ANSI - American National Standards Institute
 Print this article  Previous Next 

ANSI Delegation Participates in May 10-14 COPANT General Assembly; Meets with Delegations from Brazil and Mexico

New York, May 14, 2004

An ANSI delegation attended the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT) and related meetings hosted by the Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (ABNT) in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, May 10-14, 2004. At the General Assembly, the ANSI delegation noted the increasing number of forward-looking COPANT members interested in taking significant actions required to revitalize COPANT as an effective and efficient regional standardization body. One such action was the unanimous election of Carlos Amorim of ABNT as the COPANT President-Elect to assume the COPANT presidency in May 2005.

A set of ANSI proposals approved by the Regional Standing Committee - Americas (RSC-A) and the ANSI International Policy Committee (IPC) regarding a re-prioritization of the COPANT Technical Committee activities were presented to and approved by the COPANT Board of Directors for incorporation into the COPANT strategic plan that is scheduled to be approved by August 2004. ANSI will continue to push for full adoption of the new strategic plan (whose first draft was also approved at the meeting) that also includes progressive initiatives from ABNT. Also scheduled for completion by July 2004 is an identification by ABNT of specific commercial sectors within which regional harmonization would yield immediate benefit.

An item of broad concern to all COPANT members was brought to the attention of the COPANT General Assembly when Venezuela (FONDONORMA) announced that the Venezuelan government has mandated the posting of all of the Spanish language translations of Venezuelan standards on its website, including those adopted from various international standards organizations. In light of the clear violation of international law, copyright protection, intellectual property rights violations, and detriment to international standardization activities, COPANT easily passed a resolution to send a letter to the Venezuelan government requesting a clarification of the policy and is prepared to escalate the issue as necessary.

The 2005 and 2006 COPANT General Assemblies will be held in Costa Rica and Bolivia respectively and efforts will be made to hold co-located meetings with the Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) in those venues if possible.

In conjunction with the COPANT meetings, the ANSI delegation held a bilateral outreach meeting with the Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (ABNT), the Brazilian national standards body on May 12, 2004. ANSI and ABNT discussed future areas of cooperation - bilaterally and within COPANT agreeing to maintain an open an ongoing dialogue. ABNT accepted an invitation to visit ANSI in Washington DC in September 2004.

Members of the ANSI delegation to Brazil will continue on to Mexico to meet with U.S. Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) officials in Mexico City to address issues of mutual interest. This dialogue is intended to elevate the FCS understanding of standards issues and support U.S. industry in Mexico. Additional meetings are also scheduled with the Dirección General de Normas (DGN), the Mexican national standards body as well as with the Asociación de Normalización y Certificación (ANCE) and Normalización y Certificación Electrónica (NYCE).

 Homeland Defense and Security Standardization Collaborative