Highlights of the IEC Conformity Assessment Board (CAB) meeting, which took place during the 83rd IEC General Meeting in Shanghai, China.
Addressing environmental issues
CAB has begun looking into how it can provide opportunities to help industries comply with environmental standards. IEC TC 111 which addresses environmental standardization for electrical and electronic products and systems, has requested support from CAB to help identify potential conformity assessment services that could be offered.
This topic is already underway within IECQ which has set-up a working group tasked with developing a global solution on environmental issues, addressing hazardous substances, environmental product declarations and TC 111 standards. However, a CAB level approach is needed in order to offer unified CA schemes and better promote the range of services available.
CAB has agreed to set up a task force, which includes the other IEC CA Systems, under the leadership of Marie-Elisabeth d’Ornano, IECQ Chair, which will investigate the business case for the creation of new services based on IEC standards related to the environment in conjunction with TC 111.
Radio scheme proposal
The development of the Internet of Things has increased the number of radio and wireless products in use. However, compliance requirements for these types of products differ, making it difficult to achieve “one test one report” results. A proposal has been made to offer a IECEE service for radio products.
However, many of the well-established and widely used standards for radio products are not published by the IEC or ISO. If the CAB would like to develop a radio scheme, it will need to consider the use of ETSI and ANSI standards.
CAB has tasked IECEE, in collaboration with other IEC CA Systems, with exploring the business case for a possible service for Radio based upon relevant standards. It has also asked Working Group (WG) 10 to create guidelines for the selection and approval of non-IEC and non-ISO Standards for integration into the IEC CA Policy.
Certification results in bilateral agreements
The CAB Alternate from Germany proposed that the conformity assessment results from the IEC CA Systems should be included in governmental bilateral and multilateral agreements. This will require that governments and regulators understand the value of including conformity assessment results in bilateral agreements which could be achieved through the efforts of the IEC National Committee members and members of CAB. CAB supports this proposal and has raised the topic with the IEC Council Board.
CAB has also agreed that the CAB Secretariat will make a proposal to UNECE Working Party 6 for a recommendation to use IEC CA Systems as a regulatory and national quality infrastructure best practice tool.
New service offerings from IECEE
As industries digitalize, the uniformity of time sensitive networks (TSN) is becoming increasingly important. Currently several networks exist with their own networks and certification schemes, but they are not well recognized. IECEE, together with IEEE, would like to offer a new service for time sensitive networks based on the draft joint IEC/IEEE 60802 standard on time sensitive profile for industrial automation. CAB has approved that IECEE develop a proposal for this possible new service offering.
IECEE has received a request from the UN for a service that would involve “partial conformity assessment”. The UN has identified cases where the requirements for standards compliance are overly stringent for some regions to be able to fully conform. As a result, the UN would like to have a programme allowing for the partial use of standards. Current IECEE principle calls for the testing of a product for conformity with the entirety of the standard. However, should there be a market need, such a request could be considered. CAB has called on IECEE to develop a concept for future new services, including partial conformity assessment of suitable aspects within specified standards, for CAB endorsement by October 2020.
During discussions of new and existing collaborations with international organizations, such as ITU and UN U4E, it was realized that no general guidance for the IEC CA Systems exists on how to cooperate with other international organizations and what are the applicable IEC core principles that need to be considered. In particular, the responsibilities and the processes by which such cooperation will be set up, as well as the level of CAB involvement. Rules on how to set up cooperation with other organizations are currently lacking. As a result, CAB has decided that it will address this issue with the IEC Council Board since this relates to our valuable collaborations and cooperation with other International organizations.
The IEC Cybersecurity Ambassador, Wei Hao, presented his work for the IEC. One activity has included the developed of a landscape study which identifies the organizations that the IEC should target regarding the implementation of IEC Standards. A summary of the report will be provided to the IEC CO.
CAB agreed to disband WG 17 on cybersecurity and to transfer the remaining tasks of WG 17 to IECEE WG 31 which is responsible for the IECEE cybersecurity program and includes the monitoring and liaison with the IECEx and IECQ cybersecurity activities.
Concerning work with European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), CAB decided that the IEC CO should pursue an MoU between the IEC and ENSI. In addition, a designated expert from IECEE WG 31 should pursue membership in the ENISA ad-hoc group established to discuss a successor to the European certification system for cyber security known as SOG-IS Mutual Recognition Agreement.
CAB officially appointed the new Executive Secretary for IECEE and IECRE, Wolfram Zeitz, for a five years period from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2024. This follows the retirement of the current IECRE and IECEE Executive Secretary Kerry McManama at the end of 2019.
CAB appointed Paul Meanwell as the new Chair of IECEx for the period 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2022.
CAB thanked several members of CAB who will be leaving by the end of the year. Tim Duffy, Ian Forte, Thorsten Arnhold, Sandy Butterfield, Kerry McManama, Didier Bourgès and Steve Margis were recognized for their contribution to CAB.
Prime Minister Commendation
In a special note, CAB congratulated Toshiyuki Kajiya for recently receiving the prestigious 2019 Japanese Prime Minister’s Commendations in recognition for his contribution to conformity assessment and International industrial standardization as well as the IEC CAB and IECEE.