FINCA and COPANT Address Harmonization

FINCA and COPANT Address Harmonization

This piece was originally published in the December 2016 issue of electroindustry.

Joel Solis, Conformity Assessment Manager, NEMA

FINCA countries promote the adoption of IEC standards. Photo by Joel Solis

The 2016 annual meeting of the Forum of the IEC National Committees of the Americas (FINCA), hosted by the Argentina Electrotechnical Association and the Argentine Institute of Standardization and Certification, took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in September. FINCA promotes the adoption of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards in the Americas. It adjoined meetings of the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT) Technical Committees (CTs) 151 and 152.

Established in 1949, COPANT offers opportunities for U.S. interests to share information, network with regional standards and conformance bodies, and build relationships that support trade and economic growth.

FINCA comprises Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and the United States and is part of the IEC’s Regional Office for Latin America (LARC) and COPANT. LARC consists of five full members (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, and Mexico), one associate member (Cuba), and 25 affiliate countries. The full members have adopted 874 IEC standards, growing by 15.6 percent per year since 2011, while the affiliates have adopted 12.

Mexico is involved in 92 IEC TCs, Brazil in 121, Argentina in 23, Colombia in 11, Cuba in 3, and Chile in 2. Of the 25 affiliate countries, 13 established IEC national committees. LARC is helping Ecuador and Peru become full members.

Recapping COPANT

CT 151 Electrical engineering and smart grid and CT 152 Energy efficiency and renewable energy attracted 76 participants from 14 countries. CT 151 finalized an update to the COPANT standard for household and similar electrical appliances, an adoption of IEC 60335-1, Ed. 5.0 and 5.1, with national deviations from North America, Colombia, and the Mercosur Association for Standardization. This is the first IEC electrotechnical standard to have been harmonized in North America by the Council for Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standardization of the Nations of the Americas (CANENA) THC 61D technical committee and then broadly adopted by COPANT.

Incorporation of national deviations into IEC 60335-1 brings into question IEC’s global relevance policy and suggests that the standard developer may have failed to effectively respond to regulatory and market needs.

The CT 152 program covered energy efficiency requirements for roof ventilators, automotive efficiency labeling, solar hot water heaters, electric motors, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), gas stoves, and gas water heaters.

Daniel Delaney, agency and standards leader at Regal-Beloit Corporation and chairman of NEMA’s Motor and Generator Section, presented information on the IEC Global Motor Energy Efficiency program, providing COPANT with a model for compliance verification in lieu of in-country testing and certification of electric motors.

Ernesto Mendoza, senior manager of engineering at Philips Lighting Electronics North America, explained electronic labeling for lighting products. The electronic label uses a QR code, which provides users, installers, maintenance personnel, regulators, and authorities having jurisdiction access to manufacturer’s installation instructions, conformity assessment marks, and regulatory compliance information in the language appropriate for the country where the product is installed.

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