ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI-HSSP, European Commission’s Joint Research Centre Set Path for U.S.–European Collaboration on Homeland Security Standardization


New York, Nov 12, 2010

A foiled parcel-bomb plot targeting the United States was uncovered on October 28 when packages containing the hard-to-detect explosive PETN were uncovered in Dubai and Britain's East Midlands Airport. The event sparked a global scare, underscoring the urgent need for cooperation on standards and conformity assessment solutions to support the international security community and the safety of citizens worldwide.

More than 130 leading experts from the U.S. and abroad came together for the American National Standards Institute Homeland Security Standards Panel’s (ANSI-HSSP) ninth annual plenary on November 9–10 to set a path for U.S.–European collaboration on homeland security standardization systems. The plenary drew representatives from sixty-seven U.S. and European organizations, including U.S. federal agencies, the European Commission, standards developers, industry, and academia.

At the heart of their discussions were standards to support aviation, borders and maritime security, crisis management, and global supply chain security – the four critical areas identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre as potential areas for collaboration at their April 2010 meeting.

With an eye toward identifying areas where additional standards may be needed, attendees considered the four security issues against the background of existing domestic and international standards. Five panel discussions took attendees through a focused dissection of aviation security standardization, borders and maritime security standardization, global supply chain security standardization, and conformity assessment systems.

Challenges and gaps identified by participants at a high level demonstrated the need for:

  • interoperability among public safety organizations at the international level
  • the alignment of security policies at the European and international level
  • the integration of standardization and research to improve innovation
  • standards to support resiliency and the ease of data exchange
  • international interoperability standards

A presentation highlighting the plenary’s key findings, including a deeper dive into the needs determined in each of the five panels, is available for review. The final agenda is available here.

Looking forward, the ANSI-HSSP and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre delegations laid plans to seek continued U.S.–European collaboration on homeland security standardization, explore the benefit of international standardization on cross-border issues, and build upon the information exchange that was initiated.

HID Global, the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute, and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) co-sponsored the ANSI-HSSP ninth plenary.


The ANSI-HSSP provides the unique opportunity for the homeland security, emergency preparedness, and business continuity communities to come together to discuss strategic approaches to current challenges, recent successes, and future outlooks.

The ANSI-HSSP is co-chaired by Chris Dubay, vice president and chief engineer of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and Gordon Gillerman, director of standards services at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

For more information on the work of the ANSI-HSSP, visit www.ansi.org/hssp.

 Homeland Defense and Security Standardization Collaborative