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Product Market Compliance

U. S. Department of Commerce Standards

To assist U.S. companies in overcoming standards-related barriers in foreign markets, NIST cooperates with the Department of Commerce's U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service to place standards experts in U.S. Embassies in key markets - in Brussels, Belgium (to interface with the European Commission), Mexico and Brazil - and to support these experts once in place. NIST separately contracts with non-government experts located in Saudi Arabia and India. All standards experts work with U.S. business, other U.S. government agencies, and foreign counterpart organizations to identify and remove technical barriers to trade. Standards-related information and on-the-ground assistance in key markets is critical to U.S. exports and competitiveness. To locate a Standards Expert for your product, go to Global Standards

Under the Agreement, standards experts are tasked to work with U.S. businesses, other U.S. government agencies, and foreign organizations to identify and remove technical barriers to trade in the specific country and region where assigned by:

  • providing technical support on a regional basis on standards-related issues that might affect U.S. Government agencies and U.S. companies;
  • providing technical assistance on standards-related issues to foreign government and private-sector bodies that establish policies, technical regulations or voluntary standards and conformity assessment practices that might affect market access for U.S. exports;
  • arranging and participating in technical assistance projects and workshops targeted at participants from the region of assignment, either at NIST or abroad; and
  • interacting with and participating in regional or national standards and conformity assessment organizations to promote U.S. objectives.

Guide for the use of the International System of Units
Metric is the international standard of measurement, and most of our trading partners require, or will soon require, metric units for measurements. Many non-metric U.S. products are not readily exportable to certain markets. More importantly, customers in other nations have lifelong experience with the metric system, and expect products made to metric measures. They are neither familiar nor comfortable with U.S. pints, ounces, inches and pounds. On the shelves of shops in other nations, inch/pound products are at a disadvantage. In today's highly competitive world markets, any disadvantage quickly translates to lost sales and fewer exports. Using harmonized global product standards can also help companies that trade in multiple markets, maintain smaller inventories and streamline production.

The CE Mark......Preparing Your Products for Europe
The CE mark (an acronym for the French "Conformite Europeene") certifies that a product has met EU health, safety, and environmental requirements, which ensure consumer and workplace safety. All manufacturers in the European Union (EU) and abroad must meet CE mark requirements where applicable in order to market their products in Europe. For a list of countries that require the CE mark, see: CE Mark Countries. Once a manufacturer has earned a CE mark for its product, it may affix the CE mark to its product, and then the product may be marketed throughout the EU without having to undergo further modifications in each member state. With 10 new "accession" countries, mostly from Central and Eastern Europe, due to enter the EU in May 2004, the CE mark will provide product access to 25 countries with a population of 430 million. In order to determine if your product needs a CE mark, you should look in each directive that you judge as related to your product. For a step-by-step route to CE mark process, go to CE Mark Guide.

British (BSI) and European Standards(EN)
The British American Chamber of Commerce, San Francisco is an authorized and experienced distributor of all standards required by manufacturers to export to Europe.

Approved by the US Department of Trade and Commerce, BACCSF offers quality personal service with highly competitive prices. For more information, visit
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