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ANSI Seeks Comments on Proposed New ISO Field of Activity on Natural Bitumen

Feedback due by March 25

02/042016

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has submitted a proposal for a new field of activity on natural bitumen. As the U.S. member body to ISO, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) invites all interested stakeholders to submit comments on the proposal by the end of the business day on Friday, March 25, 2016.

Bitumen, a raw material, is defined as an amorphous black or dark-colored solid, semi-solid or viscous cementitous petroleum-based substance that is produced by removing lighter fractions, including liquid petroleum gas, petrol, and diesel from crude oil during the refining process. Bitumen is used for various industrial processes, and its applications range from insulation material, roofing felt, and road construction, plastic products, and black and polar resins, among other uses.

The Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran (ISIRI) submitted the work item proposal, which details that standardization of natural bitumen would determine the specifications and test methods of natural bitumen extracted from mines, used for different purposes in industries. Additionally, as the scope notes, while there isn’t a current International Standard on natural bitumen, creating a common language among stakeholders would help facilitate world trade. The absence of a standard may lead to economic losses of both importing and exporting countries, particularly in a case where such document might resolve a dispute or disagreement.

Stakeholder countries with natural bitumen mines include the United States, Canada, Venezuela, Russia, Trinidad, Australia, Iraq, Brazil, Iran, and China—one of the world’s leading importing countries of the product.

All interested stakeholders are invited to review the proposal and submit comments to Steve Cornish, ANSI director of international policy (scornish@ansi.org), by close of business on March 25, 2016. Based on the input received, the ANSI ISO Council (AIC) will then be asked to approve an ANSI position and comments to be submitted to ISO before its May 3, 2016, deadline for voting on this proposal.

ANSI has published an explanatory information document outlining the process used to develop U.S. positions on issues and activities under consideration by ISO and IEC.

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