This piece was originally published in the December 2016 issue of electroindustry.
Khaled Masri, Program Manager
Madeleine Bugel, Program Manager
His Excellency Abdulla A. Al Maeeni, director general of the Emirates Standardization and Metrology Authority (ESMA), visited NEMA headquarters in September to discuss topics ranging from ESMA’s interests in advancing smart cities and medical technologies to the Gulf Standards Organization (GSO), the U.S. electrical safety system, and NEMA standards development.
Mr. Maeeni was accompanied by Essa A. Al Hashmi, ESMA’s director of conformity. ESMA is the official standards body for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Mr. Maeeni, who also serves as general secretary of the UAE national committee for the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), noted that ESMA is adopting IEC standards for electrical equipment.
As a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the subsidiary GSO, UAE aspires to unified and common standards and conformity assessment procedures across the region, according to Mr. Maeeni. In practice, however, UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are keeping their own certification marks simlutaneaously while adopting a new GSO mark.
After the meeting, NEMA provided written comments to ESMA and GCC counterparts on the GSO’s draft product safety and market surveillance system.
ESMA is now more engaged with the private sector than previously, Mr. Maeeni reported. The agency is working on energy conservation regulations for five product areas and adopting a building code. Counterfeit products are a problem in UAE, he admitted.
On this U.S. trip, the ESMA delegation also visited NEMA member Tesla to discuss vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications.
As an action item from the meeting, ESMA and NEMA staff began negotiations on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) noting areas in which ESMA and NEMA can cooperate. The MOU is expected to be concluded before the end of 2016.