Standardization News

ASTM Celebrates 100th Memorandum of Understanding

On October 17, at the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ASTM President James Thomas announced the signing of our 100th memorandum of understanding.  The MoU program supports the use of ASTM International standards while also encouraging global participation in our standards development process.

“This program has been crucial in supporting the global standards community, starting with our first signatory, Colombia, to Gulf nations including the UAE, to Montserrat, our 100th,” said Thomas. “These signings reflect ASTM’s broad and deep commitment to World Trade Organization principles such as openness, transparency, and the development dimension.” 

“We are thrilled that Montserrat is joining this well-known program,” said Deryck Omar, CEO of the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality in the Caribbean. “It’s clear that ASTM International standards are recognized worldwide for their high technical quality and market relevance,” said Omar, an ASTM board member.

During his presentation, Thomas unveiled ASTM’s new Global Cooperation webpage, which features all 100 countries and regions, including Monserrat as well as Myanmar, which became the 99th MoU partner last week.

MoU partners receive these benefits:
•    Free participation in ASTM technical committees;
•    Access to a robust collection of ASTM standards for the national standards body;
•    Education about ASTM International’s standards development process and technical content;
•    Minimized duplication of effort in standards development at the national level; and
•    Communication, awareness, access to special programs, and more.

These benefits are particularly helpful in addressing challenges such as overcoming barriers to trade.

Thomas made the announcement during “outreach day” of the weeklong activities of the ASTM International board of directors in the United Arab Emirates.  His speaking engagement – alongside board chairman Dr. Ralph Paroli of the National Research Council of Canada – was supported by the Abu Dhabi Chamber, the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the U.S. Embassy as part of its Discover America Speakers Series.

ASTM’s overall global engagement has grown alongside the MoU program. Over the past 10 years, membership in ASTM International committees has increased 42 percent outside the U.S. At the same time, ASTM has opened several additional offices throughout the world.

In 2016, the organization hosted over 100 delegates from nine countries. Over the past decade, ASTM International has also hosted 32 standards experts from 28 nations through its exchange program. Over the next 12 months, the organization plans to host experts from MoU signatories including Bhutan, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam.

Also this month, ASTM's Global Cooperation Department, which manages the MoU program, received the International Code Council Global Award for their dedicated effort in “promoting and providing access to technical standards supporting the building codes around the world, thus creating an opportunity to expand the ICC’s mission to promote global building safety.”

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