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 May 2006 ASTM International News

Trade Achievements with Vietnam
ASTM Represented at Thailand Conference
ASTM's New Online Spanish Magazine
Japanese Delegation Visits ASTM Headquarters
ASTM Annual Business Meeting
Chinese Standards Scholars at ASTM

U.S. Commercial Service Recognizes ASTM International for Trade Achievements with Vietnam

On March 15, ASTM International received a Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade by the U.S. Commerce Department. The certificate was presented to ASTM President James A. Thomas by Douglas K. Barry, acting director for the U.S. Commercial Service’s USA Trade Promotion Center, before a delegation of Vietnamese legislators and standards officials visiting the United States and ASTM Headquarters as part of a mission arranged by the U.S. Commercial Service in Vietnam.

The Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade is presented to organizations that have partnered with the Department’s Commercial Service to help promote trade/export opportunities for U.S. businesses. ASTM International was recognized for its work with Vietnam in helping that country adopt international standards.

As a result of ASTM International’s memorandum of understanding with the national standards body of Vietnam, the Directorate for

ASTM International President James Thomas receives a Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade from Douglas K. Barry, acting director for the U.S. Commercial Service’s USA Trade Promotion Center.
Standards and Quality (STAMEQ), Vietnam has adopted 54 ASTM standards as Vietnamese National Standards. The standards will create new opportunities for U.S.-Vietnamese commercial cooperation and help facilitate Vietnam’s integration into the global economy. Vietnam is among the 45 countries that have entered into MOU agreements with ASTM International.

“Vietnam’s adoption of global standards with the help of ASTM International has greatly expanded avenues for increased U.S.-Vietnamese commercial cooperation,” Barry said. “Through its efforts in shaping international standards, ASTM International is helping Vietnam and other nations to develop their economic infrastructures and bring them further into the mainstream of trade.”

Under the MOU, ASTM provides STAMEQ with its entire collection of 12,000 standards free of charge every year for Vietnam’s use in developing its own national standards. ASTM has also provided membership to representatives of STAMEQ on ASTM committees dealing with petroleum, paint, textiles, plastics, laboratory accreditation, and nanotechnology.

Vietnamese legislators and standards officials pose with ASTM staff members during a visit in March.
As a result of the MOU, STAMEQ has already adopted 54 ASTM International standards as Vietnamese National Standards in the areas of petroleum, aviation fuels, nondestructive testing, gasoline, road construction, roofing materials, and coal. In addition, STAMEQ reported using 180 other ASTM standards internally in such areas as steel, aluminum, cement, ceramic tile, asphalt, wool, paints, plastics, and plastic pipe.

U.S.-Vietnam trade has increased more than five-fold since the implementation of a bilateral trade agreement between the two countries in 2001. Last year, two-way trade was $7.8 billion, a jump of $6.3 billion since the agreement went into effect. //

ASTM Standards Director Attends Thailand Conference

Robert Morgan, director, technical committee operations, ASTM International, attended the Trade Capacity Building Seminar on U.S. Standards, Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment in Bangkok, Thailand, in March. The five-day conference was sponsored by the Thai Industrial Standards Institute, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Thai Embassy, Washington, D.C.

Robert Morgan (third from right), ASTM International, along with other participants at the Trade Capacity Building Seminar on U.S. Standards, Technical Regulations and Conformity in Bangkok, Thailand, in March.
During the conference, which attracted over 200 participants, Morgan twice presented “The Role of Voluntary Consensus Standards in the United States,” in which he spoke of the key role that standards play in global trade and of the opportunities that exist to take part in the standards development process. Morgan also made three separate presentations in which he spoke of ASTM standards that are particularly important in the transportation, environmental and consumer products areas. //

ASTM International Launches New Online Spanish Magazine

A Spanish-language edition of SN is now posted on the ASTM Web site. The new online publication will be issued quarterly and is available for free to everyone through the new Standardization News logo at the bottom left of the opening homepage at www.astm.org. With translations of selected news and feature articles, Standardization News en español is a convenient source of information for Spanish-speaking professionals interested in ASTM’s international standards development process. //

Japanese Delegation Discusses Consumer Product Standards at ASTM Headquarters

Yuji Yokoyama, interpreter, Masaharu Tsuchiya (senior staff researcher, Mitsubishi), Kenji Sugihara (safety engineer, Panasonic), Toshio Shuto (research director, Mitsubishi) and Katherine Morgan (general manager, Technical Committee Support, ASTM International) recently met to discuss consumer product safety standardization and legislation.
Representatives of the Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc., and Panasonic Factory Solutions, Ltd., recently visited ASTM International to discuss consumer product standards and related legislation. Mr. Toshio Shuto and Mr. Masaharu Tsuchiya (Mitsubishi) and Mr. Kenji Sugihara (Panasonic) visited ASTM on behalf of a committee within the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry that is evaluating possible technical and legislative solutions for improving product safety.
ASTM International staff provided an overview of the U.S. standardization system and ASTM International, an orientation to Committee F15 on Consumer Products, its standards and its work with regulating bodies, and compared information on certification requirements, manufacturer liabilities and the trend of standardization for product safety. //

ASTM Annual Business Meeting

The 2006 Annual Business Meeting will be featured during the Wednesday, June 14, ASTM members’ breakfast at the June Committee Week meetings in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The complimentary breakfast begins at 7:00 a.m. at the Sheraton Centre Hotel. Contact Maureen Houck, ASTM International, for further information (phone: 610/832-9594). //

Chinese Standards Scholars to Spend Time at ASTM International Headquarters

ASTM International is welcoming three visiting scholars from Chinese standardization organizations who will receive an in-depth look at the standardization process in the United States.

Huang Xiaopu is at ASTM from March 30-Sept. 25. Mrs. Huang has worked in standardization management at the Xiaohe branch of the Guiyang Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision since 1999. In September 2005, Mrs. Huang received a scholarship from the China Scholarship Council to come to ASTM International.

While at ASTM, Mrs. Huang hopes to learn about ASTM standards, how they’re managed and how companies apply ASTM standards in the production process. Mrs. Huang is particularly interested in standards on food safety.

Zhang Minglan and Ma Na, both of the Shanghai Institute of Standardization, will be visiting ASTM International from May 10-June 10. Ms. Zhang, who has worked at SIS since 1998, is the vice director of the Center of Standardization Research, which consists of nearly 20 researchers. Ms. Zhang’s main responsibilities include administration of the center, harmonization within and across the center, and organization of standardization research projects.

Ms. Zhang is interested in learning more about the standards and conformity assessment systems that exist in the United States. “Your system is so different from those of most other countries,” says Ms. Zhang. “Though it’s very complex, it’s very efficient, so I appreciate the opportunity to learn from you.” She also hopes to learn more about the cooperation between standards developing organizations and government agencies in the U.S.

Ma Na, who has been at SIS since 2003, is a researcher in the SIS Center of Standardization Research. She works on the development and revision of standards in the environmental and public management fields and does research on standardization systems, mechanisms and implementation. At SIS, Ms. Ma has taken a lead role in drafting three standards on project management and two on environmental assessment. She is also a member of ASTM International Committee D34 on Waste Management.

During her ASTM visit, Ms. Ma says she hopes to learn about practical procedures in the standards development process, such as how a determination is made to develop a new draft standard, how to identify and verify the significance of a proposal, how to negotiate among different stakeholders and the involvement of government agencies in the process. //

 
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