The Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC), under the Ministry of Economic Development, in particular the Metrology Division which administers the National Quality Control and Metrology Center, is responsible for the coordination of the execution and control of activities on national metrology. The SIC accredits metrology laboratories which constitute a national network of accredited laboratories. Actions which are related to Legal, Scientific and Industrial Metrology are developed.
In the area of Legal Metrology the SIC seeks uniformity and credibility of the measurements that support the commercial and services transactions of the country, with the support of the existing and future regional or local bodies of legal metrology. Local bodies may affiliate their services before their accreditation, in order to fulfill the provisions regulated by SIC in the area of legal metrology. Such regional or local bodies should maintain the standards to be traced to the mandatory measurement units, which are to beused as reference for the calibration of the instruments needed by the legal authorities for legal metrology control.
The instruments of measurement which are subject to mandatory metrologic control serve as the basis for :
- commercial transactions / or determination of the price of a service
- remuneration or recognition for personal work, activities that may affect life, health, bodily integrity, or the environment
- acts that are of an expert witness, or that are judicial or administrative in nature
- verification or calibration of other instruments
- quantitative determination of the components of merchandise whose price or quality depend on these components.
The International System of Unities, SI, and the measurements which will be approved by the General Conference on Weights and Measures, will be adopted as the legal system of measurements. The actual implementation of the SI in all activities is programmed to take place in five years, starting with the announcement of the New Law of Consumers Defense, presently under the consideration in the Congress.
The current Center of Quality and Metrology Control is under the responsibility of the Metrology Division of the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce, with calibration and capacitation services.Created on January 16, 1996, the center will guarantee the measurements of longitude, mass, volume and time, for which it has the support of modern and advanced laboratories. The following services will be supplied:
1. Calibration and definition;
2. Laboratories of mass and balances: analytical balance, class E weights (special);
3. Volume Laboratory: glass volume vessels, volume balloon, burette, lined pipette, measuring pipete, test tube, metallic volume vessels;
4. Thermometry Laboratory: glass thermometers, electrical thermometry, dial thermometer, temperature indicator, thermoresistances, thermocouple;
5. Force Laboratory: instruments to measure force, thrust collars, dynamometric clamp , energy cells, calibration of machines of test on materials, universal machines, dynamometer, printing frame;
6. Laboratory of Dimensional Metrology: gauge blocks, standards for micrometers, plain calibers, threaded calibers, standard scales, precision levels, machines of area measurement, set of thickness gauges, machines of three coordinates, calibration of comparising gauge blocks;
7. Laboratory of Continuous Current and Electric Instrumentation: analogous and digital multimeter, resistance Wheatstone bridge, P.T. simulator, "conductometer, sources of potency, galvanometer, potentiometer, field calibrator, resistances, potency's analyzer, megohmmeter;
8. Laboratory of Pressure and Manometry: vaccuum gauge, mano-vaccuum gauges, manometer of one and two pistons;
9. Laboratory of Densimetry: densimeter, pignometer, aerometer;
10. Humidity Laboratory: hygrometer;
11. Laboratory of Energy Measurers: monophasic and triphasic measurers, wattmeter, cosinometric pliers;
12. Laboratories of measurement transformers: transformers of current and voltage, T.T.R.;
13. Time and Frequency Laboratory: oscilloscope, functions' generator, digital chronometer, frequency's meter.
Considerable investment has been programmed to endow the center with measurement laboratories for water, gas, hardness, rugosity, torque topography, acoustic, optic, viscosity, superficial tension, pyrometry and physic-chemical tests.
The center has been catalogued as a reference for other metrology laboratories in Central America and in the Andean region. With the center's new service, as reference laboratory, enterprises will be able to obtain the calibration of their instruments recurring to the Network of Accredited Laboratories, within the National System of Standardization, Certification and Metrology.
A project to consolidate the Regional Center of Metrology, CEREMET-Atlantic is currently being developed in the Atlantic Coast region, with the technical support of the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce.