Measurement Units Standards & Services Department

Measurement Units Standards & Services Department was established in 1997 under the Measurement Units Standards & Services Act No 35 of 1995. The Department is the successor to the weight & measures division, which was, established in 1952 under the weight & measure ordinance no 37 of 1946. The department is entrusted with the implementation of the act, upgrading necessary laws and promulgating regulations while safeguarding the interest and protecting the rights of the consumer.

The objective of the Department is to provide credible and traceable calibration service to the country through implementing and administering the laws and regulations assigned to it.

This Department carries out following functions

(i) Realization, establishment, maintenance and dissemination of national measurement standards of the country.

(ii) Maintenance of the national measurement system of units of the country.

(iii) Develop regional and international co-operation in the field of metrology.

(iv) Provision of calibration facilities to trade, industry, health, environmental protection, safety on the road/air and sea which are traceable to international standards.

(v) Provide advisory services to required organization.

(vi) Prevention of violation of measurement law of the country by way of conducting inspection and raids.

(vii) Registration of manufacturers, repairers and sellers of measuring devices.

National Measurement Laboratory

Measurement Units Standards & Services Department laboratory was originally designed and equipped for the purpose of enforcement of the Weights and Measures Ordinance way back in 1937.The laboratory was equipped mainly to verify traders measures used in mass, length, volumetric transaction in the imperial system of weights and measures which was the system used in colonial Sri Lanka. The laboratory was entrusted with the custody and maintenance of Sri Lanka National Standards for Mass, Length and Volume primarily for enforcement of the Weights and Measures Ordinance No.37 of 1946 and its subsequence amendments in 1971, 1974 and 1979. As a result of this limited activity, the laboratory remained to be a part of the Weights &Measures Division of the Department of Internal Trade of the Ministry responsible for trade & Commerce for a long period of time.

The Division was upgraded to that of a full Department (Measurement Units Standards & Services Department) only in 1997.

In 1974, when Sri Lanka changed its system of measurements from the Imperial System of Units to the International System (Metric System) of units. The Measurement Standards & Services Division of the Department of Internal Trade was given the responsibility of implementation of the Metric conversion program of the country. A Metric Conversion Authority a statutory body chaired by the head of MUSSD was formed and the National Metric Conversion Law, No 17 of 1976 was formulated was formulated for these purposes. The Laboratory equipped itself with metric measurement standards during the transition to the metric system during 1970 to 1980 period. These Standards remains as Sri Lanka National Primary Measurement Standards.

Sri Lanka is one of the developing nation in the Asia Pacific Region who had the correct vision to establish National Standards of Measurements as early as 1975 by acquiring a copy of a kilogram obtained from International Bureau of Weights & Measures [BIPM] as the National Standards of mass, Zeman stabilized Helium Neon Laser Interferometer to realize the National length standards the meter, a Cesium Atomic Clock to realize the National Time standard the second, Water triple point cell to realize the Thermodynamic Temperature Scale, Standards Lamps for measurement of luminance intensity, Set of Standard Cadmium cell to realize the DC Volt, Set of Calibrated Standards Resistors, Standard equipment to measure Electrical Inductance, Capacitance, Electrical & power etc.

In 1995 the Measurement Units Standards & Services Act No. 35 of 1995 was passed by the parliament. It is the present Measurement Law of the country, which has reaching for consequences, and be of great importance, achieving the optimum required accuracy in all measurements used in trade, industry, science, health, security and environmental protection. The Act encompasses a vast array of fields in metrology and established the Department and the National Measurement Laboratory .

Today the Department has established national standards for mass, length, temperature measurement and to a greater extend standards for electrical, time and frequency measurements. There is an increasing demand from the industry for calibration of photometry and sound measuring equipment. More over there are specialized instrument used by specific industries. This is a vital industrial need and calibrating specialized industrial measuring devices using custom developed techniques would be a major activity of the department.

During this period primary standards for electrical measurements were established by introducing Standards Resisters Voltage Standards, Timer Counter and necessary software to run the above equipment.

Providing calibration facilities to leading laboratories in the country is another function carried out by the department.