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Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance

Standards and conformance procedures that are harmonized across economies improve the efficiency of production and facilitate the conduct of international trade. This results in more rapid trade flows, reduced costs and a 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 liberalization and facilitation agenda.

The main objectives of the SCSC are to:

  • Reduce technical barriers to trade and enhance market access through standards and conformance
  • Align each economy’s standards with international standards
  • Promote good regulatory practices in the preparation, adoption and application of standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures
  • Progress mutual recognition arrangements for conformity assessment within the region
  • Pursue regional cooperation in accordance with international agreements
  • Ensure greater transparency
  • Encourage participation in standards education and awareness programs to build capacity and capability to enhance the competitiveness of businesses, including micro, small and medium enterprises.

The SCSC comprises of representatives nominated by the 21 member economies who are drawn from agencies responsible for standards and conformance issues as well as trade policy matters.

Nominated representatives from specialist regional bodies such as the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC), the Asia-Pacific Legal Metrology Forum (APLMF), the Asia-Pacific Metrology Program (APMP), and the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC) participate in SCSC meetings as expert regional bodies responsible for the development of standards and conformance infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Joint Regulatory Advisory Committee (JRAC) on Electrical and Electronic Equipment and the Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) report to the SCSC as its subsidiary bodies.

Last page update: January 2024


Cesar Bernabe Perez (Mr)
SCSC Chair 2024
Executive President of Instituto Nacional de Calidad (INACAL)
Program Director

Current Activities

  • SCSC held two in-person meetings in 2023: SCSC 1 on 19-20 February 2023 in Palm Springs, California and SCSC 2 on 8-9 August 2023 in Seattle, Washington. Member economies shared updates on various SCSC projects and developments at the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) committees, as well as updates from the special regional bodies. Members also had policy discussions on issues such as good regulatory practices (GRP), standardization impacts on women and ongoing work on developing gender-responsive standards, and best practices in quality infrastructure in APEC economies.
  • The 9th Food Safety Cooperation Forum Conference took place on 19 May 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. The United States’ goal as chair of FSCF for 2023 was to prioritize cross-cutting themes that are vital to modernizing food safety systems in a manner that emphasizes partnership and cross-sectoral cooperation.
  • The 30th Joint Regulatory Advisory Committee on Electrical and Electronic Equipment Meeting was held on 7 August 2023 in Seattle, WA where members exchanged information and best practices on various issues of common interest, such as the controls of electronics and electrical products sold via online platforms and safety of battery-operated products, and EV supply equipment.
  • As one of its main deliverables in 2023, the SCSC adopted the Blueprint for Advancing Good Regulatory Practices in the APEC Region. The Blueprint is a concise, non-prescriptive mapping of key GRPs and related practices that can guide economy efforts at every stage in the regulatory life cycle.
  • In April 2023, SCSC adopted the Terms of Reference for the Food Safety Cooperation Forum, establishing the FSCF as a formal subsidiary body of the SCSC.
  • During 2023, the SCSC conducted several projects that focus on specific areas/issues. Many workshops were held in the margins of SOM1, SOM2 and SOM3 meeting clusters, namely:
    • Workshop on Strengthening Electronic Labeling (E-labeling) Practices for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Products
    • Workshop on Standardization in Emerging Technologies related to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Measurement
    • Workshop on Strengthening Understanding of the WTO TBT Agreement
    • Workshop on Trade Facilitative Approach to Risk Communication: MRL Harmonization in the APEC Region
    • Workshop on Whole Genome Sequencing
    • FSCF Public-Private Innovation Dialogue
    • Workshop on Standardization in Emerging Technologies related to Greenhouse Gas Emissions Measurement, Exploring Practical Applications
    • Workshop on the Role of Battery Energy Storage Systems Standards in Promoting Safety, Energy Resilience & Sustainability
    • 16th Good Regulatory Practices Conference
    • Workshop on Cybersecurity Approaches for Critical Infrastructure Sectors and Spotlight on Supply Chain Management
    • Workshop on the Implementing Circular Economy Standards in the APEC Region
    • Workshop on Supporting AI at Scale in the APEC Region through International Standards
    • Workshop on Understanding the Trade Issues Related to Halal Certification
    • Workshop on Reducing Lead in Drinking Water through Standardization
    • Workshop on Assisting Policy Makers with Mitigation and Prevention of Plastics Pollution – Standards as a Resource for the Policy Framework
    • Workshop on Improving Transparency and Knowledge of Food Safety Requirements for trade food in APEC region
  • Several other workshops were also held outside of SOM meeting clusters throughout the year, focusing on issues such as next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based microbial testing for probiotics products, water quality assurance, detection of SARS-CoV-2 by nucleic acid amplification methods, digital credentialing, etc.

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