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What is the SI?

    The SI is the International System of Units, or less formally as "the modern metric system". The Treaty of the Meter was signed in 1875 by the United States and several other countries for the sake of easing international trade by specifying the use of metric units. Then a process of evolution of evolution occurred, during which arose a few different versions, each called a metric system. These variants were unified and replaced by the SI in 1960/61. Since all preceding versions of the metric system have now been replaced, people today commonly call the SI just "the metric system". The current form, the SI, has become the system used by nearly every country of the world as their only authorized system of measurement, with the notable exception of the United States. Only the U.S. has refrained from taking federally coordinated steps to complete its metrication efforts (which started in the 1970s). However, the Metrication Act is still in force and it was strengthened in 1988 making the metric system (the SI) the preferred system of measurement in the U.S. Industry and commercial societies continue the process of metrication within their own realms.

    The Uniform Packaging and Labeling Regulation (UPLR) of the United States was amended in July of 1999 and took effect on the first day of 2000 to allow metric-only labeling on goods covered by this model regulation. A large number of the states automatically adopted this model regulation and others enacted it by legislation or regulation; all but two states have adopted it so far. Now, many goods can be labeled using only metric units and the same packaging, advertising, and inserts can be used in the adopting states as are used for goods sold in any other country. Producers of goods for both domestic and international sales therefore can save on their packaging costs. This change is expected to be closely followed by similar changes in the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act in order to allow metric-only labeling on federally regulated goods. All of these metric-only labeling provisions are purely voluntary. No changes in the amount of a package's content are required. But a great economic opportunity is available for U.S. businesses which wish to take advantage of these eased labeling requirements.

    Metric-only labeling is coming to America! Are your ready? What you learned in school several years ago may not be current due to important changes that have streamlined the metric system. You may need refresher training on it. Yet, Americans are ready for the SI and already participate in many metricated markets. They have been trained on it in school and have many Metric Moments each day.

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