Following the promulgation of China's Standardization Law on November 4, 2017, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Standardization Administration of China (SAC), and the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) jointly released a notice on December 26 announcing the promulgation of Management Regulations for Association Standards (trial). The original Chinese version can be accessed here.
According to the notice, these regulations were passed by China's State Council on December 15 and are intended to support the implementation of the Standardization Law, which entered into force on January 1, 2018. The regulations provide additional details on the formulation, implementation, and supervision of association standards.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), in conjunction with the Seconded European Standardization Expert in China (SESEC), has developed a reference translation - available to ANSI members on the Institute's Sharepoint site - and welcomes any comments or input on the document. While this is labelled as a "trial" version, these regulations are not issued for comment at this time and may be considered as the principal guidelines for the development of association standards. As a regulation, the document is considered mandatory for organizations developing association standards.
ANSI has been working closely with its Chinese counterparts throughout the rollout of the reform of China's standardization system, and recognizes efforts by the Chinese government to provide more clarity to association standards, a key component of China's plan for deepening standardization reform. Some of ANSI's initial comments are as follows:
- ANSI appreciates the more detailed definition of an association standard.
- Noting that the implementation of the Standardization Law is still in its nascent stage, ANSI respectfully requests greater elaboration on issues such as the conversion of association standards to other types of standards. Further details on the process of how any such conversions will take place, as well as under what types of circumstances such conversions can take place, will be much appreciated by ANSI and its member companies.
- ANSI continues to urge China to consider a single evaluation body for standards development in China. The Institute's stakeholders feel that this single accreditation system in the U.S. enhances the system and simplifies the process for standards developers and users, whereas multiple accreditors would result in multiple interpretations of rules and regulations, resulting in protracted confusion rather than enhanced efficiency.
- ANSI remains concerned that certain vague provisions within the Management Regulations could potentially stymie the development of market-driven association standards. It is ANSI's strong belief that the U.S. standards system is reliable, flexible, and responsive because of the emphasis on private-sector standards that are market driven, allowing stakeholders to find solutions that best fit their respective needs. If the development of association standards are hindered as a result of undue interference, this could make the system unresponsive to the needs of standards users.
ANSI had previously provided comments on draft guidance documents published by CNIS on social organization standardization, and on December 6 hosted an international seminar with SAC in Hangzhou on association standard cooperation and development (more information is available in the online news item).
ANSI's comments on Part 1 - Guidelines for Good Practice and Part 2 - Evaluation for Good Practice are available online by accessing ANSI Releases Recommendations on Draft Chinese National Standard "Association Standardization-Part 1: Guidelines for Good Practice" and ANSI Submits Comments on China's "Social Organization Standardization- Part 2: Evaluation of Good Practice." ANSI welcomes any feedback on the Management Regulations, and related questions and/or comments can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on ANSI's China program is available on ANSI's Standards Portal.