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 April 2005 ASTM International News

• Speech by INTECO President
• ASTM/Taiwan Memorandum of Understanding

• Special Achievement Award for ASTM Authors
• Training Courses Requested by Pennsylvania
• ASTM Annual Business Meeting

INTECO President Speaks at MOU Signing in Costa Rica

ASTM International signed a memorandum of understanding with the Instituto de Normas Tecnicas de Costa Rica (INTECO), the standards development organization of Costa Rica, in February. At the signing, INTECO President Diego Artiñano Ferris made the following remarks:

INTECO President Diego Artiñano Ferris and ASTM President Jim Thomas sign the MOU.
We are here today to sign a memorandum of understanding between ASTM and INTECO. For each of our organizations, this occasion has a different meaning. For ASTM, this event is the continuation of a program of internationalization that was begun some years ago. INTECO also sees this event as a continuation — the continuation of a permanent effort, over the last 15 years, to provide Costa Rican standards for the better performance of daily activities.

Through this agreement, Costa Rica joins 31 other countries that already have signed similar memorandums with ASTM International. These agreements offer our countries direct and immediate access to the more than 11,500 standards that ASTM has developed. Over 400 people from Latin American countries belong to ASTM technical committees or subcommittees, and through this agreement, we hope that these numbers increase, which will result in more participation in the development and adaptation of standards.

There are 13 Costa Rican members in ASTM subcommittees on such topics as paving materials, wood, cement and concrete, plastic tubing, steel and stainless steel, electrical conductors and fiber-reinforced concrete. In the near future, in which a greater South American-North American commercial exchange can be predicted, with or without the Central America Free Trade Agreement, understanding among commercial associates should be based on mutually understood standards. The endorsement of standards that are accepted in the northern markets will give advantages of scale, and therefore greater competitiveness, to the Costa Rican producers.

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.

In the January 2005 edition of Standardization News magazine, published by ASTM International, Chairman of the Board David Smith comments on three challenges that should be confronted to maintain the success of the memorandum of understanding program. Please permit me to comment about these three themes since I am in total agreement with his line of thinking.

The first great challenge is “getting over the initial euphoria of signing these MOUs and translating that into action.”

In this aspect, INTECO should act proactively as the facilitator, but it is our associates, consumers, and interested directors who should take on the leadership to convert ASTM standards and other standards into national standards. The endorsement of standards, by its voluntary nature, should not be dictated by any entity, but rather it should be a proposal of the parties that are interested in a more fluid commercial exchange.

Chairman Smith commented that the second challenge is that “certain political obstacles in some nations will have to be overcome.” In this, we are in particular agreement. It is through voluntary standardization that we ought to succeed at putting the markets in order. In Costa Rica, we enjoy the existence of a standards body that is independent of the central government, and therefore acts for the better interests of all parties and is not just a political echo chamber. This is a situation that other countries of this region do not have and, because of that, the standards bodies of those countries flutter in political fluctuation.

A third challenge mentioned by Smith is in achieving official recognition of ASTM standards. INTECO, as the national standards body, 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.

Before concluding, I want to confirm the commitment of INTECO to make this agreement a fertile field of action and to carry the benefits that it derives from the agreement to the Costa Rican community. //

ASTM International Signs MOU with Taiwan

The Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection of Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding with ASTM International in February. BSMI is the 33rd national standards body to sign an MOU with ASTM. The purpose of the MOU is to promote communication between ASTM International and BSMI; promote knowledge of each other’s standards development activities; facilitate greater worldwide participation in the ASTM standards development process; and facilitate the development of national standards that will aid each country’s health, safety, environmental and economic conditions. //

ASTM-Published Book Wins Special Achievement Award from American Nuclear Society

The Materials Science and Technology Division of the American Nuclear Society has presented its Special Achievement Award to Ronald L. Klueh and Donald R. Harries for their book, High-Chromium Ferritic and Martensitic Steels for Nuclear Applications, published by ASTM International in 2001. The Special Achievement Award was presented by the ANS in November 2004.

The Special Achievement Award is presented to recognize individuals who have contributed to the field of materials science and technology through an outstanding book, an innovative concept, or an entity or product that has had a significant impact on the direction or success of nuclear materials technology.

High-Chromium Ferritic and Martensitic Steels for Nuclear Applications provides a detailed review of the development of high chromium ferritic/ martensitic steels for exposure to the high-energy neutron environment of a fission or fusion reactor. //

Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Classes Scheduled

ASTM International has scheduled technical and professional training courses on Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment in Pennsylvania, at the request of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. Representatives from the department will be participating in the classes, discussing how Phase I and Phase II site assessments are used in the Pennsylvania Land Recycling (brownfields) program.

The first set of classes took place at ASTM International Headquarters on March 29 to 31. Upcoming sessions will occur in Harrisburg, April 12-14, and in Pittsburgh, May 3-5. While these sessions are full, additional classes have been scheduled for the fall (Sept. 19-21 at ASTM; Oct. 10-12 in Harrisburg; November 8-10 in Pittsburgh). For further information on technical and professional training, contact Eileen Finn at ASTM International (phone: 610/ 832-9686). //

ASTM Annual Business Meeting

The 2005 Annual Business Meeting will be featured during the Wednesday, May 18th ASTM members’ breakfast at the May Committee Week meetings in Reno, Nev.  The complimentary breakfast begins at 7:00 a.m. at the Hilton Reno Resort.  Contact Maureen Houck, ASTM, for further information (phone: 610/832-9594).//

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