ANSI - American National Standards Institute
 Print this article  Previous Next 

China Proposes New, Open Approach to Standardization

New York, Aug 16, 2004

While global industry and the media kept a keen eye on standardization developments in the People’s Republic of China during recent months, the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) was conducting its own review of the Chinese standards system. The comprehensive SAC report, issued in June 2004, contains recommendations for revamping the Chinese standards-making system to bring it into line with those in the developed economies. The report specifically cites the United States, the European Union, and Japan as model systems.

According to an unofficial translation of the SAC report, the plan would replace the vestiges of the old Chinese standards system with a system that is open, transparent, and uses due process and consensus to develop standards. It would emphasize adopting international standards, where they are available, over development of national standards unique to China. Furthermore, it would replace the current Chinese practice of government mandating nearly all technical standards. Instead, compliance with standards would be voluntary, driven by market forces, and not by government mandate. Exceptions would exist when a specific regulation cites the standard—for example in areas of health, safety, or environmental protection.

ANSI president and CEO Dr. Mark W. Hurwitz commended the SAC for undertaking the study and producing an insightful paper. He also noted that the Institute has recognized several “positive steps” being taken in China’s standardization system since ANSI’s last delegation visits to SAC and the State Administration of Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) in 2001 and 2002.

“The SAC report indicates that our respective nations each recognize the importance of a market-driven system supporting the development of voluntary, consensus-based standards that are suitable for worldwide implementation,” explained Dr. Hurwitz. “The SAC plan will enhance the aspects of openness, balance, due process and consensus in the Chinese standardization process. These are principles that ANSI also subscribes to."

A spectrum of trade and standards dynamics between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China will be further explored at the Institute’s Annual Conference on October 13, 2004. Titled “East Meets West: Facing Challenges and Making Connections,” the Washington DC event will showcase speakers and panelists who will explore several perspectives on China's national standards system including compliance with China’s standards and regulations, the challenges and complexities U.S. industries face in China, the cultural differences that contribute to differing standards, and threats to intellectual property.

Click here to read the unofficial translation of the SAC report.
Click here for the annex document.

Click here for more information on the ANSI Annual Conference.

 Homeland Defense and Security Standardization Collaborative