The 55-page OECD report cites ASTM's "unique membership structure", "open participation" and "inclusive and representative decision-making process" as features that enable ASTM International to quickly develop standards in fast-moving markets, such as automation, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and sustainable construction. This, in turn, facilitates trade as well as environmental and consumer protection.
"The unique membership structure of ASTM International aims to ensure an inclusive and representative decision-making process, with the goal of encompassing as many of the interested/affected actors in the regulated field or industry sector as possible, notwithstanding their pre-existing political or economic power," notes the report. Like other standards development organizations, "[t]hey help regulators draw on international expertise and facilitate trade by reducing specification and conformity assessment costs." The report also helps ASTM International prioritize efforts to continuously increase the effectiveness, impact, and relevance of its standards.
The OECD report, titled International Regulatory Co-operation and International Organizations: The Case of ASTM International, was published on the occasion of the annual meeting of its Partnership of International Organizations for Effective International Rulemaking.
Katharine Morgan, ASTM International president, welcomed the publication of the report. "We are grateful for the OECD's recognition of ASTM's inclusive and agile approach to standards development," she said. "Many European institutions and sectors regularly rely on ASTM standards, while others have hesitated because they didn't understand how we fit in. The OECD report is helpful in that it places us on a level playing field with other international standards organizations."
The OECD report highlights several ASTM International standards success stories, including standards as varied as personal protective equipment for ice hockey goalies and medical professionals, sustainable aviation fuel, and sustainable construction.
The OECD Case Study can be found at www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/irc-astm-case-study.pdf.
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