International Treaties & BIPM

BIPM logoThe Convention of the Metre (Convention du Mètre) is a treaty that created the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM – Bureau International des Poids et Mesures), an intergovernmental organization under the authority of the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) and the supervision of the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM).

The BIPM acts in matters of world metrology, particularly concerning the demand for measurement standards of ever increasing accuracy, range and diversity, and the need to demonstrate equivalence between national measurement standards.

The Convention was signed in Paris in 1875 by representatives of seventeen nations.

As well as founding the BIPM and laying down the way in which the activities of the BIPM should be financed and managed, the Metre Convention established a permanent organizational structure for member governments to act in common accord on all matters relating to units of measurement.

The Convention, modified slightly in 1921, remains the basis of international agreement on units of measurement.

The BIPM now includes all the major industrialized countries.
As of 17 August 2016, there are 58 Member States of the BIPM, and 41 Associates of the General Conference.

Member States of the BIPM

ArgentinaIndonesiaRussian Federation
AustraliaIran (Islamic Republic of)Saudi Arabia
CanadaJapanSouth Africa
ColombiaKorea (Republic of)Switzerland
Czech RepublicMalaysiaTunisia
EgyptNetherlandsUnited Arab Emirates
FinlandNew ZealandUnited Kingdom
FranceNorwayUnited States of America
GreecePolandVenezuela (Bolivarian Rep. of)

Associates of the General Conference

AzerbaijanHong Kong (China)Peru
Bosnia and HerzegovinaMacedonia (fmr Yugoslav Rep. of)Sri Lanka
CARICOMMauritiusSyrian Arab Republic
Chinese TaipeiMoldova (Republic of)Ukraine
Costa RicaMongoliaViet Nam

Learn more online at:
National metrology institutes (NMIs) of Member States of the Metre Convention and Associate States and Economies of the CGPM, institutes designated in the CIPM MRA, and other institutes are the custodians of measurement standards for their country (economy).

Most are involved not only in maintaining reference standards and providing the national references for traceable calibrations within their economies, but are also involved in research into new and improved standards.

These organizations are listed in searchable databases online at:

Twenty examples of NMIs with links to their home webpages are listed below.

National Measurements Institutes (NMIs) of Some Countries

  1. Australia:The National Measurement Institute (NMI)
  2. Brasil: Inmetro – National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology
  3. Canada: Conseil national de recherches Canada
    (National Research Council Canada)
  4. China: National Institute of Metrology, China
  5. Czech RepublicCMI – Český metrologický institut
  7. Germany: PTB-Physikalsch-Technische Bundesanstalt
  8. Ireland: NSAI- National Standards Authority of Ireland
  9. Italy: INRIM – L’Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica
  10. Japan: NRIMJ – National Metrology Institute of Japan
  11. Korea: KRISS – Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science
  12. Malaysia: SIRIM Berhad – National Measurement Standards Laboratory
  13. Netherlands: VSL – Dutch Metrology Institute
  14. Russian Federation: GOST – Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology
  15. Singapore: NMC – National Metrology Centre
  16. Slovenia: MRIS- Metrology Institute of the Republic of Slovenia
  17. South Africa: NMISA-National Metrology Institute of South Africa
  18. Sweden: SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden
  19. United Kingdom: NPL-National Physical Laboratory
  20. United States of America: NIST-National Institute of Standards and Technology

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