Bolivia: MOU Partner since 2002
In the south-central part of South America lies the nation of Bolivia, and in its third largest city of La Paz, the country's administrative capitol, is its standards body Instituto Boliviano de Normalización y Calidad (IBNORCA). Founded in May 1993, IBNORCA is private and nonprofit\; its responsibilities for developing technical standardization and certifying products and quality systems were ratified by the government in February 1997. IBNORCA's main task is to promote the effective development of quality in Bolivia.
A member of the Panamerican Standards Commission and the Mercosur Committee for Standardization, IBNORCA is also a member of the International Electrotechnical Commission and a correspondent member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The organization also participates in the activities of the Andean Committee for Standardization of the Andean Group. IBNORCA has been a memorandum of understanding partner with ASTM International since 2002, and more than 250 ASTM International standards have been used as the basis for, consulted or cited in Bolivian national standards, particularly for amusement rides, cement, concrete, petroleum, plastic, plastic piping, and steel and related alloys.
Last August, the Bolivian government approved new national amusement ride standards developed by IBNORCA based on ASTM International standards. The standards, which cover the ownership, operation, maintenance, inspection and testing performance of amusement rides and devices, were developed by industry stakeholders representing operators, suppliers, higher education and government. ASTM worked closely with IBNORCA to facilitate review of the official Spanish translations of the standards, which were developed by ASTM Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices.
Franceen Gonzales, vice president, waterpark business development, WhiteWater West Industries Ltd., and a member of F24 and the ASTM International board of directors, says, "I strongly believe that Bolivia is focused on having a very safe industry." During the 2013 safety conference at which the approval was announced, Gonzales detailed what the standards cover and how they should be used in facility operation\; she also conducted a session addressing what can happen if standards are not adhered to or adopted.
In the fall of this year, an IBNORCA staff member with experience in amusement rides will participate in the ASTM Standards Expert Program, a key benefit offered to MOU signatories.
Among the numerous ASTM standards consulted or cited by IBNORCA are those for cement and concrete. And, in 2011, Enrique Pasquel, Lima, Peru, a member of ASTM Committees C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates and E60 on Sustainability, held a training course at IBNORCA on ASTM cement and concrete standards.
Representatives from industry, higher education and government attended the three-day course, which covered the role of ASTM International standards in project documents, ASTM's standards development process, and ASTM Committees C09 and C01 on Cement. Official Spanish translations of ASTM cement and concrete standards were a focal point of the training, and the program also highlighted the relationships between ASTM International and other organizations.
Courses on corrosion and the use of relevant ASTM International standards have been part of those taught in Bolivia through ASTM training partner EnginZone since 2011. Training participants, mainly engineers - industrial, mechanical, chemical and petroleum - come from several industries but mainly petroleum, such as pipeline operators and refineries, and as a result new members have become involved in the work of ASTM Committee G01 on Corrosion. The training courses being held in 2014 include offerings that address cathodic and galvanic corrosion, coatings and coatings failures.
For more information about the ASTM International MOU program, go to the ASTM website.