Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance
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Harmonised standards and conformance procedures improve the efficiency of production and facilitate the conduct of international trade, resulting in more rapid trade flows, reduced costs and greater integration of production networks.

The Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) was established in 1994 to help reduce the negative effects that differing standards and conformance arrangements have on trade and investment flows in the Asia-Pacific region. In this way, the SCSC assists the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) to achieve APEC's trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation agenda.

The SCSC also promotes open regionalism and market-driven economic interdependence by encouraging greater alignment of APEC member economies' standards with international standards.



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The SCSC held its first meeting in 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia in February and the second meeting will be held in Medan, Indonesia in June 2013.

Other meetings and related activities being undertaken this year include:

The 4th Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) meeting was held in April 2013 in Surabaya, Indonesia. The purpose of the Forum is to improve and strengthen information sharing and capacity building activities in food safety and to identify, prioritize and coordinate capacity-building activities within APEC. The 4th FSCF meeting was attended by approximately 90 delegates from 16 APEC Economies including representatives from food regulatory government, industry, academia and international organisations such as the World Bank. The Forum reviewed progress on their goals, work program and achievements since they last met in Big Sky in 2011. A number of achievements were reported for FSCF Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN) capacity building activities in relation to the agreed priority areas: risk analysis, food safety regulatory systems and export certificates, supply chain management, incident management and laboratory capacity building. Prior to the FSCF meeting, the Workshop on Educating SMEs on Food Safety Standards, the FSCF Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN) Steering Group and World Bank Risk Assessment, and the Workshop on Food Safety Incident Network were successfully held in April 2013 in Surabaya, Indonesia.

The 18th Joint Regulatory Advisory Committee (JRAC) on Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) meeting was held in April 2013 in Surabaya, Indonesia. The Committee aims to promote and facilitate regulator-to-regulator dialogue and cooperation; and to administer and facilitate the effective functioning of the APEC Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Conformity Assessment of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE MRA). During the 18th Joint Regulatory Advisory Committee (JRAC) on Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) meeting, the current status of member participation in APEC Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Conformity Assessment of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EE MRA) was confirmed and the Terms of Reference of JRAC EEE was reviewed and agreed.

Food Safety

The SCSC established the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) in 2007, recognizing that food safety and internationally harmonized food standards are key factors for improving public health and safety and for facilitating trade in food for APEC economies. The purpose of the Forum is to improve and strengthen information sharing and capacity building activities in food safety and to identify, prioritize and coordinate capacity-building activities within APEC. The SCSC endorsed the Implementation Plan for Strengthening Food Safety Standards Practices in APEC Economies for 2008-2011 in February 2008.

A Wine Regulatory Forum (WRF) was established in February 2008. The role of the Forum is to examine options to simplify and harmonize wine regulations across the APEC region and aims to promote regulatory coherence in the APEC region and to improve dialogue and cooperation. Regulators in APEC economies will discuss development of regulations that facilitate trade, prevent consumer deception and promote food safety. They will also consider regulations that are consistent with WTO principles.

“The Public-Private Dialogue: Risk Management and Certification Requirements for Regional Trade in Wine” was held in November 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand. It provided an opportunity to bring together traditional wine producers with emerging wine producers as well as importing APEC economies to share information and experiences. It was also an opportunity to continue the dialogue with the private sector, hear about real trade concerns affecting the wine industry in the region and identify potential solutions to the concerns raised. The 2012 Auckland Recommendations issued at the Public-Private Dialogue was endorsed by SCSC. The Forum is planning to hold events in 2013.

Good Regulatory Practices (GRP)

The 7th Conference on Good Regulatory Practices (GRP) will be held in Medan, Indonesia in June 2013. The Conference, which aims to promote regulators’ awareness of good regulatory practice, particularly for ensuring that regulatory policies contribute to achieving critical policy objectives such as protection of health, safety and the environment is the follow up action of APEC Economic Leaders’ Declaration issued in Honolulu, United States in 2011. Regulators play an important and strategic role in formulating, implementing and enforcing the policies which may affect industry and consumers as well as trade flows in the Asia-Pacific region. The participants will share experiences on Good Regulatory Practices (GRP), particularly on conformity assessment and will discuss on the critical issues facing the APEC community to ensure regulations achieve desired public policy outcomes without creating unnecessary obstacles to trade. The member economies will also update the baseline survey on the implementation of Good Regulatory Practices during the Conference

Product-related environmental standards

A series of workshops are planned to be held from 2012 to 2014 under the APEC project on “The Role of Standards and Conformity Assessment Measures in Enhancing the Performance and Energy Efficiency of the Commercial Building Sector,” which was built upon the workshop on “Sustainability in Building Construction (Commercial Buildings)” held in Washington DC in March 2011. The workshop on “Sharing Experiences in the Design and Implementation of Green Building Codes in the APEC Economies” was held in March 2013 in Lima, Peru and the second workshop on “How Building Information Modeling Standards Can Improve Building Performance” will be held in the margin of SOM3 in Medan, Indonesia.

The Solar Initiative encompasses three activities: a survey of APEC member economies on three categories of solar technologies (photovoltaic cells, solar water heaters, concentrated solar power); a Conference on Trade Impacts of Solar Technologies Standards and Conformity Assessment Measures was held in San Francisco in September 2011 and a Conference on Photovoltaic Reliability and Durability was held in Chinese Taipei in October 2011.

The Conference on Implementation of Energy Management Systems Standards was held September 2011. This was led by the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC), and sought to promote the use of energy efficiency and conservation management systems by government and private sector entities that are supported by credible and competent certification systems throughout the region.

The Seminar on Aligning Energy Efficiency Regulations for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Products was held in San Francisco in September 2011. The Seminar explored opportunities for convergence of energy efficiency regulations for information and communication technology (ICT) products across APEC economies. The goal of converging energy efficiency regulations is to avoid fragmentation of the regulatory landscape, minimize trade barriers for ICT products, and promote trade of ICT products, enabling economies to reap energy efficiency gains in other sectors through the deployment of these technologies.

Pathfinder Initiatives

The Joint Advisory Committee for the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on Conformity Assessment for Electrical and Electronic Equipment has been renamed the Joint Regulatory Advisory Committee (JRAC) on Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE). JRAC EEE aims to promote and facilitate regulator-to-regulator dialogue and cooperation; and to administer and facilitate the effective functioning of the APEC Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Conformity Assessment of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (the MRA).

Trade Facilitation

The SCSC has completed its report on the implementation of APEC's first Trade Facilitation Action Plan (TFAP1). The report finds that the SCSC contributed to the TFAP1 by helping reduce business transaction costs in four main areas: standards alignment; recognition of conformity assessment in regulated and voluntary sectors; development of technical infrastructure; and transparency of standards and conformity assessment in APEC economies. Seminar and training courses in Legal Metrology to promote technical trade facilitation has also been conducted.

Supporting SMEs

A "Seminar on Export Technical Assistance Models" was held in March 2010 in Hiroshima, Japan. The objectives of the seminar were to improve APEC small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) access to information on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTs); to identify best practice models for potential adoption; and to potentially develop an APEC network for cooperation and information sharing. At the seminar a consultant presented the findings of a study and economies were actively engaged in exchanging information. Key outcomes of the seminar include a comprehensive overview of the models within APEC economies to deliver information on Technical Barriers to Trade to SMEs to facilitate exports and numerous good practices were identified and shared among participants.

Standards and Conformance

The 9th Conference on Standards and Conformance in the field of innovations and related good practices was held in May 2012 in Kazan, the Russian Federation. The main issues discussed during the Conference were: standardization in the field of innovations and the role of promoting the development of cooperation and trade in APEC region; international and economies-wide standardization in the field of nanotechnologies and nanoproducts; good practices in regulation of innovative products and provision of safety of innovative  technologies and products; conformity assessment of innovative products; promotion of related good practices (RGP), including good regulatory practice, good laboratory practice and  innovative management; promotion of related good practices (RGP); and IT mechanisms and resources to be used  for development of innovative activity and information exchange. The Conference allowed APEC economies to share knowledge and experiences in new growth areas such as standardization in the field of innovative technologies, and helped establish contacts by bringing together the interests of industry, public authorities, scientific community and business on developing harmonized approaches to standards and RGP in the field of innovation.

Standards and Conformance Education

The five-year Standards and Conformance Education Initiative was implemented from 2007 to 2011. The Phase III resulted in a trial program for higher education and the consolidation of a Casebook from fourteen universities. The five year project encompassed four publications, seven meetings/workshops, the development and maintenance of an information portal on standards education. These activities have resulted in heightened visibility for standards education in the APEC region.

Specialist Regional Bodies

Cooperation with other regional organizations that work in the areas of standards and conformance will be strengthened by implementing the Specialist Regional Bodies Strategic Plan.

Jianping HAN (Mr)
Chair
Deputy Director General International Cooperation
General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine
Beijing, China
Tel: +86-10-82262174
Fax: +86-10-82260215
Email:
Sakura OZAKI (Ms)
Program Director
APEC Secretariat
Email:
TBC - Nov Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) Readiness Project in Energy Management System, ISO 50001 – Workshop for peer evaluation among accreditation bodies among APEC economies (CTI 25/13A) Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
11 - 12 Sep 2014 APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum Special Session and APEC High Level Regulator-Industry Food Safety Dialogue (CTI 33/2013A) Beijing, China
9 - 10 Sep 2014 Workshop on Proficiency Testing Program (M CTI 03/12A) Beijing, China
TBC - Sep Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) Readiness Project in Energy Management System, ISO 50001 – Workshop for Accreditation Body (CTI 25/13A) Jakarta, Indonesia
TBC - Sep Wine Regulatory Forum Meeting (M CTI 01/13A) Beijing, China
2 - 3 Sep 2014 2nd Workshop on Utilizing Green Building Codes to Increase Building Performance (M CTI 02/13A) Singapore
TBC - Aug 2nd Sub Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) Meeting 2014 Beijing, China
TBC - Aug 19th Joint Regulatory Advisory Committee (JRAC) Meeting Beijing, China
TBC - Aug APEC Conference on Standards and Conformance of Green Technologies (joint event of M CTI 02/12A and CTI 27/13A) Beijing, China
TBC - Aug Workshop on Standards Professional Development (CTI 07/13T) Beijing, China
TBC - Jul Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) Readiness Project in Energy Management System, ISO 50001 – Workshop for organization and internal auditors (CTI 25/13A) Bangkok, Thailand
TBC - Jun Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) Readiness Project in Energy Management System, ISO 50001 – Workshop for certification body (CTI 25/13A) Beijing, China
TBC - Jun 2nd Workshop on Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) Readiness Project in Person Certification (ISO/IEC 17024:2012) (CTI 04/13T) Bandung, Indonesia
21 - 23 May 2014 FSCF PTIN Workshop on Improved Food Inspection Capacity Building Based on Risk Analysis (M CTI 03/12A) Seoul, Korea
5 - 8 May 2014 Workshop on Food Allergen Management (CTI 34/13A) Vancouver, Canada
14 - 16 Apr 2014 1st Workshop on Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) Readiness Project in Person Certification (ISO/IEC 17024:2012) (CTI 04/13T) Jakarta, Indonesia
18 - 19 Feb 2014 1st Sub Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) Meeting 2014 Ningbo, China
17 Feb 2014 Sub Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) Specialist Regional Bodies (SRBs) Meeting Ningbo, China