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ANSI China Program Authors White Paper on Foreign Participation in Chinese Technical Committees

Washington, DC, Jun 12, 2008

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) today released a new white paper to educate and inform the Institute’s members about an announcement outlining formal operating procedures for Chinese national Technical Committees (TCs).

Issued earlier this year by the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China (SAC), this announcement is a significant step forward in increasing overall transparency in China’s standards system and providing open access to information on Chinese standards development. However, ANSI members have expressed concern that the new TC operating procedures could limit foreign organizations’ ability to participate in Chinese standards development.

Language in the announcement indicates that “foreign enterprises” can participate as observers in the TCs, but foreign organizations’ ability to participate as voting members was not addressed.

An official definition of the term “foreign enterprises” was not included in the SAC announcement. Informal interpretations by affected parties have included any foreign-owned company, any Chinese-registered subsidiary of a foreign or multinational company, and/or any representative of a joint venture between a foreign-owned company and a Chinese company. This ambiguity has resulted in concerns for U.S. stakeholders who want to contribute their expertise and perspectives to the Chinese standards development process.

According to a 2006 survey conducted by the ANSI China Program, increasing transparency in China’s standards, conformity assessment and regulatory system has been a key goal for ANSI’s members and constituents.

“China has taken tremendous steps over the past two years to increase transparency in its standards system,” said Elise Owen, ANSI’s representative for China affairs. “We are confident that U.S. stakeholder concerns related to SAC’s announcement can be resolved in a positive way that maximizes benefit for both U.S. and Chinese industry interests.”

Bi-lateral projects such as the Standards Portal, a cooperative website developed by ANSI and SAC, have helped to foster information exchange and mutual collaboration and cooperation.

The white paper on Foreign Participation in Chinese Technical Committees (TCs) may be downloaded from the Members Only document library on ANSI Online. For more information, contact Ms. Elise Owen, ANSI’s representative for China affairs (202.331.3624;

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