ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ISO Enhances Flexibility of Rules Governing Normative References in International Standards

Revised Directives Forthcoming From ISO/TMB

New York, May 07, 2002

Increased flexibility and enhanced response to the needs of end-users has been achieved with the approval of new rules governing the referencing of normative documents in International Standards.

The International Committee (IC) of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) pursued this issue at the international level in an effort to level the playing field for standards developing organizations (SDO) throughout the world. To date, committees of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) had established policies stipulating that only ISO and IEC documents could be referenced in International Standards emanating from ISO. As the sole U.S. member body to ISO, ANSI has successfully promoted a new policy that will provide greater openness for an ISO committee (TC) to include normative references to relevant documents published by any other SDO. ANSI pointed out the adoption of a similar approach by the International Telecommunication Union as a catalyst and model for ISO to follow.

The ANSI paper to the ISO Technical Management Board (TMB) identified several areas where normative references to existing, globally accepted non-ISO standards would of benefit and would assist in implementing ISO strategic direction for 2002-2004. These areas include:

Strengthened and increased speed, scope and global relevance of ISO standards
Added flexibility to best serve the specific needs of particular communities or sectors
Establishment of a worldwide implementation of ISO standards in cooperation and concert with standards of other bodies, rather than in competition with them
Reduction of unnecessary and duplicative expenses to standards developers (including ISO), participants, experts and end-users

"The IC's efforts to advance normative referencing of non-ISO and non-IEC documents in ISO standards ensures that the work of developers in the U.S. and other nations receives the broadest possible exposure to industry users," said Dr. Mark Hurwtiz, CAE, ANSI president and chief executive officer.

The U.S. recommendations were developed by the IC's ad hoc group on ISO/IEC policy changes and were approved by the ISO TMB at its April 22-23, 2002 meeting. U.S. recommendations to the TMB focus on enhancing the market relevance of ISO standards to meet the needs of global users, and on respecting the intellectual property rights of organizations whose documents are referenced in ISO standards. The new policy on normative references will be clarified in a formal document by the ISO TMB and reflected in revised ISO/IEC Directives governing the procedures, methodology and drafting of ISO/IEC standards.

"The spirit of international cooperation reflected in ISO's approval of the U.S. position," noted Dr. Hurwitz, "responds to the objectives of the National Standards Strategy (NSS) wherein the U.S. promotes the use of one globally applied standard and identifies the importance of national technologies being accepted internationally.

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