Qatar General Organization for Standards and Metrology (QS), Doha, and ASTM International celebrated their partnership with an Oct. 15 ceremonial signing of their Memorandum of Understanding in Dubai, UAE. The MOU was formally signed and implemented by both organizations in September 2007.
"QS signed the MoU with ASTM International to increase bilateral contacts and exchange of expertise, enhance and avoid duplication of efforts in different standardization activities, and to take advantage of the test methodology and materials expertise in ASTM International in supporting the standardization and metrology body of the State of Qatar," says Dr. Mohammad Saif Al Kuwari, General Director of QS.
"As Dr. Al Kuwari points out, standards enable an economy to fulfill the needs and expectations of the local market and to globalize products at the same time," says Mr. James A. Thomas, president of ASTM International. "We look forward to actively engaging in a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship with QS as enabled by this MOU."
Initiated in 2001 and with more than 60 MOUs already signed, ASTM International's MOU program promotes communication between ASTM International and national standards bodies worldwide, fostering awareness of the standardization systems of all parties involved. The program also facilitates the development of national standards that will aid each country's health, safety, environmental and economic conditions.
The MOU reinforces the relationship between QS, the only competent national standards body of Qatar, and ASTM International, one of the largest sector-specific standards developers in the world, by promoting participation from Qatar industry leaders and technical experts in the development process of ASTM standards as well as in ASTM interlaboratory cross-check programs and training courses.
The partnership will enable ASTM International to support QS in its activities to benefit Qatar society, both assisting in the growth of the national economy as well as enhancing the development of Qatari standards for health, safety and the environment. ASTM International will provide QS with the full collection of ASTM standards annually as well as sponsor joint standards and training programs, and provide participating membership to Qatar representatives. In accordance with its commitment to developing nations, and consistent with World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO/TBT) principles for international standards development organizations, ASTM International supports and collaborates with the national standards bodies of developing economies through the MOU program.
Implementation Steps Initiated
Through the MOU, Qatar is in the process of adopting a number of ASTM International standards, including those related to petroleum and petroleum products.
Also through the partnership, a training course, ASTM Cement and Concrete Standards: Relationship to ACI 318, will be held in Qatar and in Saudi Arabia this month (November 2008). The course provides a better understanding of more than 50 ASTM International standards related to cementitious materials, concrete and steel reinforcement that are referenced in ACI 318, a widely used consensus document for designing concrete structures.
A coordinated program about construction and petroleum standards is being planned for Nov. 19 in Doha. Highlighting the event is an overview of QS activities and standards process by Dr. Al Kuwari and an address, "Use of ASTM International Standards in Qatar National Construction Standards," by Dr. Nour Eddin Issa Daas, QS Construction and Building Materials Division. James Olshefsky, ASTM director of external relations, will provide an overview of ASTM International activities, and James S. Thomas will make a presentation about ASTM resources to support trade and industry.
For more information about the MOU program and ASTM global outreach, contact Teresa Cendrowska, ASTM vice president of global cooperation (phone: 610-832-9718; firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information about the training course, contact James Olshefsky, ASTM director of external relations (phone: 610-832-9714; email@example.com). Also, visit www.astm.org/GLOBAL.
For more information about QS, go to www.qs.org.qa.