ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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National Conformity Assessment Principles (NCAP) Document Describes Conformity Assessment Concepts in the U.S.

NCAP will be presented during breakout session at ANSI Annual Conference

New York, Oct 11, 2002

Conformity assessment activities form a vital link between standards and products, services, processes, systems, personnel qualifications and organizations. With the increasing role of conformity assessment as a national competitiveness issue, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has, for the past several years, been recognizing the need to more effectively coordinate today's most pressing conformity assessment initiatives and cooperate with key players in this arena.

The latest step in ANSI's attention to these issues was achieved recently when the Institute's Board of Directors approved a new reference document, the "National Conformity Assessment Principles for the United States." This document articulates the principles for U.S. conformity assessment activities that the consumer, buyers, sellers, regulators and other interested parties should be aware of to have confidence in the processes of providing conformity assessment, while avoiding the creation of unnecessary barriers to trade.

"The principles excerpt the conformity assessment language in the Agreement on Technical Barriers To Trade, one of the agreements within the World Trade Organization (WTO)," explained Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice-president for conformity assessment "The document is intended to point to and supplement the language of the agreement and to describe in a general way preferred conformity assessment concepts in the United States. It also defines key terms in order to educate ANSI's stakeholders."

"This is the appropriate time for ANSI to launch the National Conformity Assessment Principles document," said Mark W. Hurwitz, president and CEO of ANSI. "The potential impact of international standards and agreements on the traditional U.S. approaches to conformity assessment is increasing like never before."

The NCAP document will be the subject of a special breakout session on October 16 during the ANSI Annual Conference, Breaking Down Borders - Business, Standards and Trade. During the session titled "ANSI's Perspective on Conformity Assessment: The National Conformity Assessment Principles for the U.S.," the NCAP will be presented by members of the working groups that developed the document.

The background of the initiative will be discussed, covering conformity assessment definitions, categorization of general conformity assessment activities, and consideration of how the principles reflect, supplement and paraphrase those in the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

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