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Asia-Pacific Standards Related Activities

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SSD works with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and with other U.S. Government Agencies to establish positions on standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment related issues in discussions and negotiations pertaining to Asian member economies. The following links provide more information on Asia-Pacific activities.

  1. Participation in Asia-Pacific Fora
  2. ANSI Regional Standing Committee on Asia-Pacific
  3. Bilateral and Multilateral Agreements and Dialogues
  4. Information on Specialist Regional Bodies
  5. Workshops
  6. APEC Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Conformity Assessment of Telecommunications Equipment
  7. Standards Expert
  8. Publications
  9. Country Links, Information and Background
  10. Other Links

Participation in Asia-Pacific Fora

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC)

SSD staff participate as members of the U.S. delegation to APEC SCSC meetings. The goal of APEC's 21 member economies is to advance Asia-Pacific economic dynamism and sense of community. The objectives of the SCSC are to: encourage alignment of members’ standards with international standards; achieverecognition among APEC economies of conformity assessment in regulated and voluntary sectors; promote cooperation for technical infrastructure development; and ensure the transparency of the standards and conformity assessments of APEC economies.

Click below to access selected information from the SCSC work program:

American National Standards Institute
(ANSI) Regional Standing Committee for the Asia-Pacific (RSC-AP)

The ANSI RSC for the Asia Pacific is one of three ANSI Regional Standing Committees. The other two RSCs cover Europe and the Americas. These committees have been established to provide input from the ANSI perspective to regional activities in the areas of standardization and conformity assessment. They also provide a framework for raising standards-related problems. NIST participates in the regional standing committee as a member of ANSI.

Bilateral and Multilateral Agreements and Dialogues

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ). The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is composed of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The standards and conformance forum within ASEAN is called the ACCSQ. The principle objectives of the ACCSQ are to reduce technical barriers to trade between countries in the region and to harmonize standards and conformance procedures. The U.S. Department of Commerce maintains a dialogue with the ACCSQ. Activities carried out under the Dialogue are listed below:

  • Memorandum of Cooperation between the U.S. Department of Commerce and the ASEAN Secretariat
  • Standards in Trade Workshop for Southeast Asia

Memorandum of Understanding between the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards PDF File

MOU between the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Ministry of State for Research and Technology, Indonesia

Information on Specialist Regional Bodies

The Asia-Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC)

APLAC groups organisations in the Asia Pacific region responsible for accrediting testing and inspection facilities. Members are nationally recognized accreditation bodies and are usually owned or endorsed by government. NIST/OSS currently participates in APLAC through the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP). NVLAP is a signatory to the APLAC multilateral Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA). Under the MRA, each organisation recognises the equivalence of accreditations performed by its overseas counterparts, and promotes the equivalence of such accreditations within its own economy.

Asia-Pacific Legal Metrology Forum (APLMF)

The principle objectives of the Forum are:

  • To develop and maintain mutual confidence between legal metrology authorities in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • To identify and promote the removal of technical and administrative barriers to trade in the field of legal metrology;
  • To promote mutual recognition arrangements between members and with other regional groups and individual nations;
  • To cooperate with the International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML) and promote the use and acceptance of OIML International Recommendations and the OIML Certification Scheme.

NIST/SSD currently participates in APLMF through the Technical Standards Activities Program (TSAP).

The Asia-Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP)

The objectives of APMP are:

  • to provide mutual exchange of information, training and advice on measurement standards and capabilities;
  • to provide training, advice and consultancy on the development and establishment of new standards and calibration facilities;
  • to provide traceability of measurement throughout the region through calibration of measurement standards;
  • to develop objective technical evidence of measurement traceability and competence as a basis for multilateral recognition;

The United States currently has observer status within the APMP.

The Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC)

PAC is an association of accreditation bodies and other interested parties whose objective is to facilitate trade and commerce among economies in the Asia Pacific region. Its ultimate objective is the creation of a global system that grants international recognition of certification or registration of management systems, products, services, personnel and other programmes of conformity assessment. The PAC promotes the international acceptance of accreditations granted by its accreditation body members, based on the equivalence of their accreditation programmes. The PAC operates within the framework of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and in cooperation with other regional groups of accreditation bodies around the world.

The United States does not currently participate in PAC.

Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC)

PASC serves as a forum for countries on the Pacific Rim to strengthen international standardization programmes of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and to improve the ability of Pacific Rim standards organizations to participate in these programmes effectively.

NIST/OSS participates in PASC through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).


APEC Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Conformity Assessment of Telecommunications Equipment

Standards Experts

There is currently one standards expert located in Asia. This expert is a NIST Standards Representative in India who has an office in the National Physical Laboratory in New Delhi. Standards Representatives serve as in-country experts and liaison for all standards-related matters, handling a wide variety of issues. They effectively contribute to U.S. businesses in their attempts to penetrate markets.

The standards experts monitor standards and conformity assessment activities in the region, including participation in the planning and/or conducting of events by regional bodies. They also notify government, standards-developing organizations, trade associations, and industry technical experts of countries about discussions of standards and related issues in order to promote acceptance of U.S. positions and product certifications and to harmonize standards and procedures. The experts support the NIST Standards in Trade Workshops by identifying candidates, identifying issues, and providing technical and logistical support. They analyze standards-related issues to support government and industry trade associations and provide U.S. standards information to the government and private standards organizations of Asian countries in order to promote the harmonization of standards and conformity assessment practices in the United States.

Related Links:


Country Links, Information and Background

Central Intelligence Agency's The World Fact Book


Other Links

Asian Development Bank
U.S. Trade and Development Agency's (TDA) Asia-Pacific
World Bank Group - East Asia and Pacific
U.S. Agency for International Development - Asia and the Near East
International Trade Administration


For further information on these activities, please contact:

Global Standards and Information Group
100 Bureau Drive, MS 2100
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-2100
E-mail:  gsig@nist.gov
Tel: 301-975-6094
FAX: 301-963-2871

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For technical questions concerning the Global Standards and Information Group, contact us:

Global Standards and Information Group, Standards Services Division, NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, MS 2100, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-2100
Phone: (301) 975-6094, Fax: (301) 975-4715, Email: gsig@nist.gov

Date created: April 09, 2001
Last updated: December 18, 2003

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