International and National Standards with regard to Global Trading

With the latest developments in the economic front regarding trade relations between different countries there are initiatives to standardize the import and export requirements. A beginning has been made with the negotiations for Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and Europe and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and Europe.  Although the negotiations are progressing there are many international standards, national standards and certification procedures being used which have a daily influence on international trading.


The most well-known International Standards organization is the International Organization for Standardization known as ISO.  This organization is located in Geneva, Switzerland, and has international accepted standards for many processes, quality assurance systems and products.

Producers/Importers/Exporters must take into account that there are national standards which could be applicable as well. For example there are IEC standards compiled by the International Electro Technical Commission – IEC whose aim is to monitor the standardization of electrical and electro technical standards for international recognition.

Our experts are ready to give full support for any questions regarding national or international standards and the practical usage with regard to trading and certification. Do not hesitate to contact us please call +31 (0) 294 48 33 55

Japan has Japanese Industrial Standards called JIS which are based on the Industrial Standardization Law. The JIS standards cover  the development, production, distribution, and utilization of industrial products.

Canadian standards fall under the National Standards of Canada known as the Canadian National Standards Association and has been implemented by the Standards Council of Canada.  The Standards are developed and implemented by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Canadian General Standard Board (CGSB), Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC) and Bureau de Normalization du Québec (BNQ). Which standard institute is applicable depends whether the product falls under the scope of the standards institutes concerned.


China makes use of GB (Guojia Biaozhun) standards which are national standards established by State Administration of China for Standardization (SACS). These standards cover national economy and technologies. The GB standards are compulsory and are related to about 65% of standards being used in China.  Companies have to ensure that when their products and installations falls under the scope of the GB standards, these products and installations comply to these GB national standards . There are compulsory GB standards and non-compulsory GB/T standards which can be determined as voluntary. The classification depends on the intended use and the products and installations themselves.

China’s, CCC standards or the China Compulsory Certification which became a member of the WTO in December 2001 was aimed at the regulation and unifying of certification systems. This was to ensure the products relating to health, environmental protection and public safety can be safely monitored and put into use in the Peoples Republic of China. It covers specific products produced in China or imported into China. The specific product groups are published in the Peoples Republic of China files of compulsory certification. This covers a broad spectrum of products such as household electrical equipment, EMC and low-voltage equipment, electric tools, machines etc.


To apply the CCC mark on products officially recognized organizations by the Chinese authorities, such as  CNCA -Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China, or a third recognized party by the Chinese government, must verify that the product conforms to the GB (Guojia Biaozhun) standards, or the Chinese national standards so they can get the CCC mark. The GB standards are closely related to the international IEC standards.

Australian or AS national standards fall under the Standards Australia International called SAI, which are national standards governed by the federal government. Standards Australia International has a joint venture with New Zealand and issues AS/NZS and AS ISO standards in co-operation with New Zealand.

In the Unites states of America standards are compiled by academic, technical and industrial associations whose expertise covers a wide range such as construction products, machinery, electrical, electronic, pressure related and some medical products. The American National Standards Institute, ANSI will register and issue these as United States (US) standards.

The Union market uses European harmonized standards and EN Standards, which fall under the responsibility of the European Standards for Normalization or the CEN/ CENELEC which is the Committee for European Normalization and Electro technique. European member states are obliged to implement the EN Standards in the national regulations of each country. European Directives are legislation for products which are published in the Official Journal of the European Communities; the EN standards are used as harmonized standards to comply with each of the European Directives.


International standards, such as the IEC and ISO, can be recognized by member countries for the certification of products or systems. This is based on the agreements of World Trade Organization WTO and TBT Technical Barriers to Trade.  Recognition of the IEC and ISO standards has a positive effect on international standardization which directly influences economic trade.

Our experts are ready to give full support for any questions regarding national or international standards and the practical usage with regard to trading and certification. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding this article or if you have a general question with regard to product certification please call +31 (0) 294 48 33 55

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