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ASTM in Mexico

The ASTM Board of Directors gathered for their first 2002 meeting in Mexico City, Mexico, in April (see official Board photo). Prior to the start of their meeting, members of the Board and staff visited with top standards officials of the Mexican government-owned oil and natural gas company, PEMEX. PEMEX is Mexico’s largest company and ranks among the world’s largest petroleum enterprises. A presentation about PEMEX and its use of standards was made by Tiburcio Zazueta Ramos, PEMEX director of standards. In addition, presentations about ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants were made by Board members N. David Smith, assistant commissioner, N.C. Department of Agriculture, and Rey Montemayer, senior chemist, Imperial Oil Ltd.

After conducting the business of the Board in three days of meetings, ASTM International hosted seminars for Mexican professionals—one on construction standards and another on steel standards.

The construction seminar, cohosted by Comisionado Nacional de Fomento a la Vivienda, a federal agency responsible for new housing initiatives, was well-attended. The purpose of the seminar was to better understand the standards needs of the Mexican housing industry and to introduce attendees to the U.S. system of voluntary standards and their interrelationship with national codes. Because Mexico has dozens of jurisdictions but lacks consistency among their building codes, attendees were interested in learning about the U.S. system of developing voluntary consensus standards and incorporating those stakeholder-developed standards into a national code. Jorge Marín Santillán, president of the Mexican Accredation Entity, and Belinda Ramirez Reyes, director of Comisionado Nacional de Fomento a la Vivienda presented talks on Mexico’s housing industry.

ASTM Directors Jon Traw, former president and CEO of the International Conference of Building Officials, and Anthony Fiorato, president and CEO of Construction Technology Laboratories also gave presentations. Attendees included engineers, architects, code offiicals, and representatives of trade associations and government agencies.

The seminar on steel standards, co-hosted by Camara Nacional de la Industria del Hierro y del Acero (CANACERO, Mexico’s steel trade association), was also successful, with attendees ranging from metallurgical, chemical, and mechanical engineers to industry and trade association representatives. CANACERO’s General Director José Antonio Gómez Urquiza presented a talk about the Mexican iron and steel industry and its development of Mexican steel standards. He was joined by ASTM Vice Chairman of the Board Wayne Holliday, vice president of technology at Copperweld, who spoke about the ASTM standards system and its interplay with the steel industry.

Also during the week of meetings and seminars, ASTM established a presence in Mexico in the person of Director Luis Ordonez, who will help ASTM implement its goals for mutual cooperation with that country. Ordonez, president of EfiTerm, S.A., will assist ASTM in creating relationships with Mexican government standards organizations, private trade associations, U.S. government in-country representatives, private industries, and local chambers of commerce. Through these relationships, ASTM plans to create educational opportunities to benefit Mexican business and governmental organizations, and to share resources with Mexico to provide an optimum environment and support for the development of needed standards and related information.

More Memorandums of Understanding

In its goal of assisting developing countries in their standards development and adoption efforts, ASTM International has recently entered into agreements with three Eastern European countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Romania. The Institute for Standards, Metrology, and Intellectual Property of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the State Office for Standardization and Metrology of the Republic of Croatia, and the Romanian Standards Association have signed MOUs with the intent of strengthening the relationship between ASTM and each of their organizations. The relationship established in the MOUs will aid in the development of national standards for health, safety, and the environment and enhance the ability of those standards to support the needs of each country’s people and continue the growth of its economy.

ASTM International was aided in this effort through the financial support of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program, which provided the resources for full sets of the Annual Book of ASTM Standards to be sent to each of these national member bodies. For further information on ASTM’s global outreach, please contact Kitty Kono, vice president of Global Cooperation (phone: 610/832-9687; //

Copyright 2002, ASTM

ASTM Board members and guests gathered at a reception prior to the Board of Directors April meeting in Mexico City, Mexico. Among the attendees (from left): Fabio Tobon, ASTM director; Rafael Nava Uribe, president, COMENOR, the Mexican Council for Standards and Certification; Jorge Amaya Sarralangui, technical director, Asociación de Normalización y Certificación del Sector Eléctrico, A.C.; Germán Flores y Gómez, CEO, Normalización y Certificación Electrónica, A.C.; Richard Schulte, ASTM chairman of the board; Carlos R. Berzunza Sánchez, international affairs director, General Bureau of Standards, Mexico; Antonio Macias, regional director, Mexico, National Fire Protection Association; and Samuel Hernández Vargas, technical manager, CANACERO, Mexico’s steel trade association.

(see photo at end of article)
Jorge Marín Santillán (center), president of the Mexican Accreditation Entity, spoke at the seminar on construction standards co-hosted by the Comisionado Nacioanl de Fomento a la Viviendo and ASTM.