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CEN Grants Liaison Status to Water Quality Association


Washington, DC, Mar 24, 2004

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) announced recently that its Technical Committee on water-related standards (CEN/TC 164) has granted liaison status to the Water Quality Association (WQA), a Lisle, Illinois based trade association representing the household, commercial, industrial, and small community water treatment industry. WQA has nearly 2,400 members in more than 60 countries.

The request for liaison was put forward in an application letter to CEN in September 2002, and was most recently addressed by an ANSI delegation meeting with the European Standards Organizations (ESO) of CEN, CENELEC, ETSI in Sophia Antipolis, France in January of this year. ANSI, WQA, and the U.S. Standards Attache to the EU worked with CEN officials and national standards bodies to progress the request for direct liaison status.

Because there was no equivalent committee within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) structure, the WQA expressed an interest in becoming involved in the CEN committee’s technical discussions. Approved CEN standards, also known as European Norms, in most cases become the national standards in each of the countries of the European Union.

According to the WQA, “no one knows precisely,” but estimates place the size of the U.S. market in Europe – often through subsidiaries or partnerships – at roughly 65%.

The WQA sought this liaison with CEN/TC 164 to bring WQA member companies into the CEN process: to enhance participation; to contribute technical expertise, support, comments, experience and analysis; and to avoid disruptive actions by WQA members that felt they were not sufficiently involved in the European standards development process.

“By sitting at the table, our industry can participate in guiding these very important standards [covering everything to do with water applications],” explained WQA Executive Director Peter J. Censky.

Approval of the liaison status provides WQA with an official mechanism for making constructive technical comments on issues as the CEN standards are being developed.

“[This] is an excellent example of trans-Atlantic cooperation in the interest of positive contributions in a specific technical area,” said Dr. Mark W. Hurwitz, ANSI president and CEO.

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