Unit and time law

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Basic data
Title: Law on the units in metrology and the determination of time
Short title: Unit and time law
Abbreviation: EinhZeitG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany              
Legal matter: Commercial administrative law
References : 7141-5
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
last change:
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 Article 73, 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 in Section 6 of the Act (as well as in Sections 45–47 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
amp A. electric current
Ar a Area of ​​land and parcels
Atomic mass unit u Mass in atomic physics
bar bar pressure
Barn b Cross section
Becquerel Bq Activity of a radioactive substance
Candela CD Light intensity
Coulomb C. electric charge, amount of electricity
diopter dpt Refractive index of optical systems
Electron volt eV Energy in atomic physics
farad F. electrical capacitance
Gon gon flat angle
Degree ° flat angle
centigrade ° C Celsius temperature
Gram G Dimensions
Gray Gy Absorbed dose, specific energy, kerma, absorbed dose index
Hectares Ha Area of ​​land and parcels
Henry H Inductance
hertz Hz frequency
Joules J Energy, work, amount of heat
Catal cat catalytic activity
Kelvin K thermodynamic temperature
kilogram kg Dimensions
liter l, L volume
Lumens lm Luminous flux
lux lx Illuminance
meter m length
metric carat Mass of precious stones
Millimeter mercury mmHg Blood pressure and other body fluid pressures
minute ' flat angle
minute min time
Mole mol Amount of substance
Newton N force
ohm Ω electrical resistance
Pascal Pa pressure
Radians wheel flat angle
second flat angle
second s time
Siemens S. electrical conductance
Sievert Sv Equivalent dose
Steradian sr Solid angle
hour H time
Day d time
Tesla T magnetic flux density
Tex tex linear mass of textile fibers and yarns
ton t Dimensions
Var var Reactive power in electrical energy technology
Full angle flat angle
volt V electrical potential, electrical voltage
watt W. Power, energy flow
Weber Wb magnetic river
Source: Implementing Ordinance to the EinhZeitG

The following units have been approved by the BIPM for use with the SI, but are not legal units under this law: astronomical unit , neper , bel and decibel .

Individual evidence

  1. a b Implementing Ordinance to the EinhZeitG
  2. Text of the implementing ordinance to the law on units in metrology of June 26, 1970
  3. Le Système international d'unités . 9e édition, 2019 (the so-called "SI brochure", French and English).

Web links