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19 U.S. Code § 2532 - Federal standards-related activities

No Federal agency may engage in any standards-related activity that creates unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States, including, but not limited to, standards-related activities that violate any of the following requirements:
(1) Nondiscriminatory treatmentEach Federal agency shall ensure, in applying standards-related activities with respect to any imported product, that such product is treated no less favorably than are like domestic or imported products, including, but not limited to, when applying tests or test methods, no less favorable treatment with respect to—
the acceptance of the product for testing in comparable situations;
the administration of the tests in comparable situations;
the fees charged for tests;
the release of test results to the exporter, importer, or agents;
the siting of testing facilities and the selection of samples for testing; and
the treatment of confidential information pertaining to the product.
(2) Use of international standards
(A) In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B)(ii), each Federal agency, in developing standards, shall take into consideration international standards and shall, if appropriate, base the standards on international standards.

(B) Application of requirementFor purposes of this paragraph, the following apply:
(i) International standards not appropriateThe reasons for which the basing of a standard on an international standard may not be appropriate include, but are not limited to, the following:
National security requirements.
The prevention of deceptive practices.
The protection of human health or safety, animal or plant life or health, or the environment.
Fundamental climatic or other geographical factors.
Fundamental technological problems.
(ii) Regional standards

In developing standards, a Federal agency may, but is not required to, take into consideration any international standard promulgated by an international standards organization the membership of which is described in section 2571(6)(A)(ii)[1] of this title.

(3) Performance criteria

Each Federal agency shall, if appropriate, develop standards based on performance criteria, such as those relating to the intended use of a product and the level of performance that the product must achieve under defined conditions, rather than on design criteria, such as those relating to the physical form of the product or the types of material of which the product is made.

(4) Access for foreign suppliers

Each Federal agency shall, with respect to any conformity assessment procedure used by it, permit access for obtaining an assessment of conformity and the mark of the system, if any, to foreign suppliers of a product on the same basis as access is permitted to suppliers of like products, whether of domestic or other foreign origin.

[1]  See References in Text note below.
Editorial Notes
References in Text

Section 2571(6)(A) of this title, referred to in par. (2)(B)(ii), was amended generally by Pub. L. 103–465, title III, § 351(e)(4), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4956, and, as so amended, no longer contains clauses.


1996—Par. (4). Pub. L. 104–295 inserted comma after “system, if any”.

1994—Par. (4). Pub. L. 103–465 substituted “Access” for “Certification access” in heading, and, in text, substituted “conformity assessment procedure” for “certification system” and “an assessment of conformity and the mark of the system, if any” for “certification under that system”.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–465 effective on the date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States (Jan. 1, 1995), see section 352 of Pub. L. 103–465, set out as a note under section 2531 of this title.