Kane – Standards Office

Standards and Conformance as
Non-Tariff Trade Barriers:
Commerce Assistance to U.S
ITA Standards Liaison’s Office
U.S. Department of Commerce
Introduction: Commerce Standards Initiative
6 Years since the launch of
the Commerce Standards
Standards and Conformance
issues continue serve as
major problems to U.S.
exporters and are a priority
for the Commercial Service
Report Location
Trade Agreements: The rules of the game
WTO Technical Barriers to Trade
Agreement (TBT) and the Agreement on
Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
(SPS) are the major agreements that
govern how standards and conformance
are used in Members technical regulations.
U.S. Free Trade Agreements also typically
contain provisions or chapters on TBT and
USTR is the overall lead on these
TCC contact: Bryan O’Byrne is the ITA
TBT POC [email protected]
TCC contact: Christine Brown is the ITA
SPS POC [email protected]
Codex Alimentarius
• -- USDA and FDA are the lead agencies for Codex
Alimentarius, the United Nations food safety standards
• -- Codex Alimentarius is referenced in the SPS Agreement
as the "relevant international organization" for developing
food safety standards
• -- ITA is active in interagency work on Codex, particularly
on making sure that Codex standards and ISO standards
on food products are complementary
• -- TAC/OMA contacts: Eileen Hill ([email protected])
and Renee Hancher ([email protected]) are the ITA
Codex POCs
Standards in Trade
Standards: Use driven by markets or regulators?
developed by
private sector
Manufacturer or
Retail requires the
Your customer uses
the standard for
market acceptance
developed by
private sector
Regulator chooses a
standard based on
health, safety or
security need
Your customer uses
the standard for
market compliance
developed by
Regulator develops
and agrees to the
standard based on
a health, safety or
security need
Your customer uses
the standard for
market compliance
Frequently Asked Questions on Standards
Q: What is considered an international standard? The country where I am
located only accepts ISO or IEC as international standards.
A: The U.S. does not name specific organizations as those developing
international standards. Our position is to promote broad acceptance
of standards that follow WTO TBT Committee Decision, which lays out
principles for international standards development that include:
– Transparency
– Openness
– Impartiality and consensus
– Effectiveness and relevance
– Coherence
– Development Dimension
• http://www.ita.doc.gov/td/standards/Final%20Site/International%20
Advocacy: Ensure standards development and regulatory processes
are open for U.S. interests to make technical comments.
Frequently Asked Questions on Standards
Q: Why aren’t standards developed in the United States free?
• A: Some of the standards developers in the U.S. need to charge
for standards so that they can continue the work of their
• A: However some of the standards bodies either provide their
standards for free, like the Air-conditioning, Heating and
Refrigeration Institute or the National Fire Protection
• A: Some also have MOU programs with the National Standards
Bodies of your country, like ASTM International or Underwriters
Advocacy: Check to see what sectors the country might be interested
in, and we may be able to connect them with low cost standards,
developed in the U.S.
Frequently Asked Questions on Standards
Q: I see the EU having a lot of influence on my country’s standards
or regulatory body. What does the U.S. offer?
A: The EU has a top down, centralized strategy in its approach to
standards development. The U.S. has a bottom up,
decentralized, market-driven approach to standardization.
A: Given these approaches, the EU has provided a greater amount of
technical assistance for developing countries on issues relating to
standards and conformance
A: The U.S. has improved its approach to technical assistance in the
last few years, with greater support from the U.S. Trade and
Development Agency and other U.S. public and private sector
Advocacy: If you see this trend, help us investigate with the donor
agencies what U.S. assistance exists for your market.
Hot Topics in Standards
Green Buildings
Renewable Energy Standards (Photovoltaic, Wind)
Intelligent Transportation Systems
Energy Efficiency Products
Smart Grid
Cyber security
Electric Vehicles
Carbon Footprint
New Developments in 2011
• USTR Report on Technical Barriers
• White House’s newly formed National Science and
Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Standards
Conformity Assessment in Trade
Conformity to a standard may be required by the marketplace
(another manufacturer, retailer) or a regulatory body.
The U.S. uses a variety of conformity assessment tools, any one of
the following tools may be suitable for U.S. exports depending on
the level of risk of the product and the reliability and trust
between the parties involved in the transaction.
– Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity
– Inspection
– Accreditation
– Independent Testing
– Third Party Certification
Typical Exporter Issues with Conformity
Preference for Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity over third-party
testing (government or independent).
• Type Approval
• Lack of information of what testing is required or how to obtain a
• Redundant testing
• Testing that is above what is usually required
• Limited Testing facilities (which may limit time to market)
• Concern for IPR/Patent protection
• Expense of additional testing
• Questions to whether testing actually occurs
• Problems with inspection bodies (expense, IPR concerns, time to
Advocacy: Conformance problems and solutions may be very specific and
may involve multiple parties. Please consult with us to help tailor the
solution for the exporter’s problem.
Conformity Assessment: Conformance Marks
Resources for Marking Questions
CE Marking
– http://www.export.gov/cemark/doc_ce_mark_main.asp
– Sylvia Mohr (US/EU) [email protected]
– Bob Straetz (HQ) [email protected]
UL Marking
– Khoi Do ([email protected]) at Underwriters
CCC Marking
– http://www.export.gov/china/exporting_to_china/importre
– Jenny May (OCEA) [email protected]
Other Commercial Service Contacts on Standards
Other contacts not previously listed in my presentation:
Standards Attaches:
– Mexico City: Everett Waikai – [email protected]
– Brussels: Bill Thorn – [email protected]
– Beijing: Dale Wright – [email protected]
– Sao Paolo: Miguel Hernandez [email protected]
Thank you!
Ryan Kane
Office of the ITA Standards Liaison
U.S. Department of Commerce
[email protected]

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