International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

June 2011



Growing importance of Latin America

COPANT, the Pan American Standards Commission, held its annual General Assembly on 12 and 13 May, 2011 in Santiago, Chile. Jim Matthews, IEC Vice-President and Chairman of SMB (Standardization Management Board), gave an update on the IEC. He was joined by Ronnie Amit, IEC General Secretary and CEO, who used the occasion to meet and talk with IEC stakeholders in this increasingly important region of the world.

Broad representation of the IEC

The COPANT General Assembly was organized by INN, Chile’s National Standards Institute, which also hosts the new Chilean NC (National Committee) of the IEC. The two-day programme brought together 74 delegates from the Americas, representing public and private sector standardization organizations and representing 18 COPANT member states. The Latin America region, which is growing in importance globally and for the IEC, was well represented with a large number of IEC NCs as well as several Affiliate Country Programme members. The territory covered by COPANT now comprises six Full IEC Members, two Associate Members and 24 Affiliates.

Broad IEC update

Jim Matthews presented an update on membership, the Affiliate Country Programme, sales and new products. He also outlined the success of the IEC White Paper on smart electrification and its energy efficiency, Smart Grid and EV (electric vehicle) initiatives, including numerous examples of IEC work in standards development and CA (Conformity Assessment). COPANT delegates further received information regarding the Masterplan development and learned about the recent United Nations endorsement of the IEC.

COPANT elections

COPANT President Sergio Toro of Chile was re-elected for a final, two-year term, and Joe Bhatia, President and CEO of ANSI (American National Standards Institute), which hosts the IEC US (United States) National Committee, was elected to his second two-year term as COPANT Vice President.

Stimulating development

During the General Assembly, COPANT members adopted a strategic plan that aims to define a regional agenda to promote standardization, training and CA. The objective is to both modernize the organization and more effectively help member countries develop themselves through increased participation, communication and collaboration.

Energy efficiency workshop

In conjunction with the General Assembly, on 11 May, INN hosted a workshop on the challenges of energy management (read separate article in the current e-tech). It covered a line up of presentations on issues of energy management and economic development. Matthews’ presentation on the work of the IEC in this area attracted widespread attention.


The 2012 COPANT General Assembly will be held in Fortaleza, Brazil.



  • IEC General Secretary and CEO Ronnie Amit (left) with COPANT President Sergio Toro.
  • From left: COPANT Treasurer Osvaldo Petroni, COPANT Vice President Joe Bhatia, COPANT Executive Secretary Kory Eguino and COPANT President Sergio Toro.
  • Participants in the 2011 COPANT General Assembly.



The Pan American Standards Commission is a civil non-profit association. It has complete operational autonomy and is of unlimited duration.

The object of COPANT is to promote the development of technical standardization and related activities in its member countries with the aim of promoting their commercial, industrial, scientific and technological development in benefit of the economic and commercial integration and the exchange of goods and services, while facilitating cooperation in the intellectual, scientific, economic and social spheres.


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