|A NEW GLOBAL STANDARDS STRATEGY
by Tim Brooke
As ASTM Staff Manager Tim Brooke says in this article, each industry
sectors ideal approach to developing standards for the global
market may yet be uncovered. One sector, the paint and coatings
industry, has found a way to eliminate the duplication of standards
that is inherent in harmonization while letting both ASTM and
ISO each develop quality standards.
A Quest for Harmonization
Over the years industries have participated in organizations that
have developed national, regional, and international standards
that have resulted, in some cases, in two or more standards that
are used in the marketplace. The advent of a more global marketplace
has resulted in industry attempting to harmonize these standards
with the desire to make them technically equivalent.
Over the past several years, members of ASTM Committee D01 on Paints and Related Coatings, Materials, and Applications and
ISO/TC 35 on Paints and Varnishes have spent significant resources
in this quest for harmonization. Members of both committees joined
the reciprocal organization in order to actively participate in
the development work of a similar standard in the corresponding
committee. Many individuals spent additional time and money developing,
reviewing, and debating technical issues twice. Members in both
committees continually made revisions, attempting to ensure that
the requirements of the two standards were the same. The two committees
even held joint meetings in order to push forth this effort. This
effort resulted in the development of ISO standards that duplicated
existing ASTM standards and vice-versa.
During this harmonization effort, experts in the coatings industry
came to question its value, considering the duplicative and wasteful
effort required, of two separate standards (one ASTM and one ISO)
for testing the same property. They realized their work would
1. The creation of two similar, but not necessarily identical,
standards which in turn fosters:
Confusion in the marketplace as to which standard to use
Contradictions between the two standards
Increased cost of testing when testing must be done to two standards
Constant catch up to align the requirements of the two standards.
2. The duplication of resources including:
Time and travel of experts, and
Development and publication costs of the supporting
Therefore, representatives of the coatings industry made a calculated
decision to attempt to eliminate this duplication and its consequences
by agreeing to not develop a standard when an existing standard
already met the needs of the international marketplace and to
determine, when two standards exist, which one should remain.
ASTM Committee D01 and ISO/TC 35 signed a memorandum of understanding
in June 2001 to reduce the duplication of standards development
activities. Both committees see the event as a significant start
toward a future when, as Dr. Eustache Bancken (chairman of ISO/TC
35) stated, One globally accepted set of standards will meet
the needs of all stakeholders in the paint and coatings industry.
The coatings community will now use the expertise and resources
of both committees and both organizations collectively to service
its needs. This cooperation will strengthen the overall objective
of developing, maintaining, and publishing market relevant standards
that serve the global marketplace.
ASTM is excited by this new cooperation and will continue to work
to understand and further the goals of the industries we serve.
We encourage you, as both experts on the technical committees
and stakeholders in the industry, to challenge the current framework
and develop new strategies to meet your objectives. The best
approach for each industry may yet be uncovered.
On Tuesday, June 12, 2001, Eugene Praschan, chairman of ASTMs
Committee D01 on Paints and Related Coatings, Materials and Applications,
and Eustache Bancken, chairman of ISO TC 35 on Paints and Varnishes
pledged to not develop standards where existing, market relevant
standards fulfill the needs of the international community.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN ASTM D01 PAINT AND RELATED
COATINGS, MATERIALS AND APPLICATIONS AND ISO/TC 35 PAINTS AND
ASTM D01 Paint and Related Coatings, Materials, and Applications
and ISO/TC 35 Paints and Varnishes both recognize that there is
a need to reduce the duplication of standards development activities.
This duplication creates marketplace confusion and dilutes the
efforts of the volunteer and staff resources of both committees.
Therefore, ASTM D01 and ISO/TC 35 hereby agree not to develop
standards where existing, market relevant standards fulfill the
needs of the international community.
ASTM D01 and ISO/TC 35 further agree to work closely with the
volunteer leaders and staff to identify all duplicative standards
and take proactive steps to create one standard. //
Copyright 2001, ASTM