ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI Accreditation Program Lauded by Peers in Pacific Region

New York, Jul 23, 2007

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation program for product certification bodies has been recognized by peer Accreditation Bodies in the Pacific Rim, moving one step closer to the goal of one standard – one test – one mark of acceptance in the global marketplace.

Mutual recognition of product certification reduces duplicative conformity assessment costs for importers and exporters on a global scale.

ANSI became a signatory to the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) during a formal ceremony in Singapore on July 12, 2007.

The PAC is an association of Accreditation Bodies and other interested parties that are established and operate in the member economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). PAC’s objectives are to facilitate trade and commerce among APEC economies, within the system of global recognition of programs for conformity assessment.

Product certification bodies accredited by the MLA signatories are recognized as operating equivalent programs in accordance with international requirements for product certification bodies as shown in ISO/IEC Guide 65. Given the same product standard, the marketplace can have the same confidence for certification bodies accredited by one signatory as in those accredited by other signatories.

A credible product certification infrastructure is part of APEC’s goal of promoting a safe environment and quality of life for its citizens, and at the same time assisting in the implementation of members’ obligations under the APEC free trade framework by the removal of non-tariff barriers to trade. In order to become an MLA signatory, a PAC accreditation body member must undergo a peer assessment by the other signatories that ensures fulfillment of the criteria in ISO/IEC 17011, Conformity assessment - General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies.

“The PAC MLA is a very significant milestone for the credibility of ANSI accreditation,” said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services [seen here at the signing ceremony with PAC Chair Elva Nilsen of the Standards Council of Canada]. “This recognition represents the dedicated efforts of our staff to evidence the Institute’s competence by successfully completing a rigorous assessment from our peers.”

ANSI is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.

ANSI is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

A copy of the PAC Multilateral Recogntion Arrangement is available here.

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