By Luis Iván Hernández Becerril
Director of Standardization
To begin with the Mexican standardization system dealt mostly with safety. Nowadays, with strong support from different stakeholders, we deal with energy efficiency, environmental issues, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), nanotechnology, Smart Grid, renewable resources, and system of energy management, to name but a few. International standards are a relevent source for all these topics.
Summing up our history, in 1992 a new law on metrology and standardization was issued in Mexico that allowed private organizations to develop voluntary standards. Our knowledge of the electrotechnical field was also broadened through increased participation in regional and international forums.
In 1994, the Mexican Electrotechnical Committee (CEM) experienced a significant change, when Mexico began renewing its active participation in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Since then, Mexico has been very active in all technical issues related to our products. We have also been focused on developing a strong alliance with our neighbours and major commercial partners, Canada and the United States. They both have a similar electrical infrastructure which allows us to work together in a number of different areas. An instance of this joint work is Council for Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standards of the Nations of the Americas (CANENA), where we have developed more than 70 harmonized standards.
Another instance of this joiint work are the tri-national meetings with our colleagues from the Canadian National Committee (CNC) and the USNC increased our involvement with the standardization activities of the IEC. Thanks to this initiative, our involvement in the technical activities with the IEC Conformity Assessment Board (CAB) and the IEC Conformity Assessment Systems, and in IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and Subcommittees (SCs), the Standardization Management Board (SMB), as well as the CB Schemes has been increased.
Considering the benefits inherent of an open an constant dialogue regarding standardiazation, we decided to invite the colleagues of the National Committees of Argentina and Brazil, to participate in our meetings in order to foster more participation in the National Committes of the region. In 2004, we held our first meeting where we shared ideas, experiences and points of view regarding our work in the IEC. So we decided to continue to meet every year just before the IEC General Meeting. After some years of mutual cooperation these meetings were formalized. This is how the Forum of IEC National Committees of the Americas (FINCA) was created in 2007. In 2010 the National Committee of Chile became a member, and in 2011 our colleagues from Colombia joined, which made FINCA a seven-member IEC forum. Mexico hopes that in the near future FINCA will have a strong voice in IEC activities and we stand ready to help build that voice.
Regarding Mexico’s participation in regional and international organizations, Mexican experts working on issues related to local standards are also working in standardization activities connected to regional and international standards. This means our standardization committees are integrated committees that also deal with CANENA, IEC, Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT), ITU and in some cases International Organization for Standardization (ISO) activities. Our stakeholders have acquired first-class knowledge on how to operate and succeed in the standards arena.
Mexico has come a long way in improving its infrastructure for standards and conformity assessment and we want to continue doing so; as the famous quotation says, “Think globally and act locally,” not leaving aside the importance of an effective regional collaboration through FINCA.