Surface Area: 9 700 000 km2
Population: 1100 000 000


1.1 The law on metrology of the People's Republic of China was adopted on 6 September 1985 and went into force on 1 July 1986.

1.2 In order to implement the law on metrology, 22 rules, decrees and measures have been promulgated concerning the implementation of the law, legal Units of measurement, compulsory verification import of measuring instruments, metrological authorization, approval of new measuring instruments, license for manufacture and/or repair of measuring instruments, measuring instruments subject to legal control, metrology accreditation of commodity inspection services, checking standards of measurement, reference materials, qualification of personnel engaged in verification, national primary standards, metrological supervision.

In order to implement the legal control of measuring instruments, 703 national verification regulations or calibration instructions and 21 technical norms and 65 national metrological verification systems (hierarchy schemes for measuring instruments) have been published by the State Bureau of Technical Supervision (SBTS). Whenever any document concerning metrological law, rule, decree and regulation etc. is laid down, the requirements of related international recommendations and documents of OIML have generally been adopted.


SI units and other units of measurement adopted by the state are national legal units of measurement.


The law on metrology specifies that all of the highest standards of measurement used within departments, enterprises and institutes, and those working measuring instruments used for trade, safety protection, medical treatment and health and environmental monitoring are subject to compulsory verification. The catalogue of these instruments has been promulgated on 15 April 1987. It contains '111 kinds of instruments (55 terms).


SBTS is responsible for exercising control on metrological work of the whole country and the metrological administrative department of the provincial government is responsible for that of the region in which it is located. Metrological control has recently been gradually extended to the prepackaged products. A rule concerning the requirements of retail goods and part of the prepackaged products was promulgated in October 1993.


5.1 State legal metrological organs 5.1.1 State Bureau of Technical Supervision (SBTS)
         No. 20, Zhaofu St., Gulou
           Telephone: 86-1-2022288
                       Fax: 86-1-2031010  
SBTS is an executive department under the direct leadership of the State Council, and exercises the unified management, organisation and coordination of technical supervision in the country, It also provides guidance for quality control.
The main responsibilities related to metrology are:

5.1.2 State legal metrological technical organs

5. 1,2.1 National Institute of Metrology (NIM)
                       No. 7, District 11, Hepingli
                       Telephone: 86-1-4211631
                                   Fax  86-1-4218703
The National Institute of Metrology, founded in 1965, is responsible for developing and conservation of the national primary standards (144 total). At present, numerous laboratories of length, mechanics, electromagnetic, microwave, time and frequency, ionizing radiation, optics and acoustics have been set up, The total staff is about 1600.
5. l.2.2 National Institute of Measurement and Testing Technology (NIMTT)
                   Shuinianhe, Dongfeng Rd., chengdu
                   Telephone: 4441512
The National Institute of Measurement and Testing Technology was built up in 1965 and serves as a national research base of measurement and testing technology. Its main tasks are: - to carry out research on the theories and the methods of measurement and testing technology and to develop precision measuring instruments, and to establish some of the national primary standards and the relevant dissemination. There are more than 20 laboratories. The National Research Center for Certified Reference Materials (INRCCRM),
               No. 7, District 11 Hepingli
               Telephone: 86-1 -421 9632
The National Research Center for Certified Reference Materials was founded in 1989 and is a professional institute for research and development of certified reference materials 1683 kinds for first class). The main tasks are: State metrological centers in special fields
Fifteen State Metrological Centers in special fields have been built by authorization of SBTS and are responsible for metrological verification, testing and control ill special fields. They are: State metrological centres in economical cooperation zones
Until now, seven state metrological centres in economical cooperation zones have been built and are responsible for providing the calibration service in the related region. They are:

5.2 Regional and local verification services

5.2.1 The local administration of legal metrology comprises 30 administrative units of local government at provincial level (not including Taiwanl, 305 at city level and '1864 at county level and are responsible for the metrological control in the related localities.

5.2.2 The local technical metrology inspection services comprise 35 legal metrology verification institutes at provincial level, 350 metrological calibration units at city level and 2,654 units at county level. The personnel in charge of metrological verification and calibration in these units are 27 427 and there are 13 622 metrological supervisors in the whole country.

5.3 Laboratories having custody of national measurement standards

See clauses and

5.4 Instrument calibration and evaluation systems

Some industrial departments of the State Council have built their own metrological technical institute responsible for verification and calibration for certain measuring instruments as authorized by SBTS.

Most of enterprises have their own metrological laboratories responsible for verification and calibration for the measuring instruments used in the enterprise, which are required to meet the law on metrology and are authorized by SBTS.

6. Other Metrological organs

6.1 China Institute of Metrology (CIM)

           3rd Jiaogoltg Rd,, Hangzhou,
           Telephone:   86-571-885024
The China Institute of Metrology is China's sole institution of higher learning for training engineers, technicians and managers in the field of metrology. This institute consists of two departments, a division of basic courses and a division of metrological research. At present, the student enrollment totals 1000 and the students who take the correspondence courses about 800. This institute provides a four-year regular program for engineers and two-year for technicians and has a teaching and administrative staff of about 500, of which about 300 are professors, associate professors, instructors, assistants and engineers.
6.2 China Technical Supervision Press
             No. A 2, West Hepingle
             Telephone: 86-1 -421 8685
The institute issues a newspaper and amagazine named Tecniccal Supervision which reports information and experience concerning technical supervision(including metrology).
6.3 Management Research Institute of SBTS
             No. 7, District '11, Hepingli,
             Telephone: 86-1-4219988
This Institute is responsible for studying the structure, efficiency and the social economy of technical supervision system (including metrology).
6. 4 China Information Service for Technical Supervision
               No. 7, District 1 1, Hepingli
               Telephone: 86-'I-42'I9988
The Institute provides comprehensive and analysed information on technical supervision at home and abroad (including metrologyl, edits and publishes several journals, four of which are Measurement Technique, Measurement Abstracts, Factory Measurement and Test and Information on Metrology.
6. 5 China Metrology publishing House
                 No. 7, District 11, Hepingli
                 Telephone: 86-1 -421 9988
The Institute publishes books for science and technology, education and management, and national verification regulations, and produces cassettes and video tapes closely related to measurement and testing technology.

6.6 Chinese Society for Measurement (CSM)

                   No. 7, District '11, Hepingli
                   Telephone: 86-1 -421 8709
The Chinese Society for Measurement, founded in '1962, has eighteen technical committees and 11 000 membership. The purpose of this Society is to unite professionals in this field to promote the development of measurement science and technology and to popularize scientific and technological knowledge. The Society edits a quarterly publication i.e. Acta Metrologica Sinica and Proceedings


7.1 The Chinese testing laboratory accreditation developed by CSBTS (former State Bureau of Metrology) began in 1985. The accreditation criteria is equal to ISO Guide 25 and 38. More than 900 national laboratories and 5 200 local laboratories have been accredited. The standard examination whose conditions were similar to accreditation was only required for calibration laboratories until now, The calibration laboratories will be accredited according to ISO Guide 25 and 38 in the near future.
All the accreditation requirements are traceable to the national standards.
7.2 The certification bodies require the certified factories to have traceability to the national standards. Whenever certification is carried out, the metrology service is called upon for assistance, and the factories make use of instrument regulations developed by CSBTS.
7.3 SBTS is in charge of pattern approval in China. There are two types of certificates for pattern approval:
7.3.1 The first type of certificate is issued for instruments which are produced by the domestic manufacturer. In this case, the manufacturer applies for pattern approval to the Metrology Administrative Authority at provincial level. This authority shall appoint an accredited laboratory to carry out examination of sampling. The authority which accepts the application will issue a certificate of pattern approval and report it to the CSBTS after passing the examination. CSBTS will announce the approved pattern and information concerned to the public.
There are 483 kinds of instruments which are subject to this type of control. They are listed in the document, The catalogue of Instruments Subject to Legal Control,
7.3.2 The second type of certificate is issued for imported instruments which will be sold in China. In this case, the export seller or the importer shall apply to CSBTS for the pattern approval of their instrument. CSBTS shall appoint an accredited laboratory to carry out the examination of sampling after accepting the application and issue a pattern approval certificate to the applicant. The catalogue of these kinds of instruments are listed as an annex in the document, The Control Measures for Import Instruments in China issued by the State Council.
7.3.3 The sampling examination fees for pattern approval is less than 6,000$ and administrative fee is 500$ for every type of instrument.

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