Click here to learn more about the ASTM International MOU Program and other initiatives of the Global Cooperation division. You will find links to the national standards bodies described in this article, information on the World Trade Organization and ASTM International, ASTM’s open house program, how to join the ASTM global community and take advantage of training opportunities, and more.
According to Carlos E. Rodríguez, executive director of INTECO, the MOU his organization signed with ASTM in 2005 has had palpable benefits to his nation. Rodríguez notes, “ASTM standards were already recognized extensively in Costa Rica before we signed the agreement. Since February 2005 we have improved service to our users as much as possible, allowing them to consult our information center and utilize the standards provided by ASTM. In the coming year, we propose to develop standards that require the use of ASTM standards in products such as concrete, tubing and others. We have designated a committee to identify new opportunities in relation to ASTM.”
Costa Rica has adopted, adapted or referenced 35 ASTM standards thus far for electrical conductors, cement and concrete, petroleum, roofing, industrial and specialty chemicals, temperature measurement, mechanical testing and metric units. Costa Rica has 41 individuals participating in ASTM and in December 2005, ASTM hosted INTECO representative Jaime Restrepo at an ASTM committee week. INTECO staff have participated in training on ASTM’s standards development process via virtual meeting.
INTECO President Diego Artiñano Ferris and ASTM President James Thomas sign the MOU. In his remarks at the signing, Ferris noted, “For INTECO, as the national standards body, this MOU with ASTM is of particular importance since it facilitates the necessary process of endorsing commonly used standards as national standards. … INTECO is in a position and has the obligation to create the national normative framework. It is through endorsement, more than adoption, that this can be made a reality. We should all fight the tendency to resolve things through direct regulation or control and open the area for the adequate operation of standards, thereby cultivating industrialization and commercial liberty.”
State Office for Standardization and Metrology
MOU signed April 2002
Croatia’s national standards body has utilized seven ASTM petroleum standards in its national standards or regulation. Two individuals from Croatia serve as members of ASTM International.
Dominica Bureau of Standards
MOU signed August 2003
Steve John, director of DBOS, comments, “DBOS salutes ASTM in its international standardization efforts through the establishment of the MOU program. This mechanism has not only benefited DBOS in terms of access to a broad range of standards, but has also evoked keen interest in the work of various ASTM technical committees. DBOS congratulates ASTM for their efforts and looks forward to working with the agency toward the harmonization of standards one test, accepted everywhere.”
Instituto Ecuatoriano de Normalización
MOU signed April 2002
As part of its MOU signing ceremony in Quito, INEN sponsored a seminar on global trade, with representatives from ASTM International, the American Concrete Institute, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the National Fire Protection Association giving presentations on their standards to an audience of about 125 people from Ecuadoran industry, government and academia. INEN has continued to be proactive in its management of the MOU, adopting, adapting or referencing over 60 ASTM standards from a broad cross-section of industry sectors. Ecuador has 35 individuals serving as members of ASTM.
Felipe Urresta, the director-general of INEN, comments, “This MOU was a very important step in our work because we could benefit not only from the use of ASTM standards for our standards work, but it was also a way to improve a friendly and useful relationship with ASTM and their experts. ASTM standards are used in all fields as reference documents in our technical committees, specifically in the area of construction work.”
Present at the MOU signing between ASTM International and INEN were (from left): Ing. Jose Chacon, American Concrete Institute; Manuel Gutierrez, American Society of Mechanical Engineers; Kitty Kono, ASTM; James Thomas, ASTM; Ing. Felipe Urresta, director-general, Instituto Ecuatoriano de Normalización (INEN); Ing. Cesar Duran, subsecretary, Ministerio de Comercio, Ecuador; Miguel Chiriboga, subsecretary of industrialization, Ecuador; and Arq. Jaime Sotomayor, National Fire Protection Association (click here to enlarge photo).
Felipe Urresta (right), director-general of Ecuador’s national standards body, INEN, poses with Salvatore Rand, who taught the ASTM Technical and Professional Training course on Fuels Technology to Ecuadoran and Peruvian professionals in Quito, Ecuador, in 2002 and 2007. INEN and ASTM cosponsored the educational events as part of its MOU.
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología
MOU signed September 2002
To mark its signing of an MOU with ASTM International, El Salvador’s national standards body, CONACYT, arranged a standards program which some 180 representatives of academia, government, consumer groups and industry attended. ASTM and CONACYT leaders were among the speakers. The organization also opened a National Center for Standards Information, which maintains a collection of ASTM, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and other standards, with the goal of improving the El Salvadoran economy, particularly as it pertains to small- and medium-sized enterprises.
CONACYT has referenced, adapted or adopted 58 ASTM cement and petroleum standards. El Salvador has three people serving as members of ASTM International. They have taken advantage of ASTM training via the MOU program, having sat in on a virtual meeting about the ASTM standards development process.
ASTM President James Thomas and CONACYT Executive Director Carlos Roberto Ochoa Córdova sign the memorandum of understanding.
Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality
MOU signed October 2002
Egypt’s national standards body, EOS,has adopted, adapted or referenced over 260 ASTM International standards from a wide group of industry sectors represented in ASTM, from metals and gypsum to plastics and shipbuilding. EOS has taken advantage of ASTM’s virtual training on its standards development process. Egypt has almost 60 individuals serving as ASTM members.
Dr. Eng. Mahmoud Eisa, the president of EOS, notes, “Signing the MOU between EOS and ASTM International is of great value for EOS as it has: 1) enabled us to obtain a complete set of ASTM standards to be used as a reference when developing our national standards or to be adopted as Egyptian standards in their original language; and 2) made ASTM standards available at the EOS library to all stakeholders.”
Kitty Kono, ASTM vice president of global cooperation, and Mahmoud Eisa, president of EOS, sign a memorandum of understanding in Cairo.
Quality and Standards Authority of Ethiopia
MOU signed May 2005
The national standards body of this large African nation, QSAE, has adopted, adapted or referenced 79 ASTM International standards in areas as diverse as metals, building construction products, textiles, soil and rock, and geosynthetics. Ethiopia has two members in ASTM.
Comisión Guatemalteca de Normas
MOU signed August 2005
COGUANOR, Guatemala’s national standards body, has adopted, adapted or referenced 77 ASTM standards for steel, cement and concrete, petroleum, road materials, roofing, plastics, mechanical testing, electronics and plastic piping. Guatemala has six members in ASTM.
Magin Beteta Barillas, executive secretary of COGUANOR, comments, “In the 1980s, COGUANOR started to utilize and take as a reference some ASTM standards in order to develop Guatemalan standards, principally in the areas of plastic products (PVC pipe), cement and hydrocarbons. The signing of the MOU with ASTM has benefited Guatemala and principally COGUANOR, since it allows access to the complete collection of ASTM standards and their utilization as a reference for developing the corresponding Guatemalan technical standards, making it possible to revise ours in an immediate manner.”
As television cameras film the event, Marcio Ronaldo Cuevas Quezada, Guatemala’s minister of economy, and James Thomas, ASTM International president, sign the memorandum of understanding. At the time of the signing, Quezada had just returned from Washington, D.C., where he was one of the signers of the new Central America Free Trade Agreement (click here to enlarge photo).