Unit and time law
|Title:||Law on the units in metrology and the determination of time|
|Short title:||Unit and time law|
|Scope:||Federal Republic of Germany|
|Legal matter:||Commercial administrative law|
|Original version from:||July 2, 1969 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 709 )|
|Entry into force on:||5th July 1970|
|New announcement from:||February 22, 1985
( BGBl. I p. 408 )
|Last change by:||
Art. 291 VO from 31 August 2015
( Federal Law Gazette I, p. 1474, 1516 )
|Effective date of the
|September 8, 2015
(Art. 627 of August 31, 2015)
|Please note the note on the applicable legal version.|
The German law on units in metrology and time determination (in short, units and time law , EinhZeitG) authorizes the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology to define the legal units and defines some of the tasks of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt . The sole right of the federal government to enact laws on weights and measures is based on Paragraph 1, No. 4 of the Basic Law .
According to Directive 80/181 / EEC , the Unit Ordinance (Implementing Ordinance to the Law on Units in Metrology, EinhV) defines the SI units and some non-SI units as legal units . This means that only legal units may be used in business and official transactions in Germany , unless the Units and Time Act provide for an exception. Additional information in non-legal units is permitted, provided that the information in the legal unit is highlighted. Infringements in business dealings constitute administrative offenses .
With effect from July 12, 2008, the provisions of the former Time Act were incorporated into this Act with the former title Act on Units in Metrology .
The concise "Implementing Ordinance to the Law on Units in Metrology and Time Determination (Units Ordinance - EinhV)" contains, in addition to the definitions of the SI base units, essentially tables with unit names, unit symbols and information on prefixes and prefixes , with the help of decimal multiples and parts can be designated by units. The original version of the regulation (Federal Law Gazette I 1970 p. 981), however, was very detailed. It contained not only conversion ratios and transition periods for obsolete units, but also verbal definitions of many derived units and general formation rules for derived units, for which reference is made to the guideline today. In this original edition of the ordinance, however, the term “derived unit” was used in a sense that is broader than what is customary today; then z. B. the day is a derived unit of time.
Originally, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt had also been given the task of publishing a “table of legal units” in the Units Act. Their position and tasks are now regulated inthe Act (as well as in MessEG).
Differentiation from property descriptions
The law is unclear with regard to the differentiation from property descriptions. This applies in particular to the following cases:
- The only applicable unit of measurement is not a legal unit of measurement: An example is the unit bit or byte for specifying the memory size in magnetic, electrical or optical data storage media .
- A dimension designation also specifies an article : An example are imperial threaded pipes, fittings and screws with Whitworth threads or car rims , the size of which in inches is also a generally accepted part of the product name .
- There is a billing measure that does not reflect the actual weight, volume or length, but is determined on the basis of measurement and calculation rules laid down in commercial practice : One example is the units of solid cubic meters and cubic meters as billing units of raw wood . Here, the accounting unit expresses that it is not about the actual salary or content, but about a measurement.
List of legal entities in Germany with special names
SI units are highlighted in green; Units approved by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BPIM) for use with the SI are yellow.
|Unit name||Unit symbol||size|
|Ar||a||Area of land and parcels|
|Atomic mass unit||u||Mass in atomic physics|
|Becquerel||Bq||Activity of a radioactive substance|
|Coulomb||C.||electric charge, amount of electricity|
|diopter||dpt||Refractive index of optical systems|
|Electron volt||eV||Energy in atomic physics|
|centigrade||° C||Celsius temperature|
|Gray||Gy||Absorbed dose, specific energy, kerma, absorbed dose index|
|Hectares||Ha||Area of land and parcels|
|Joules||J||Energy, work, amount of heat|
|metric carat||Mass of precious stones|
|Millimeter mercury||mmHg||Blood pressure and other body fluid pressures|
|Mole||mol||Amount of substance|
|Tesla||T||magnetic flux density|
|Tex||tex||linear mass of textile fibers and yarns|
|Var||var||Reactive power in electrical energy technology|
|Full angle||flat angle|
|volt||V||electrical potential, electrical voltage|
|watt||W.||Power, energy flow|
|Source: Implementing Ordinance to the EinhZeitG|
- Text of the implementing ordinance to the law on units in metrology of June 26, 1970
- Le Système international d'unités . 9e édition, 2019 (the so-called "SI brochure", French and English).
- The legal units in Germany Compilation of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, status: October 2019 (PDF file; 1.6 MB)