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Standards Consultation for Moroccan Government Officials

In April, a five-day U.S.-Based Standards Consultation for Moroccan Officials was held in Washington, D.C. Funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative and organized by the U.S. Commercial Law Development Program, the consultation provided information for 12 Moroccan government officials on U.S. standards practices and procedures.

With a free trade agreement being negotiated to liberalize trade between the United States and Morocco, the United States is refocusing its existing development assistance program to link it more closely with the free trade agreement under negotiation and to help Morocco meet the obligations of such an agreement. In addition to building trade capacity, U.S. technical assistance will help Morocco in critical areas, such as removing technical barriers to trade. As part of this technical assistance, CLDP was tapped to provide technical assistance in several domains, including standards.

Moroccan officials present at the consultation represented key standards-setting ministries in their country, including those overseeing agriculture and rural development, transportation, maritime, energy and mines, telecommunications, and the economy. The program included meetings with key players such as the American National Standards Institute and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in addition to meetings with several government agencies on norms, standards and regulations. ASTM International’s vice president of international cooperation, Kitty Kono, spoke to the delegation about standards development in the private sector and ASTM’s international cooperation. //

Southern African Standardization, Quality Assurance and Metrology Meeting

In late April, several southern African standards professionals met in Port Louis, Mauritius, for the 2004 Standardization, Quality Assurance, and Metrology Conference. The conference was cosponsored by the Mauritius Standards Bureau and the Southern African Development Community.

ASTM International’s vice president of corporate development, Drew Azzara, gave a speech covering ASTM’s standardization philosophy, its mission as a private-sector standards developer, and opportunities for memorandums of understanding between ASTM and national standards bodies. Other presenters included Asraf Ali Caunhye, director of the Mauritius Standards Bureau; L. Jean Claude Autrey, director of the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute; and Prega Ramsamy, executive secretary of the Southern African Development Community Secretariat.

Participants in the conference, which also covered very specific regional standards business, included representatives of standardization and industry organizations from countries represented in SADC: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

SADC coordinates metrology activities and services in the southern African region in order to provide regional calibration and testing services and regulatory bodies with readily available traceability to the International System of Units (metric), through legally defined and regionally and internationally recognized national measurement standards. //

U.S. EPA/ASTM International Discussion Forum

At the ASTM April Committee Week in Salt Lake City, Utah, ASTM hosted a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/ASTM International Discussion Forum. The forum was held during the April Committee Week meetings because many of the ASTM technical committees responsible for environmentally related standards meet there.

The purpose of the event was to facilitate a dialogue between ASTM members and representatives of the U.S. federal agency that is one of the largest users of ASTM standards. The goal was to teach participants about:

• The role of the federal standards executive;
• The U.S. EPA’s policy, obligations and implementation under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act; and
• How to utilize the tools and resources available from both organizations to ensure continued success.

ASTM Director Dan Smith and Staff Manager Len Morrissey opened the program by providing participants with available resources to assist with identifying and understanding EPA’s needs, identifying proper standards development participants, taking part in the process, and keeping referenced and cited standards current. Mary C. McKiel, the standards executive at the EPA, gave a presentation on “The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, EPA Policy, and the Role of the Federal Standards Executive.” Craig Annear, EPA senior counsel in that agency’s Office of the General Counsel, closed the program with his presentation on “U.S. EPA Implementation and Legal Obligations Under the NTTAA.”

More than 70 ASTM members and federal agency employees participated in the forum. //

Present for the April U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/ASTM International Discussion Forum were Craig Annear; Ken Pearson, ASTM vice president, technical committee operations; Dan Smith; Mary McKiel; Len Morrissey; and Arthur Schwope, chairman of the ASTM board of directors.

Copyright 2004, ASTM International