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ASTM International Launches Beijing Office

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With a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 23, 2005, ASTM International established a physical presence in China. Building on years of successful cooperation with standards organizations in that country, ASTM International now has office space in Beijing to further positive standardization outcomes across the globe.

In his speech at the opening ceremony, ASTM International President, James A. Thomas, reflected,"Today is the day that we will mark on our calendar as a new day in an old friendship."

The Consortium for Standards and Conformity Assessment (CSCA)

In 2004, ASTM International partnered with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration Market Development Cooperator Program to form the Consortium for Standards and Conformity Assessment (CSCA) along with the American Petroleum Institute, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASTM International, and CSA America. The Consortium represents an opportunity for China to more effectively participate in, and therefore directly influence, the content of international standards and the conformity assessment programs in which those standards are applied.

The CSCA office provides an on-the-ground direct link to four major organizations that develop globally applied standards and conformity assessment procedures. Together, the consortium’s members have developed over 15,000 standards that affect all aspects of trade. The office can provide Chinese professionals with introductions to a global network of technical experts who represent the producers and users in large, medium, and small enterprises as well as governmental and academic representatives who develop and implement standards and conformity assessment procedures.

A Resource for China

"Chinese technical experts have tremendous untapped opportunity to impact the content of ASTM standards," says Kathleen Kono, ASTM International’s vice president of global cooperation. "In order to give Chinese technical experts a chance to act on these opportunities, it is important that we offer them a way to understand just how open the ASTM International process is to their input. We believe the CSCA office will help bring that message to the sectors in China that can benefit from greater participation in ASTM International."

Because of the ease of reaching the consortium members through the Beijing office, it is possible to arrange training on the process of developing international standards, to obtain detailed technical information and explanations regarding the application of standards individually or as part of a conformity assessment process, and to learn about certification programs in greater detail.

China’s Impact on International Standards

The U.S.-based system of international standards development has been built on a process by which technical experts gather to share knowledge to collectively develop and maintain standards of high quality and global relevance. Participants in the U.S.-based standards development process come from many nations and contribute their knowledge to the content of a standard.

This collaborative approach results in standards and assessment processes that reflect the needs and know-how of a global marketplace. Unquestionably, Chinese participation in standards development is beneficial to China as well as to its trading partners since the resulting standards and conformity assessment processes will reflect China’s needs.

U.S. Ambassador to China, Clark T. Randt, took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony and in his speech explained, "Standards development must be transparent and should be open to participation from the widest range of stakeholders possible. Participation in the development of China’s standards means not only U.S. companies’ consultations on China’s standards development, but also China’s participation in international standards development bodies, including those represented by the CSCA, that follow an open and transparent process. Together, these components will contribute to predictable standards development that will not only help manufacturers bring the best products to market efficiently, but will also encourage companies to invest, with confidence, in research and development in the China market."

CSCA Office Staff

Staff appointments have been made. Chris Lanzit, who is fluent in Mandarin, serves as executive director of CSCA. Lanzit, served in the U.S. Air Force, ran the Hughes Electronics Hong Kong office, and was a research fellow at Harvard University. CSCA’s director of operations, Liu Fei, has served as a commercial specialist in the U.S. Embassy’s Trade Facilitation Office in Beijing and he has also worked with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Ethiopia.

The CSCA China office is housed along with the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing.

For more information about the CSCA Beijing Office work, contact Kitty Kono, Vice-President of Global Cooperation ASTM International (phone:+1-610/832-9687;


Release #7172