15 CFR 10.0 - General.
(a) Introduction. The Department of Commerce (hereinafter referred to as the “Department”) recognizes the importance, the advantages, and the benefits of voluntary standards and standardization activities. Such standards may cover, but are not limited to, terms, classes, sizes (including quantities of packaged consumer commodities), dimensions, capacities, quality levels, performance criteria, inspection requirements, marking requirements, testing equipment, test procedures and installation procedures. Economic growth is promoted through:
(1) Reduction of manufacturing costs, inventory costs, and distribution costs;
(2) Better understanding among manufacturers, producers, or packagers (hereinafter referred to as producers), distributors, users, and consumers; and
(3) Simplification of the purchase, installation, and use of the product being standardized.
(b) Requirements for Department of Commerce sponsorship. The Department may sponsor the development of a voluntary Product Standard if, upon receipt of a request, the Department determines that:
(1) The proposed standard is likely to have substantial public impact;
(2) The proposed standard reflects the broad interest of an industry group or an organization concerned with the manufacture, production, packaging, distribution, testing, consumption, or use of the product, or the interest of a Federal or State agency;
(3) The proposed standard would not duplicate a standard published by, or actively being developed or revised by, a private standards-writing organization to such an extent that it would contain similar requirements and test methods for identical types of products, unless such duplication was deemed by the Department to be in the public interest;
(4) Lack of government sponsorship would result in significant public disadvantage for legal reasons or reasons of domestic and international trade;
(5) The proposed standard is not appropriate for development and maintenance by a private standards-writing organization; and
(6) The proposed standard will be funded by a proponent organization or government agency to cover costs for administrative and technical support services provided by the Department.
(c) Role of the Department. The Department assists in the establishment of a Voluntary Product Standard as follows:
(1) Acts as an unbiased coordinator in the development of the standard;
(2) Provides editorial assistance in the preparation of the standard;
(3) Supplies such assistance and review as is required to assure the technical soundness of the standard;
(4) Seeks satisfactory adjustment of valid points of disagreement;
(5) Determines the compliance with the criteria established in these procedures for such voluntary standards;
(6) Provides secretarial functions for each committee appointed by the Department under these procedures;
(7) Publishes the standard as a public document;
(8) Administers the funds for administrative and technical support services; and
(9) Seeks listing for standards developed under these procedures as American National Standards through the American National Standards Institute, when deemed appropriate by the Department.
(d) Role of producers, distributors, users, and consumers. Producers, distributors, users, consumers, and other interested groups may contribute to the development of a Voluntary Product Standard as follows:
(1) Initiate and participate in the development of the standard;
(2) Provide technical or other relevant counsel, as appropriate, relating to the standard;
(3) Promote the use of, and support for, the standard; and
(4) Assist in keeping the standard current with respect to advancing technology and marketing practices.
(e) Role of the National Institute of Standards & Technology. The National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) administers these procedures for the Department. Any communications concerning these procedures (e.g., questions, clarifications, appeals) should be addressed to the Office of Product Standards Policy, National Institute of Standards & Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899.