The 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

Argentina Indonesia Russian Federation
Australia Iran (Islamic Republic of) Saudi Arabia
Austria Iraq Serbia
Belgium Ireland Singapore
Brazil Israel Slovakia
Bulgaria Italy Slovenia
Canada Japan South Africa
Chile Kazakhstan Spain
China Kenya Sweden
Colombia Korea (Republic of) Switzerland
Croatia Lithuania Thailand
Czech Republic Malaysia Tunisia
Denmark Mexico Turkey
Egypt Netherlands United Arab Emirates
Finland New Zealand United Kingdom
France Norway United States of America
Germany Pakistan Uruguay
Greece Poland Venezuela (Bolivarian Rep. of)
Hungary Portugal
India Romania

Associates of the General Conference

Albania Ghana Paraguay
Azerbaijan Hong Kong (China) Peru
Bangladesh Jamaica Philippines
Belarus Latvia Qatar
Bolivia Luxembourg Seychelles
Bosnia and Herzegovina Macedonia (fmr Yugoslav Rep. of) Sri Lanka
Botswana Malta Sudan
CARICOM Mauritius Syrian Arab Republic
Chinese Taipei Moldova (Republic of) Ukraine
Costa Rica Mongolia Viet Nam
Cuba Montenegro Yemen
Ecuador Namibia Zambia
Estonia Oman Zimbabwe
Georgia Panama


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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