National Metrological Institute

The National Metrology Law (Law 15298/82) assigns to LATU the «responsibility for the maintenance, stewardship and dissemination of national measurement standards», and «for acting as liaison with the International Bureau of Weights and Measures as well as related organizations».

LATU maintains the traceability to primary measurement standards of those magnitudes defined as strategic, with uncertainty levels in accordance with the country’s industrial requirements. On the one hand, LATU checks the physical measurement patterns periodically against external institutes to ensure the traceability of calibrations is maintained, and on the other hand it maintains and provides traceability in the Chemistry area through certified reference materials.

As the National Metrology Institute, LATU is part of the National Infrastructure for Quality, formalized by the Decree that created the Uruguayan System of Standardization, Accreditation, Metrology and Conformity Assessment (SUNAMEC), dated February 26, 2010. It also maintains partnerships with other metrology institutions and related international organizations.

National Roles

1) To support the national quality infrastructure and the official conformity assessment system.

  • Fair trade
  • Health
  • Environment
  • Safety

2) Direct support to the country's industrial development:

By ensuring the reliability of the measurements performed in the country, LATU directly contributes to the national and international recognition of the quality of national products and services.

LATU provides the national infrastructure needed to ensure traceability in the measurements made.

There are several secondary calibration laboratories that form the “Secondary Calibration Laboratory Network”, whose aim is to working jointly to support customers by offering quality calibration services based on the ISO/IEC Standard 172025:2005.

International Roles

Uruguay has been a signatory of the Metro Convention since 1908. LATU is a founding member of the Inter-American Metrology System and has been actively involved in the system since its inception. In support of world trade, in October 1999, the CIPM established the “Mutual Recognition of National Measurement Standards and calibration and measurement certificates issued by the national metrology institutes” through the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA). LATU has been signatory of the MRA from the beginning. The objective of the MRA is to provide the technical basis for the global acceptance of such standards and certificates. This agreement provides the basis for international recognition through international comparisons of standards, the inter-regional review of measurement capacities and their publication on the BIPM web site.

The participating National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) need to comply with the following:

  • They have implemented Quality Management Systems that govern the delivery of their services (ISO / IEC 17025 or ISO Guide 34).
  • Their calibration and measurement capabilities (CMCs) are peer-reviewed and declared publicly in the BIPM.
  • They take part in Key Comparisons that validate their technical proficiency.

Designation agreements

This agreement allows a better use of the technical and human resources metrology capacities in the country. In 1999, a designation agreement was signed with the Laboratory of UTE (the public utilities company), through which this institution was transferred the technical responsibility for the maintenance of national standards of electrical magnitudes, time, frequency and dissemination.

In 2011, a designation agreement was signed with MIEM's Techno Management Laboratory, transferring the technical responsibility for the maintenance of the national standards of magnitudes related to ionizing radiation dissemination to this institution.

Links of interest