WTO TBT (Technical Barriers to Trade) Committee
In March, General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk and Françoise Rauser, Secretary of the IEC Affiliate Country Programme attended the WTO TBT Committee. Vreeswijk and Rauser spoke to the Committee about the ways in which the IEC facilitates trade as well as the important role the IEC plays in helping developing and developed countries build safe and efficient energy and communication infrastructures.
CANENA, the Council for Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standards of the Nations of the Americas held its annual meeting from the 27-28 February in Montreal, Canada.
IEC Vice-President and SMB (Standardization Management Board) Chairman James E. Matthews III spoke at the event, whose theme this year was Putting Regional Standardization in a Global Context. Matthews gave an account of the latest IEC activities, highlighting the role of the MSB in identifying and setting strategies for IEC involvement in future technologies.
Asia-Pacific regional events
ACCSQ (ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality)
The ACCSQ's main objective is to develop and implement measures for an ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Economic Community in the area of standards, conformity assessment and technical regulations. The 2013 meeting, held in April in Kuala Lumpur was attended by IEC-APRC Regional Director Dennis Chew, IEC President-elect Junji Nomura and IEC President Klaus Wucherer. Chew said of the event: 'The ACCSQ meeting provides IEC Officers with an opportunity to network with key and high-level standards officials in ASEAN, and to raise the IEC profile in the region'. Wucherer was also interviewed on a morning radio show as part of the event and spoke at an Industry Breakfast Forum about how standards and conformity assessment impact every aspect of the supply chain, level the playing field in particular for SMEs and allow markets to grow.
APEC JRAC (Joint Regulatory Advisory Committee on Electrical and Electronic Equipment)
Attended by a host of representatives from regional countries, this year's JRAC meeting was held in Surabaya, Indonesia, in April. The meeting's key agenda was the sharing of the latest regulatory developments in the representatives' respective economies. Chew was present at the meeting and gave an introduction and update on the IEC's activities.
7th lites.asia meeting
lites stands for Lighting Information and Technical Exchange for Standards and lites.asia is a network that seeks to facilitate policy maker cooperation within the Asia region to improve knowledge of published and draft standards as well as to increase the participation of regional economies in the IEC standards development process.The latest lites.asia meeting held in April in Jakarta, Indonesia focused on IEC activities related to CFLs and LEDs and general updates from members on national standards, labelling and enforcement activities related to lighting. Close to 50 participants from 9 countries took part, with the IEC-APRC office represented by Damien Lee.
Experts from Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia, who had attended the recent IEC TC (Technical Committee) 34 Working Group meetings presented some of the new projects within TC 34 and its Subcommittees which are of interest to lites.asia. They also took the opportunity to provide an update of the current status of other lighting projects and urged participants to provide comments through their NCs. The Australian expert gave a presentation on the benefits to be gained through participating in IEC meetings and encouraged more countries to take part.
15th ACCSQ Joint Sectoral Committee for Electrical and Electronic Equipment Meeting
Participation of the APRC at the JSC EEE meetings has cemented the IEC's relationship with regulators in the region and greatly promoted the use of IEC standards. Chew has used the meetings as opportunities to help clarify the use of IEC standards with participants. At the last meeting in May he met with the Laos Affiliate (Director of Standards) and her staff, discussing with her the adoption of standards and selection of Technical Committees as well as explaining the benefits of the mentoring programme.
7th APEC Conference on Good Regulatory Practice
Held in Indonesia in June, the conference brought together more than 100 experts from government, business and international organizations to discuss the critical regulatory issues facing the APEC community. Ann Weeks, UL Vice President for Global Affairs and Chew participated in session 8, moderated by Frank Kitzantides, to discuss ways to move forward with conformity assessment and GRP (Good Regulatory Practice).
Chew said of the event: "The IEC's continued engagement in the activities of the APEC SCSC (Subcommittee on Standards and Conformity) is of increasing importance as the grouping focuses on approaches to facilitate trade".
JISC / IEC / APSG HRD (Human Resource Development) Seminar
Held at the beginning of December 2012, the seminar was a milestone event as it has been held annually since the establishment of the IEC-APRC which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012. To this effect, a dinner reception was hosted by the APRC to commemorate its 10th anniversary as well as the joint collaboration with JISC (Japanese Industrial Standards Committee) over the past 10 years.
The theme of the seminar was Standards for a Green Society and it focused on IEC work relating to electrical energy efficiency of white goods, brown goods, IT equipment and surge arrestors. Previous collaborations with JISC have seen NCs in the region becoming more active and taking part as P members in IEC TCs and SCs.
Dennis Chew was present at the 2012 International Symposium held in November in Seoul, where he spoke on the importance for regulators to be involved in standards development as well as the benefits of leveraging on the conformity assessment systems operated by the IEC. In particular, he shared the future electricity grid and electrical energy efficiency as new areas where it is important for regulators to be involved in the development of international standards and the use of IEC conformity assessment systems. The symposium attracted 150 participants who were largely engineers and managers of the local utilities and related organizations.
In May, Chew and Treasurer Ake Danemar attended the 36th PASC (Pacific Area Standards Congress) meeting. Danemar gave an update on the latest developments in the IEC while Chew shared on the IEC Young Professionals Programme and the IEC Affiliate Country Programme. PASC (Pacific Area Standards Congress) is an important forum comprising the CEOs and senior representatives of National Standards Bodies from 25 country members in the Asia-Pacific region.
And in July close to 40 people attended the Seminar on International Standardization for Semiconductor Devices which was organized by the APRC and the Singapore NC to promote the work of TC 47 and its Subcommittees. The meeting was supported by SSIA (Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association), JISC and PCSS (Promotion Committee of Semiconductor Standardization, Japan). Apart from promoting awareness to the industry in Singapore, the event was an opportunity to gather interested industry participants to consider participation in this area.
Latin America regional events
COPANT (Pan American Standards Association) General Assembly
The 2013 COPANT General Assembly was held in April in Saint Lucia. This year’s event was the biggest in term of attendees with over 100 participants present. The IEC’s Jim Matthews and Amaury Santos, IEC-LARC Regional Manager, were in attendance with Matthews giving an update and presentation of IEC activities.
The event provided a great opportunity for Matthews and Santos to meet with representatives of Caricom (Caribbean Community) and CROSQ (CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality). A meeting was organized to discuss more active participation in the IEC through the Affiliate Country Programme as well as the use of IEC Conformity Assessment Systems.
CONCAMIN and COMENOR National Standardization Annual Forum
The IEC’s Jacques Régis and Amaury Santos were present at the CONCAMIN (La Confederación de Cámaras Industriales de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos) and COMENOR (Consejo Mexicano de Normalización y Evaluación de la Conformidad) event in June this year, with Régis giving a presentation on the IEC.
The annual forum hosts a large number of high-level individuals from government authorities and standardization entities as well as regulators, allowing IEC Officers to network and promote the work of the IEC.
FINCA (Forum of IEC National Committees of the Americas) 2013 Meeting
Held in Miami in September, the FINCA 2013 Meeting, saw its 7 country members (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and USA) take an important decision in inviting the region’s Affiliate Countries and Associate Members to participate as observers in future events. For the first time this year, COPANT’s Executive Secretary Kory Eguino was in attendance, and the USA invited Costa Rica’s Sandra Gomez of INTECO as observer. Also present were three of the IEC’s Young Professionals, Manyphay Souvannarath, Stephanie McLarty and Jonathan Colby.
The event allows the NCs to exchange information about the IEC General Meeting agenda and come together to defend the region’s common interests at the meeting. Santos also reports on latest IEC-LARC activities.
Amaury Santos and Peter J. Lanctot, Secretary of the MSB (Market Strategy Board) have been invited to speak at the 2013 Latin America Smart Grid Forum which will take place in Brazil in November 2013. Lanctot will be presenting the Smart Grid Standards Map at the event.