IECEE certification essential to IT sector
It is largely agreed that conformity assessment is a key factor in facilitating free trade and economic development. IECEE Executive Secretary Pierre de Ruvo was invited by the WTO(World Trade Organization) to make a presentation at a symposium marking the 15th anniversary of the WTO ITA (Information Technology Agreement). His speech was part of the programme module on "Challenges and possible solutions to expanding trade in ICT products".
The audience was particularly interested to learn why and how IECEE ensures that safe and efficient products reach markets and helps reduce and, ultimately, eliminate obstacles to trade. This is essential in the WTO ITA context since the IECEE product categories that cover IT equipment are among those that issue the greatest number of certificates each year, guaranteeing safety and efficient use for all certified products.
New development and the recent inclusion of additional services – such as energy efficiency – in the IECEE portfolio, contribute to the positioning of the IECEE System as a key player in furthering the success of the WTO ITA (see article in e-tech, June 2012).
Representing IEC and IECEE internationally
De Ruvo represented the IEC and IECEE at a significant number of conferences, workshops and meetings arranged by international organizations such as UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation). The list is by no means exhaustive but shows that IECEE is a respected and important player on the international scene.
In February 2012, he attended a UNIDO workshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which brought together policymakers and regulators, industrialists, academics, laboratory professionals and accreditation officials from several Asian countries (see article in e-tech, March 2012).
IECEE also gave de Ruvo the opportunity to participate in an APEC workshop in Sydney, Australia, pertaining to “Risk assessment in household appliances”.
These events enabled him to introduce the new IECEE Affiliate Status, with its focus on CA (Conformity Assessment) for developing countries, and to describe how Affiliates can use and benefit from the IECEE System.
Involving developing countries
To help developing countries that have an interest in participating in CA activities, IECEE decided to grant IEC Affiliate Countries observer status in the IECEE System. This status offers them a form of participation in CA activities without incurring the financial burden of actual membership, allowing them to make full use of the IECEE 100% electronic environment.
The Affiliate Countries participating in IECEE activities are entitled to attend all IECEE meetings as observers, make use of the IECEE rules, procedures and operational documents and participate in the various IECEE training and workshops. However, observers do not have the right to propose or vote on resolutions (see article in e-tech, April 2012).
More services and product categories
IECEE has recently developed, and is still developing, new services to respond to demand from industry. A new product category, ELVH, has been developed for electric vehicles.
The recently set-up IECEE E3 (electrical energy efficiency) programme ensures that products comply with IEC International Standards in terms of performance, energy consumption and noise level emissions.
Factory surveillance service
This service can be used as a stand-alone proof of compliance of the factory where the product is manufactured and/or assembled or as part of the IECEE CB-FCS (Full Certification Scheme).
The IECEE CB-FCS goes beyond product testing. It covers Type Testing and regular surveillance at the factory that manufactures the relevant certified product. This is of value to manufacturers who need to provide proof that products manufactured in a given factory offer a consistent level of quality over time.
Global motor labelling programme in the pipeline
Leading manufacturers of industrial motors around the world have already adopted an energy efficiency classification that was put in place by the IEC and published as a globally relevant IEC International Standard. Now the IECEE is working with NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) and its motors’ industry on the development of a truly global labelling programme for all types and sizes of industrial motors. This programme will be designed to ensure that highly energy-efficient motors meet the needs and applications of users and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) based on a consensus definition of "premium efficiency" and use of an IECEE E3 logo for premium products (see article in e-tech, July 2012)
Other services such as Industrial automation and automation devices and Smart Grid – with focus on the smart home, the smart building and the smart factory – are currently in development.