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Standards Alliance Hosts Orientation Visit to Washington, DC, for 16 Colombian Officials

The Standards Alliance, a public-private partnership between the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), recently hosted a delegation of Colombian officials, including key representatives of the trade ministry, national standards bodies, accreditation bodies, regulators, and the private sector, at ANSI headquarters in Washington, D.C. The week of meetings provided the Colombian visitors with a detailed orientation to the public-private nature of the U.S. system and served as a forum for future collaboration with Colombia on standards issues.

The delegation's visit took place on November 30-December 4, 2015, and was carried out in conjunction with the USAID Facilitando Comercio project. ANSI and the Facilitando Comercio worked with Colombia's Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (MinCIT) to design the agenda for the visit, including sessions with U.S. government and private sector organizations that addressed priority sectors such as automotive, cosmetics, plastics/packaging, and textiles.

A session with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an ANSI government member, included an overview of the current regulations for product labeling, flammability standards, and lead content requirements. Accreditation requirements for testing laboratories, standards for brassiere cup products, and CPSC regulations and processes to evaluate conformity required for packaging - which are regulated by CPSC - were also key areas of interest for the delegation.

During a visit to the campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Colombian representatives discussed common priorities related to the technical barriers to trade (TBT) enquiry point, legal metrology, and chemical metrology. NIST and the Colombian agencies also discussed potential areas for future cooperation.

The delegation also visited the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and received briefings on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and requirements for cosmetics and cleaning products. The latter topic was complemented by meetings with relevant private sector organizations including the Personal Care Product Council, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), and the American Cleaning Institute.

Finally, the delegation met with several ANSI member and private sector organizations that addressed specific areas of expertise. These included the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), the American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC), ASTM International, Intertek, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the Toy Industry Association (TIA), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

In follow up to the visit, ANSI and the Facilitando Comercio will be updating the Standards Alliance work plan to include additional activities based on the priorities identified and progress made during the meetings in Washington, DC. For additional details, please check the Standards Alliance website.

About Standards Alliance and Colombia

The Standards Alliance is a funding facility that provides capacity building assistance to developing countries specifically related to the implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement. The Standards Alliance work plan with Colombia includes future exchanges and opportunities to build on the topics discussed at the workshop. Workshop materials, including the agenda, presentations, and photos, are available on the Standards Alliance website. For more information, please contact [email protected].

The Standards Alliance is a joint ANSI-U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) initiative that supports global cooperation and capacity building in the areas of standards development, technical regulations, good regulatory practice, and conformity assessment.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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