IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct.
Mark Bello (NIST) (301) 975-3776 firstname.lastname@example.org
Curt Cultice (ITA) (202) 482-3809 Curt_Cultice@ita.doc.gov
Department Launches New Online Service
to Give U.S. Companies 'Heads Up' on Export Regulations
to Assist in Eliminating Barriers to Trade
The U.S. Department
of Commerce today launched Export Alert!, a free Internet-based
service that automatically notifies interested businesses when foreign
governments propose regulations that might influence the treatment
of U.S. exports.
from Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology,
with support from Commerce's International Trade Administration,
Export Alert! can spare businesses and other organizations from
unwanted surprises sometimes caused by unanticipated changes in
technical requirements that dictate terms of market entry.
export tool is part of our ongoing commitment to giving U.S. businesses
the latest know-how for exporting," said Stephen P. Jacobs, Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Agreements Compliance. "Export
Alert! can provide key information to help keep American exports
competitive in the global marketplace."
will gather, organize and disseminate notifications of proposed
regulatory changes issued by any of 142 nations that are members
of the World Trade Organization. Under the Agreement on Technical
Barriers to Trade, WTO member nations are required to report proposed
central government regulations that may have an impact on trade.
notifications are submitted to the WTO Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.
In turn, notifications are made available to designated TBT inquiry
points in member nations. The U.S. inquiry point is NIST's National
Center for Standards and Certification Information, or NCSCI, which
manages the new service.
mail, Export Alert! automatically sends WTO-distributed notifications
to subscribing organizations and individuals. Notifications are
sorted among 41 fields of activity that range from health-care technology
to agriculture to construction materials. Subscribers can specify
the fields of activity that they wish to track. They also can monitor
developments in selected countries or regions, such as Japan or
the European Union.
to describing the proposed regulation, notifications list the country
of origin, the product covered and the deadline for comments. Interested
subscribers can contact NCSCI to receive full-text copies of the
proposals. The center also will distribute comments from U.S. organizations
to the notifying country.
is expected to make it easier for U.S. companies to stay on top
of foreign technical regulations that affect their overseas business.
Early warning should help to ensure that U.S. organizations have
adequate lead time to review and comment on proposed regulations
- and perhaps head off regulations judged to pose a barrier to trade.
WTO members issued over 600 TBT-related notifications. The greatest
numbers were issued in the areas of telecommunications, appliances,
beverages, chemicals, food products, electrical equipment, motor
vehicles and construction products.
Alert! service was inaugurated on World Standards Day, an annual
event intended to recognize the ubiquitous, but often invisible,
roles that standards play in society, especially commerce and industry.
Standards are agreed-upon specifications designed to ensure that
materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose.
Examples are common formats for exchanging information between computers,
performance requirements for building materials, and "plug and play"
specifications for electronic appliances.
and individuals interested in subscribing to the Export Alert! service
can sign up online at http://ts.nist.gov/ncsci.
For additional information, contact NCSCI at (301) 975-4040 or email@example.com.