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European Weighing Industry
Newsletter Issue #3 - April 2015
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CECIP’s President invitation to the GA 2015

Dear Members of CECIP,

I am happy to invite you to the forthcoming CECIP General Assembly, taking place on Friday, May 22nd 2015 in Barcelona, Spain.

As you hopefully have read in the preliminary information which was distributed few weeks ago, everything is set up greatly for a productive and also interesting event. After the meetings with LMG, BTG, the Board of CECIP and with the Presidents of the National Weighing Associations on Thursday, we will run the yearly General Assembly on Friday.

For the General Assembly we are on one hand expecting a few honorable guests such as Mrs. Imma Riera, Member of the Spanish Parliament, Mr. Arjan van Breukelen, Director of NMi-Certin NL, Mr. Emilio Prieto, Head of Length Area of the Spanish Metrological Center, Mr. Paul Dixon, Convener of WELEMC Working Group 2 and Mr. Stephan Patoray, Director of BIML.

On the other hand we are looking forward getting information regarding the many activities which happened throughout the "CECIP Year" whether regarding the working groups, the Board or our member associations. And finally we will conclude the day with the "Delegates Only" part of the GA and – most important also – with the Gala Dinner.

I am sure that the GA itself will attract you to come to Barcelona. But certainly the city also is worth a trip! The hotel and meeting facilities are located in the middle of the attractive sights of Barcelona. And the partners’ program on Friday as well as the program for Saturday seem to promise interesting and enjoyable hours.

Let me also express my sincere thanks to AECIP - and in particular also to Mr. Josep Maria Catalán who offered to organize the event together with his colleagues - who has done everything to make this event unforgettable for all of us. I really appreciate it!

I would appreciate to welcome as many of you as possible even with the risk to run out of meeting space! Welcome to Barcelona and the CECIP GA!

With my best Regards,
Urs Widmer
President of CECIP

 

Meetings with CECIP National weighing Associations

by Urs Widmer, MTG-CF President of CECIP

When I started my CECIP Presidency last April I initiated a project with the target to visit all CECIP Weighing Associations throughout one to two years. Because it was not possible for me to see all organizations we decided to split it up amongst the Board, BTG and/or LMG members. Therefore I took over responsibility for the visits to Spain, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Italy, France and Russia. Daniel Meier did visit Switzerland, Czech Republic and Austria. Harald Welscher will take care of Poland and Slovakia, Karlheinz Banholzer of Hungary, René Colombel of Romania and Richard Herbert of Turkey (maybe as a potential future member of CECIP).


Most of the meetings already took place, at least those with the bigger National Associations. My personal experience and the outcome of such meetings were very positive. On one hand I got a warm welcome in all organizations, I could meet and greet many of the Board Members and I got a good understanding about the issues and topics which were important for all of them – and those topics were different from country to country!

Not surprising at all that many of the National Weighing Associations brought up also the yearly fee to be paid to CECIP. I believe the discussion about it was very constructive in all countries. Beside the fact that CECIP is doing a good job to keep additional burden away from its members by influencing the legislation – which per se would have a good payback of the fee - CECIP is trying to do more and more in order to support its members with e.g. a frequently issued Newsletter, compiled information about new directives, working on initiatives like re-verification, market surveillance and others and last but not least picking up quite a few of the topics brought up by the National Organizations (see below).

To give you a flavor about some of the most important topics we discussed before we could sit together for a lunch or a dinner, here's a short summary:

  • AECIP Spain: Periodical re-verification including an initiative to bring it forward to the European Parliament, EN45501 and NAWI and for sure the General Assembly 2015.
  • Beirat Wägetechnik of VDMA Germany: CECIP to collect an overview about NAWI/MID directives among the EU countries, lobbying on all political levels incl. re-certification, discussion about market surveillance, how to show benefit to CECIP members, communication to CECIP members and forthcoming AWA-PTB-Discussion in January 2015.
  • VLW Association of Dutch Weighing Suppliers: Learned a lot about FHI (Federation of Technology Branches). FHI is providing support for VLW. We discussed initiatives from VLW and how to cooperate. Here we had the advantage of Vincent being President of CECIP for so many years and "having everything under best control"! Thanks Vincent. Spoke also about an interesting initiative from FHI to gain new members.
  • UKWF UK Weighing Federation: Discussed Market Surveillance (how to do a test of scales similar to what CECIP has done a few years ago), Post Market requirements which is not harmonized at all across EU, Consistency of Notified Bodies and Software.
  • UCISP, Italian Weighing Association: Discussed the organization (incl. the missing membership of Mettler Toledo and Sartorius), periodical re-verification, Connection of POS, Notified bodies structure and Prepacking.
  • Arbeitsausschuss Waagen der Bundesinnung Mechatroniker, AT: Discussed New vs. Repair, EN45501, NLF, multiple manufacturers and POS. Got confirmation that the GA 2016 might be hold in Austria.
  • UVV, Czech Association of manufacturers: CECIP strategy, New vs. Repair and back-up support.
  • SVW Schweizer Waagenverband, CH: CECIP Strategy, New vs. Repair, EN45501, NLF, market surveillance against extremely cheap imports.

 

Making WIs legal for trade in Europe

by Ian Turner (UK Weighing Federation, UK)

Across all member states we have a reasonably well operating single market, there is a well known and understood legal framework, harmonized standards and normative documents that enable economic operators to place weighing and measuring equipment on the market and a co-ordination system that allows those areas of disagreement to be discussed.

As soon as an instrument is placed on the market or put into use it will then be covered by national requirements and that is where the problems start! Each member state appears to have different requirements and obligations; often there is not even consistency within a country let alone between countries.

Most member states have a system of periodic re-verification some do not, some allow manufacturers to re-qualify instruments after repair many do not. It is not even clear what degree of change to an instrument will define it as new or repaired. The last issue is important, as it will define which stakeholder can undertake the re-verification.

CECIP are actively pursuing and lobbying on this matter, as it becomes increasingly a brake on the successful operation of the single market, manufacturers having to operate different national operations to meet the different national requirements. We have had meetings with MEP’s and are beginning to make some progress on this matter in the political arena.

At the same time we have produced an information sheet on the different obligations in each country. This is intended as a guide for the use of CECIP members and it is intended to develop this further as we gain more knowledge and understanding of the different requirements in each country. This information sheet can be found in Quickr, the CECIP database.

It outlines whether a member states has requirements for both periodic re-verification and re-verification after repair and which economic operators can undertake these procedures. It should be seen as a guide and will hopefully enable further information details and to be easily found if you trade in those markets.

The advantage of cooperation in market surveillance: NL experience

by Vincent M. van der Wel, Penko Engineering, Netherlands

In the Netherlands all weighing equipment, used for trade applications and so on, has to fulfil legal requirements. The responsibility for doing so carries the owner/user; the supplier has the obligation to make the buyer aware of his responsibility. So putting into the market is regulated outside governmental control. The legislation in the Netherlands is Roman/Napoleonic, so no one is guilty, at most suspected, unless a competent Court has decided otherwise. Moreover in no case someone has the obligation to proof being not guilty, this must be done by the claimant; in this occasions the government. This means periodical re-verification is against the constitution. As a matter of course there are a few exceptions; in cases where fatal accidents might occur. What is unlikely with weighing equipment.

Verispect, the market surveillance organization, has the aim to ensure compliance with the “Metrologiewet”, in which the NAWID and MID are included. The government has interests in correct measurements. It serves fair trade and consumers as well as business partners can rely on measuring results. Market surveillance is one of the means to enforce compliance with the law.

“Cooperation” is the mechanism which makes private companies fulfils duties as a preparation of the actual surveillance. Companies, carrying out as a part of their commercial activities, service and maintenance on regulated measurement instrumentation can do observations during their job, similar to surveillance activities. These concerns by example the determination the instruments are in- or outside legal tolerances or whether or not in conformity with the approved model. The companies, having a cooperation agreement with Verispect, show a positive judgment by means of a cooperation sticker. Depending on the time between the affixing of the sticker and the check by Verispect the controller takes the observations of the co-operator into account. This way the surveillance is made more effective and more cost efficient. At the end life of good willing users is made easier whilst delinquents are chased.

Results of the periodical investigations of middle sized, 0 – 1 000 kg, non-automatic weighing machines in 2013, divided into well or not with cooperation.
Divided Number Good Failing Compliance
Cooperation 51% 2.188 2.057 131 94%
Non cooperation 49% 2.122 1.753 369 83%
Total 4.310 3.810 500 88%
Results of the periodical investigations of automatic weighing machines in 2013, divided into well or not with cooperation.
Divided Number Good Failing Compliance
Cooperation 40% 923 819 104 89%
Non cooperation 60% 1.372 1.109 263 81%
Total 2.295 1.928 367 84%
Results of the periodical investigations of weighbridges in 2013, divided into well or not with cooperation.
Divided Number Good Failing Compliance
Cooperation 47% 544 504 40 93%
Non cooperation 53% 617 510 107 83%
Total 1.161 1.014 147 87%
Results of the periodical investigations of non-automatic special weighers, such as pallet weighers, mobile hopperweigherss, on board truck weighers, in 2013, divided into well or not with cooperation.
Divided Number Good Failing Compliance
Cooperation 34% 609 568 41 93%
Non cooperation 66% 1.159 937 222 81%
Total 1.768 1.505 263 85%

The conclusion is, the system works. As an average systems, being supervised by a co-operator, seem to perform 13 % better. The reality is better. Not taken into account is the number of weighing instruments which have not been checked by the controller, because the co-operator did so recently.

Source: Jaarverslag 2013 Toezicht Metrologiewet.

 

POS operation in France

by René Colombel, Managing Director PRECIA MOLEN

Over the second semester of 2013, the legal metrology teams of DIRECCTE (a regional governmental body) led a national checking operation on non-automatic weighing instruments (NAWI) connected to points of sales (POS).

The Legal Metrology pole of DIRECCTE includes 134 agents in France. They checked 8,500 weighing instruments on 2,700 sites. A total of 30% of instruments have been rejected. In particular, more than 17% had not been made compliant with legal procedures prior to their commissioning (POS or software not certified, commissioning procedure not respected, etc…). Moreover, around 14% of instruments made possible to record the same transaction twice without lifting the weight from the load receptor, which could cause faulty or fraudulent use.

In France, the modalities related to the certification and conformity assessment procedure are described in the modified decree No 91-330 of the 27th of March 1991 for non-automatic weighing instruments, and in the decree of the 22nd of June 1992 for the conformity assessment procedures of non-automatic weighing instruments. The harmonised practical provisions related to scales connected to POS are documented in the Welmec guide 2.2 of May 2007.

To sum up, a company that markets or commissions a POS connected to a scale must ensure the conformity of all three elements: scale, POS and software. Said company can in no case transfer the responsibility of production conformity on to the suppliers of these three instrument elements. When using the EC-type conformity declaration (production quality assurance), the supplier of the complete instrument must carry out all operations prior to commissioning, provided such operations are included in the suppliers’ quality assurance system that must encompass the dealings with possible sub-contractors.

Most weighing service providers have opted for this procedure. It commits them to include POS manufacturers and software developers in their quality system. Sub-contractors commit to comply with regulatory texts and not to modify a POS software, either directly or via the internet, without previously informing the manufacturer (in the metrological sense) of the complete instrument. If such modification occurs, the manufacturer will then have to proceed to a new conformity check.

Within the context of their control procedure, weighing service providers are encouraged to inform and train their sub-contractors, POS manufacturers and software developers, who will commit to comply with the defined procedures in written form.

 

eCompliance: Communication on "a vision for the internal market for industrial products"

by Karlheinz Banholzer, LMG member

The European Commission sees an increase in the number of complex products in the future. To handle such complex Measuring Instruments the European Commission sent a request to all member states, ADCOs (Administrative Cooperations), manufacturers and Notified Bodies about an electronically based information system.

Principal of an eCompliance system:

As products get more and more complex, incorporating a variety of different technologies, the product cycles become shorter. From the point of the European Commission it is necessary to explore other ways (other than the traditional paper-based procedures) for demonstrating and controlling product compliance according to Union harmonization legislation ("eCompliance").

The Commission's Communication on "a vision for the internal market for industrial products" acknowledges the fact the mechanisms for demonstrating and controlling the compliance of a product to the relevant regualtions must not constitute a bureaucratic burden to the introduction of new innovative products.

The immediate objective of a possible eCompliance system should be to reduce administrative burden for economic operators (especially SMEs), Notified Bodies and authorities, while maintaining the highest possible standards in the protection of public interest.

The ultimate goal according to the European Commission is:

  • to facilitate the placing on the market of innovative products, benefiting thus users and consumers;
  • to provide a framework where European businesses have the opportunity to boost their competitiveness;
  • to help authorities to increase the efficiency of market surveillance;
  • to remove administrative obstacles within the Internal Market.

Different questions are raised on the part of the European Commission to involve stakeholder and their interests.


Status
  • The 1st questionnaire was circulated in July 2014.
  • CECIP prepared a position paper until end of September 2014.
  • Result of the 1st consultation:
    Member states are in favour of an eCompliance system. They wish this system to become compulsory (after a transitional period) and see the need for a legal basis. In contrast the overwhelming majority of the economic operators whilst not rejecting the idea of an eCompliance system and acknowledge the need to providing the necessary documentary evidence electronically fear that such a system could create unnecessary burdens. Operators raise issues on confidentiality and protection of intellectual property.
  • 2nd request from the European Commission dated October 2014 were answered by CECIP until end of November 2014.
  • Result of this consultation isn’t available yet.

CECIP position

The idea to install an eCompliance system all over the European Union seems very attractive. Nevertheless, if you look behind such a system it leads to more bureaucratic burden for the manufacturer or the customer. CECIP is not willing to accept new regulations that bring no advantage for the manufacturer and the customer.

CECIP are committed to following all the laws and regulation in each country. We are of the view that in whole Europe we should focus on the harmonization of the verification of instruments in the market, that we are able, customers, authorities, manufacturers, etc. to reduce the complexity of the market surveillance in Europe itself. CECIP are sure that these activities would reduce bureaucratic and would help all the actors of the regulated instruments.

CECIP see key concerns in relation to the specific questions of the European Commission. We are positive that eCompliance can contribute to the increasing efficiency of market surveillance and are therefore supportive in principle. The distribution of roles between the economic operators and market surveillance authorities should be maintained.

If all the information and documentation mentioned are available in a European database, maintained by the European Commission, all stakeholders would have access to this database. In some countries there only the authorities who have access to such a database are market surveillance in other countries the verification is privatized. This means that private actors have also the possibility to access to this database.

CECIP supports to have the possibility on voluntary base to add additional documents in such a database like EC-declaration of conformity, operating manual, type label design, etc. Most documents are public and can be collected on such a database and be available for all stakeholder. We do not support the idea that technical documents should be stored on this database

We believe the discussions about the electronic provision of sensitive data in a database are premature before all legal concerns on data security, the protection of intellectual property and restricted access to databases are resolved.


Proposals of the European Commission for an eCompliance system:

The European Commission have discussed and proposed as provisional five different options for an eCompliance system.
  • Option 0: Maintain the situation as it is today.
  • Option 1: Centralized eComliance system where the database is developed and maintained by the European Commission and the manufacturers should upload the information regarding the conformity of the product. Notified Bodies could upload information regarding the certificates. Market Surveillance authorities would access this information.
  • Option 2: Obligatory centralized eCompliance system, where it is very similar to the described Option 1 with the difference that it is not on voluntary base.
  • Option 3: Decentralized eCompliance system, where the economic operators drive the system by their own on their own developed and maintained websites.
  • Option 4: Standalone e-labelling; System based on electronic labelling whereby products would tagged or embedded with a specific electronic identifier for compliance purposes. The identifier would be affixed by the manufacturer and would contain information regarding the conformity of a product with the applicable legislation. Its use would be voluntary.

CECIP position to the provisional Options

The eCompliance system would help to harmonize the documents needed for market surveillance. Disjointed approach by Member States creates market complexity and leaves the internal market open to risks of non-conformity.

Because of the difficult situation concerning sensitive data and documents CECIP would support the possibility of "standalone e-labelling" as the most appropriate. The data stored in the e-labelling system are non-sensitive data at all e.g.:
  • EC-Type Approvals Certificates (TAC)
  • EC-Test Certificates (TC)
  • EC-Type Examination Certificates (EC)
  • EC-Part Certificates (PC)
Standalone e-labelling is the most flexible solution and could bring the best benefits to all stakeholders if manufacturers choose to use it. On CECIP’s point of view this would be likely to happen in the future as it will become an increasingly economic way of meeting some of the legal requirements.


Next steps

We still await the response of the second request of the European Commission. We will keep you informed about news.

If you need more information about this issue, please take a look to the additional information of CECIP:
  • 1st Position paper of CECIP: LM14 064
  • 2nd Positon paper of CECIP: LM14 075

 

New NAWID and MID

(Update to the last newsletter)

by Veronika Martens, President of LMG

  • Sharp date with no transition period for putting instruments into the market or use
  • Certificates
  • Names in certificates
  • Blue Guide
On 11th of March 2015 there was a meeting of the working group of Measuring Instruments (wgMI) from the European Commission. Before the meeting the members of the group had supplied the Commission with several questions. CECIP did as well. Those questions were answered and discussed. The answers in almost all cases are valid for all directives under the NLF and are not restricted to the two metrological ones NAWID and MID.

1. Sharp date with no transition period for putting instruments into the market or use:

From our last newsletter you remember that one of the most important issues for industry is the sharp date 20th April 2016 when the new directives come into force with several new requirements. Those requirements have to be followed from that date but are not allowed to be followed the day before. In the directives no transition period is foreseen. Therefore CECIP, FARECOGAZ and CECOD required finding solutions for a transition period because it is not possible for industry to change production and putting instruments into the market or use from one day to the other under different requirements. The answer from the Commission was that they now understand the problem and although they tried, they yet did not find a legal solution for that except updating the directives. Such will not happen. They believe that market surveillance will take the problem into account and will not raise actions during a time period after that date. But de jure in case this item is submitted to a court the legal situation is clearly against the manufacturer if he didn’t follow the directive in full. Whatever the reason is for being at Court.

The problem is not yet solved and has still to be followed up.

2. Certificates:

The directives say that certificates issued before the 20th April 2016 will still be valid. This concerns all certificates like type approval certificates (type evaluation and type examination certificates Module B) but as well certificates for production like Module D. That means that in case the Notified Body (NB) is not yet re-notified at that date or he doesn’t want to stay as a NB the manufacturer is permitted to go on with his certified production and put instruments into the market. As there is no transition period for Module B certificates necessary the Commission defined a transition period for Module D. Half a year was seen as acceptable in case the certificates don’t expire regularly before. Until then the manufacturer is required to have taken appropriate actions to be in line again.

When being re-notified the NBs will stay with its numbers.

Although the certificates still refer to the old directives the manufacturer shall refer to the new directives from 20th April 2016 in his declaration of conformity. There is no need for updating the certificates for this reason only.

3. Names in certificates:

Again the question was raised whether the Blue Guide is right for NAWID and MID where it is said in 5.1.5. that the name of the manufacturer and the name in the type approval certificate is not required to be the same. The Commission confirmed that the Blue Guide is right in this matter and that it covers NAWID and MID as well in case a manufacturer follows all the requirements. This is valid even in case a manufacturer wants to perform Module D on an instrument. In addition it is not up to the Market Surveillance to identify whether the manufacturer organized the technical documentation legally.

One of several possibilities to use Blue Guide 5.1.5. and to avoid parallel certificates is when a manufacturer changes the name of the company. There is no need for updating the certificates to the new name in case there are no other reasons.

4. Blue Guide:

The Commission pointed out that the Blue Guide is an interpretation document of the Commission which gives already the answers to many questions. Stakeholders should look into it more extensively.

 

WHO IS WHO: WELMEC

by Ian Turner (UK Weighing Federation, UK)

WELMEC is a co ordination organization established in 1990 through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by all the then 18 eligible countries in the EU and EFTA. Original established as the 'Western European Legal Metrology Co-operation', with the decision to accept associate members from among central and east European countries in 1995, the title was changed to 'European Co-operation in Legal Metrology', but the acronym 'WELMEC' was retained. Its Members comprise the national authorities responsible for legal metrology in the European Union and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Member States.

WELMEC membership currently (March 2015) encompasses Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYFYROM, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey are associate members. There are a wide range of observer organisations including the European Commission and the organization of notified bodies and of course CECIP

WELMEC is composed of a committee that represents the metrology authorities in each member state. The committee has set up a number of working groups, which deal with a large range of issues that face metrology authorities. The scope of each working group can be found at http://www.welmec.org. One of the main functions of the working groups is to produce guides to assist in the effective implementation of the both 2009/23/EEC and 2004/22/EC. All of these are available on the WELMEC website.

  • Develop mutual confidence between legal metrology services;
  • Achieve harmonisation of legal metrology activities;
  • Identify any special features of legal metrology which need to be reflected in the European metrology, certification and testing framework;
  • Organise the exchange of information;
  • Promote the removal of barriers to trade in the field of measuring instruments
  • Promote consistency of interpretation and application of normative documents and propose actions to facilitate implementation;
  • Identify technical problems which might form the subject of collaborative projects;
  • Maintain working links with other relevant bodies with an interest in legal metrology;
  • Debate trends and establish criteria for the scope of legal metrology and maintain channels for a continuous flow of knowledge.

All of the WELMEC Guides are becoming increasingly important for all stakeholders in the effective understanding and implementation of legislation in the EU, and it is likely they will become more significant as we move closer towards a single market. The intention of the guides is to try and help clarify those areas of discussion to ensure that we can achieve consistency in all member states.

The guides prefixed 2 are those that relate primarily to non-automatic weighing instruments and those prefixed 8 relate to the Measuring Instruments Directive including automatic weighing instruments

 

Agenda

  • 20/05/2015 Seminar, Barcelona (ES)
  • 21/05/2015 CECIP LMG meeting, Barcelona (ES)
  • 21/05/2015 CECIP Board meeting, Barcelona (ES)
  • 21/05/2015 CECIP BTG meeting, Barcelona (ES)
  • 21/05/2015 CECIP Presidents meeting Barcelona (ES)
  • 22/05/2015 CECIP GA 2015, Barcelona (ES)

 

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