilities

5.5.2 Facilities in support of the Electricity and Gas Act

5.6 Fe e structure

5.6.1 weights and Measures Act

There is an hourly based fee for approval examination and administration related to approval activities. In addition, there are charges for the use of equipment such as volumetric provers or weight trucks when tests are performed on site. The fees and charges for type approval are found in Part IV of the weights and Measures Regulations.

The cost of type evaluations varies with the type of device and the extent of testing required.

A typical laboratory test for a simple device requires approximately 40 hours of labour and costs C$2,500 to C$3,000. For some complex devices the total time charged may reach 200 hours.

5.6.2 Electricity and Gas Act

The approval evaluation process involves the conformance evaluation of one or more meters of a particular type or pattern in accordance with the pattern approval specifications. Sample meters are subjected to comprehensive testing throughout their measuring ranges and at the conditions which simulate the environment in which they are intended to operate. Conformance evaluation fees are levied on an hourly basis. The current rate is C$25 per half hour.


6. 1 Legal and technical requirements fo r verification and reverification

6.1.1 weights and Measures Act

Unless exempted by the weights and Measures Regulations, a weighing or measuring device intended to be used in trade must be of an approved type and, prior to being sold, must be initially verified by a Weights and Measures inspector. The device must operate within the appropriate limits of error as prescribed by the weights and Measures Regulations or Ministerial Specifications. Devices (such as vehicle scales) that need to be installed before an inspection can be performed are verified on site. Others are required to be inspected at the dealer's or manufacturers' premises before they are delivered to customers.

6.1.2 Electricity and Gas Inspection Act Initial verification of meters

Before any electricity measuring or gas measuring meter may be placed in service for trade purposes, the meter must be verified in accordance with meter verification specifications.

Specification document LMB-EC-02 establishes the verification and reverification specifications for electricity meters specification document LMB-EC-03 establishes the verification and reverification specifications for gas meters specification document LMBEG-04 establishes the statistical sampling plans for the verification or reverification of electricity or gas meters by statistical means on the basis of sampling.

The purpose of verification is to ensure that meters that are to be placed in service conform to an approved pattern, function properly, and have acceptable metrological characteristics.

The verification process involves the following subsequent and distinct steps:

  1. the meter is examined for conformance with the relevant notice of approval and
  2. the meter is then inspected to determine whether it meets all performance, mechanical, and administrative requirements established for its type.

Meters may be inspected individually (100% inspection) or, where it is possible to form homogeneous lots, through statistical analysis of the inspection results of a representative sample selected form the lot. Each meter inspected is subjected to tests at points throughout its measuring range. A meter which complies with SI specified verification requirements provides the utility and its customer with a high degree of confidence that it will operate accurately in service. Verification is normally indicated by either a government seal or an accredited meter verifier seal on the meter which also serves as a deterrent to tampering, Each meter verification is also accompanied by the issue of a certificate attesting to the meter's status. Periodic reverification of meters

Since meter accuracy can deteriorate with usage and time, verification alone is often insufficient to ensure that the standards of measurement are being maintained.

Consequently, at periodic intervals throughout a meter's useful life, the meter must be reverified in accordance with meter reverification specifications.

The purpose of reverification is to ensure that previously verified meters, after some period of use, continue to operate at an acceptable level.

Reverification is performed in the same manner as verification, through 100% inspection and sampling inspection. Reverification can take place at two stages in a meter's life cycle. Formerly verified meters may be removed from service, reworked, and recalibrated and then submitted for reverification. Reverification may also take place while the meters are still in service, through inspection of a representation sample of meters selected from a homogenous lot. After the sample results are statistically analyzed, the reverification interval for meters in the lot may be extended where performance warrants.

The frequency of meter reverification is established for each meter type based on past compliance experience. The reverification interval is set so that there is a high probability that the meter's error will not exceed the error tolerance limits defined in the legislation.

6.2 Range of device types that require approval and initial verification

The range of device types tested includes the following:

  1. Device types inspected under the authority of the weights and Measures Act:

Certain device types or devices used in certain applications are exempted from approval or initial inspection or both. The following are some examples of device types that fall in this category:

  1. Device types inspected under the authority of the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act

- Energy measuring meters

- Demand measuring meters

- Pulse recorders

- Pulse initiators

- Transducers

- Diaphragm type

- Rotary type

- Turbine type

- Orifice type

- Ultrasonic type

* Temperature measuring, correcting, or recording meters

* Pressure measuring, correcting, or recording meters

* Super compressibility correcting meters

* Pressure regulators

* Pu‚Œse accumulators

* Transducers

* Flow computers

* Chromatographs

* Energy density, relative density, or density meters

* Compressed natural gas dispensers


Under Section '10 of the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act, organizations may apply to seek accreditation statys for verifying electricity or gas meters. The applicant must satisfy the

Legal Metrology Branch that an acceptable quality assurance proglam has been deveiped and implemented. A properly designed quality assurance program ensures that all products such as meters, documents, and records meet and continue to meet specified minimum requirements. Objective evidence that such a program is in piace provides the Legal Metrology Branch with the confidence required to ensure that national standards of measurement will be maintained.

Criteria organizations must meet before being granted accreditation are found in LMB-EG-05 Criteria and Procedures for the Accreditation of Electricity and Gas Meters. To ensure compliance, organizations who have received accreditation status are subject to surveillance audits by Industry Canada.

7.1 Accreditation systems for legal metrology, calibration and testing laboratories.

Traceability to national, regional, international or foreign measurement standards.

A national accreditation program, jointly administered by the Standards Council of Canada IsCC) and the Institute of National Measurement Standards IINMS) of the National Research Council INRC) verifies the competency of calibration laboratories and evaluates their ability to perform accurate measurements within specified ranges of uncertainty.

The SCC has the legal mandate to accredit calibration laboratories, and assesses the administrative, financial and operational quality systems in place through the program for Accreditation of Laboratories - Canada (PALCAN). INMS through the Calibration Laboratory Assessment Service (CLAS) assesses the capability of private and government laboratories to perform specified calibrations linked to basic physical standards maintained by the National Research Council.

In the future, measurements performed by accredited laboratories will, through the North American Calibration Cooperation, be recognised as equivalent to measurements performed by calibration laboratories in the United States and Mexico.

NRC is responsible for primary standards of physical measurements as established by the weights and Measures Act and the National Research Council Act, INMS maintains national standards for all base units and for derived units for which there is a need, weights and Measures provides a hierarchy of government owned standards, traceable to NRC primary standards, for use in device and commodity inspection. Other government of Canada calibration laboratories (i.e, National Defence) which perform calibrations for their operational units in support of their mandate, and accredited calibration laboratories also have measurement standards traceable to NRC primary standards.

7.2 Legal and applied metrological activities in products certification

weights and Measures is developing a program to accredit Canadian device manufacturers, their authorised dealers, and third party inspection businesses who do not sell devices, to perform inspections of devices before trade use commences. The scope of the program is presently restricted to non complex weighing and measuring devices which are preassembled and portable. It is expected that the program will be implemented in 1995.


8.1 Numbers

Seven engineers and 27 technologists are involved in the device approval and measurement standards calibration and certification functions of the Legal Metrology Branch.

There are 370 inspectors, managers and clerical and technical support employees involved in the administration of the legal metrology statutes. These employees are located in 5 regional and more than 30 district offices throughout Canada.

8.2 Qualification/training

prerequisite education for inspectors and technologists includes a two or three year post secondary school education in a technical field related to metrology such as electronics or electricity. Thereafter, all inspectors and technologists receive in-house instruction through the Branch's National Technical Training program (NTTP).

8.3 Training organizations and courses organized

The NTTP consists of instruction in technical and device theory, legal standards, testing methodologies, equipment and facilities, health and safety and reporting.

8.4 Range of functions

The NTTP consists of 8 weeks of basic instruction with refresher, advanced and specialized training provided on a continuing basis.


The Consumer packaging and Labelling Act is administered by the Department of Industry (a federal department).

Regional and Iocal offices serving all of Canada conduct the inspection of prepackaged products.

9.1 Legislative control for packaging

The weights and Measures Act and Consumer packaging and Labelling Act require that products and services traded on the basis of measure are measured, priced, and labelled accurately. The legislation applies to most trade transactions based on measure, including products sold in bulk commodities packaged for wholesale and retail sale and all services provided on the basis of measure (eg. freight and shipping charges).

9.2 Organisation responsible

The weights and Measures component of the Legal Metrology Branch and the Consumer Products Branch of the Consumer Affairs Sector administers these Acts. These services reside within the federal Department of Industry,


10.1 Under the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act

Infractions include: falsifying meters, registers, documents, seals, stamps. labels, tags or marks required under the Act and stealing stamps, seals, labels. Penalties range from a maximum fine of C$5,OW or five years imprisonment for serious infractions.

10.2 Under the weights and Measures Act

Infractions include importing, selling or using a prohibited device in trade, using a device not installed in accordance with requirements and using a device that does not measure within the limits of error prescribed adjusting or tampering with vehicle odometers and falsifying

quantity of products and services. Offenses can result in seizure of devices, fines up to C$5,000 and a maximum of two years imprisonment,

10.3 Under the Consumer packaging and Labeling Act

Infractions include false representation of products, and failure to declare net quantity properly. Penalties include seizure of goods, a fine of up to C$10,000 and imprisonment for one year.

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