Governments need to develop and maintain a healthy economy, and defend national business interests while stimulating export. They need to pass and enforce legislation and regulations that help make better use of energy and resources, protect populations from unsafe products and domestic, industrial, environmental and health hazards. Increasingly they participate in international or regional organizations – as a member or observer – to tackle global issues related to safety, energy supply and the environment.
International Standards draw on international expertise and experience and are therefore a vital resource for governments when developing public policy.
National governments can use International Standards to support public policy, for example, by referencing them in regulations. This has a number of benefits, including:
International Standards are developed by experts. By integrating an International Standard into national regulation, governments can benefit from state-of-the art expert knowledge and know-how without having to call on their services directly.
Opening up world trade
International Standards are adopted by many governments. By integrating them into national regulation, governments help ensure that requirements for imports and exports are increasingly harmonized, therefore facilitating the movement of goods, services and technologies from country to country.
International Standards can help regulators to provide common platforms that allow many different players, who are in competition, to work together on a same goal. They help promote fair competition and provide a level playing field so that national infrastructures can be built in time and stay relevant for longer.
Focused infrastructure development
Because regulators are not engineers, International Standards and participating organizations can help bring the innovative potential of the industry on the right track. This helps avoid island solutions that can hinder the growth of the market.
Regulators need to ensure that there is adequate investment, the right technologies and products and fair pricing for all users. They also need to take into account that more and more technologies are merging and infrastructure systems need to be able to communicate across borders. Standards provide built-in interoperability. International Standards provide the technical frameworks, metrics and specifications regulators can refer to in their legislation. As technologies evolve, standards are revised accordingly and legislation is automatically updated.