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ISO Consumer update

No. 07 - July 2011

….An update of ISO's activities regarding standards and consumer protection, for the members and stakeholders of the ISO Committee on consumer policy (ISO/COPOLCO).

ISO/COPOLCO is ISO's forum for promoting consumer interests in standardization. Its mission is to:

  • Enhance the market relevance of International Standards by promoting and facilitating the input of consumers' views into ISO's policies, procedures, standards and services
  • Help consumers around the world benefit from standardization.

You are receiving this eNewsletter because you are involved in the activities of ISO/COPOLCO.

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What's happening …

Russia's Premier Vladimir Putin underlines importance of ISO International Standards

Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, expressed the continuing support of his country for the development of ISO International Standards that contribute to trade, industry and technology. The Russian Premier was speaking at a meeting on 15 June at the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland, with the ISO President for 2011-2012, Boris Aleshin; ISO Secretary-General, Rob Steele, and the President of the ISO member for the Russian Federation, (GOST R – the Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology), Grigory Elkin.

Vladimir Putin, Rob Steele, Boris Aleshin, Grigory Elkin

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"Creating confidence globally" is the theme for World Standards Day

In their joint message, the leaders of the three major international standards organizations, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) emphasized how standards contribute to creating confidence.

In their WSD message, the leaders stated, "We expect that when we pick WSD poster depicting two colourful hands superposed on a world mapup the phone we will be able to instantly connect to any other phone on the planet. We expect to be able to connect to the Internet and be provided with news and information… instantly. When we fall ill, we rely on the healthcare equipment used to treat us…Interoperability creates economies of scale and ensures users can obtain equal service wherever they travel. So International Standards benefit consumers, manufacturers and service providers alike. International Standards create this confidence by being developed in an environment of openness and transparency, where every stakeholder can contribute".

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ISO's innovative 2010 Annual Report claims that "it's all about the people"

ISO has published its 2010 Annual Report exclusively as an online publication, for the first time ever. The Annual Report, entitled “It’s all about the people” dedicates one entire section to ISO’s “most people-oriented standard”, ISO 26000, Guidance on social responsibility. This high-profile standard was published in November 2010.

Designed specifically for the Internet with a user-friendly interface and visually appealing graphics, the 2010 Annual Report allows readers to immediately access ISO’s publications, and provides an interactive experience, with different media (video, images, links). The new format aims to reach out to today’s nearly two billion Web users, while being environmentally friendly.


ISO offers up mine of information about benefits of standards…for free!

You can now access a wealth of useful information about standards through free access to electronic versions of ISO’s flagship magazine, the ISO Focus +. From now on, the electronic edition of ISO’s magazine ISO Focus+ (, is available for consultation and downloading free of charge from the ISO Website. This is equally true for the French-language edition.

In addition, the entire collection of previous issues of ISO Focus+ editions, ISO Focus (2004-2009), and ISO Management Systems magazine (2001-2009) is also available free of charge as electronic files.

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UK government minister welcomes ISO/COPOLCO at its plenary meeting

The United Kingdom Government Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs, Edward Davey MP, underlined the importance of consumers’ role in standards development, when he welcomed participants to the 33rd plenary meeting of the ISO Committee on consumer policy (ISO/COPOLCO). This event took place on 25-26 May 2011 in London, hosted by the British Standards Institution (BSI).

The plenary meeting was preceded by COPOLCO’s annual workshop on the theme, Homes for tomorrow – Building through standards.  The workshop examined how standards can help our homes best reflect trends and daily realities in an evolving world. About 130 participants from 46 countries representing consumer associations, business, industry, public authorities and national standardization bodies attended. They discussed possible ways in which standards could address issues in two major areas: ”Greening our homes” and “Rebuilding after disasters”.

David Bell, Rob Steele, Norma McCormick, Edward Davey MP

From left to right: David Bell, Head of External Policy, British Standards Institution; Rob Steele, ISO Secretary-General; Norma McCormick, ISO/COPOLCO Chair; Edward Davey MP, UK Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs, at the at the33rd ISO/COPOLCO plenary meeting. (Photo: Steve Forward)

See more about the plenary meeting and the workshop.


ISO publishes a brochure on involving consumers in standards work

ISO has just published a new brochure on the benefits of involving consumers in standards development, and how to achieve their participation. Involving consumersWhy and how provides national standards bodies and other standards development organizations with practical guidance on achieving consumer participation in standardization. It covers why and when to engage consumers, the added value of their participation, how to organize it effectively and what it means to be a consumer representative.

The brochure also describes ISO’s Committee on Consumer Policy (COPOLCO), funding and training of consumer representatives, and resources and links for further study. Twenty-four case studies show how these different issues have been addressed, especially in a national or regional context.

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What's new in International Standards

Early ISO 50001 adopters report major gains through energy management standard

Evidence that publication of ISO 50001, Energy management systems - Requirements with guidance for use  was eagerly awaited is borne out by the number of organizations worldwide claiming to be the first in their country or sector to have adopted the new ISO International Standard on energy management. And what is more, several are already reporting significant benefits and energy cost savings from their early ISO 50001 implementation.

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ISO financial services standard wins industry support six months ahead of publication

Six months before the expected publication of the completed document, a draft ISO standard for the financial services industry has earned significant recognition and endorsement as a global solution for the accurate and unambiguous identification of entities engaged in financial transactions.

ISO 17442, Financial services – Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), is currently at the Draft International Standard stage and expected to be published as an ISO International Standard by January 2012. However, it was recently recommended by the Global Financial Management Association (GFMA) – a federation of global financial services trade associations – as a basis for a viable, uniform and global LEI solution.

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ISO action plan proposes standards to combat oil spill disasters

ISO has developed an action plan on International Standards that could help the oil and gas industry prevent or mitigate disasters like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and the Montara oil spill off the coast of Western Australia in 2009. Drawing on the lessons learned from the two disasters, the plan:

  • Provides an inventory of relevant standards that are already available
  • Proposes a programme for the development of new standards or improvement of existing ones.

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New ISO standard aims to build confidence in the global carbon market

A new International Standard detailing the level of competency required by those responsible for verifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been published. It is the latest addition to ISO’s toolbox of standards for addressing climate change and supporting emissions trading schemes. ISO 14066: 2011, Greenhouse gases – Competence requirements for greenhouse gas validation teams and verification teams, spells out the competence requirements of the personnel undertaking the various validation or verification activities within the team appointed for the task. It is intended to achieve consistency in the global carbon market and maintain public confidence in GHG reporting and other communications.

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Safe eyes – ISO updates its standard for contact lenses and care products

With millions of people around the world using contact lenses, it is important to make sure that these are safe to wear. However, different countries may have different regulations, which creates confusion for manufacturers, suppliers and even users.

To harmonize requirements for contact lenses, care products and accessories around the world, ISO developed ISO 14534:2011, Ophthalmic optics – Contact lenses and contact lens care products – fundamental requirements. Now in its third edition, the standard has been technically revised to bring it up to date with the latest industry developments.

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ISO standard makes sure that PINs are secure

How many times and in how many places have you entered your bank card’s PIN (Personal Identification Number) today? To make sure that the integrity of this data is protected throughout all transactions, ISO has technically revised and updated the standard providing requirements for the management and security of PINs. This is ISO 9564-1:2011, Financial services – Personal Identification Number (PIN) management and security – Part 1: Basic principles and requirements for PINs in card-based systems.

Why an International Standard for PIN management? Take the example of just one financial institution, Visa. In 2007, Visa had 20 000 member banks with 1.59 billion cards in circulation generating 59 billion transactions per year, with peaks of more than 6 800 transactions per second. The ISO standard for PIN management helps protect the identification numbers used for cardholder verification against unauthorized disclosure, compromise and misuse everywhere in the world. It thus helps minimize the risk of fraud through electronic funds transfer systems.

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Around the world … COPOLCO member news


Complying with the new Toy Safety Regulation

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Bahrain has passed a new Toy Safety Technical Regulation (TR), with effect from 1 January 2011, allowing a six-month grace period for toy imports with no conformity marking. The toy safety regulation is enforced within the framework of a Regional Conformity Assessment Scheme, implemented by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries1.

Toys are the leading products in the regional scheme, to be followed by products from different sectors such as low voltage electrical equipment, construction, lifts, and medical equipment.

As from 1 July 2011, toy imports to the Kingdom of Bahrain require both GCC conformity mark - two semi-circles intersecating with a wavy curvethe Declaration of Conformity demonstrating a product's compliance with the Gulf Toy Safety TR, and a GCC mark of conformity affixed on the toy or its package. The mark indicates the product's compliance with requirements stated in the GCC Toys TR. The marking has its own rules and procedures according to the Gulf TR for GCC Marking, issued in May 2009.

The Toys TR requires toys entering the GCC market to satisfy requirements for chemical, mechanical, and physical properties; however compliance with the GCC-related standards will presume compliance with the Toys TR.

Bahrain Standards and Metrology Directorate (BSMD), within the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, is the regulatory body enforcing the Toys TR. BSMD launched a media campaign in June 2010, using brochures, leaflets, seminars, newspaper articles and notices to raise awareness of the regulation and its enforcement. The media campaign and the unified GCC procedures for toys paved the way for the smooth implementation of the regulation within the Kingdom of Bahrain. In addition, the grace period has allowed traders to fully understand and adhere to the GCC Marking requirements.

The Toys TR provides a strong platform on which other successful regional regulations can be built.

1 The Gulf Cooperation Council countries are currently: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.



Smoke detectors become mandatory for private homes

Following many debates and discussions, a bill was passed in France requiring the installation of autonomous smoke detectors in private housing units. In France, 250,000 residential fires are reported to insurance companies every year; this means one fire every 2 minutes, resulting in 800 deaths and 10,000 injuries annually.

The smoke detector therefore plays a key role in safety. This device provides all components necessary for detecting smoke and emitting an alarm in one self-contained unit. Placed inside a home, it alerts the occupants of a fire: its reliability is therefore essential.

There are many such products on the market, and all must carry the CE marking (European CE marking for all relevant products to one or more European Directives). This enables the devices to move freely throughout the European Economic Area. Smoke detectors came under the CE Mark starting in 2007.

Note that a voluntary NF mark also exists. This mark, issued by AFNOR Certification, allows consumers to choose a product whose reliability and efficiency are guaranteed by a process of third-party certification.

By March 2015, all French citizens will be expected to equip themselves with smoke alarms.



Shops with the TISI mark promote consumers' quality of life

The Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI) has collaborated with shop owners in forming a network of shops selling certified goods bearing the “TISI mark”. It is first step towards establishing a quality community as well as promoting good living for consumers.

Ensuring consumer protection is one of the main tasks of TISI, therefore it launched the “TISI mark shops” project with the aim to create a network of shops connecting certified, quality products to consumers. This benefits not only the business for distributors who opt for products with the TISI mark, but it also directly supports the manufacturers who produce the same quality products.

Certificates have been granted to those shops participating in the project to signify that they sell only TISI-certified products. Thus they help promote consumers’ confidence that they are choosing, buying and using TISI-marked products for their good quality and safety.

In this pilot project, 18 steel marts in the South have received certificates, acknowledging them as distributors of TISI marked products. The project is expected to extend to other shops, in other areas of the country.

So far, the project has received good collaboration from participating shops which increasingly are adapting to the concept of social responsibility and are aware of competition from low-price, sub-standard goods. It is therefore a welcome sign that the participating shops confirmed their wish for the project to continue – for the benefit of consumers and of all.



Consumer protection-oriented activities expand in Turkey

At the Turkish Standards Institution, a consumer representative from a consumer organization now participates regularly in the technical work. There are also two journals for the public, each of them issued monthly. These are called, “Standards” and “The Bulletin of Consumers”. Both journals deal with specific subjects of consumer information, education and protection.

In addition, there are several consumer websites about consumer protection and information or education such as, and These are in Turkish, but has some pages in English. The Turkish government is currently considering new legislation on consumer protection.

Turkey is increasingly aware of the importance of International Standards, as it is a candidate country for the European Union, and at the same time, it is increasingly importing and exporting goods and services from outside Turkey.



Getting involved – consumers in standards

Lynn Faulds Wood, Chair of the BSI Consumer & Public Interest (CPI) Network, and several BSI staff, appeared on BBC Television’s Breakfast show on the same day as the ISO COPOLCO 2011 workshop in London on 24 May.

Snippets of film showed consumer-relevant testing at BSI’s labs “then and now”. Lynn Faulds Wood encouraged members of the public to “Get involved” with standards, and repeated this message the following week on a key BBC Radio 4 programme, Woman’s Hour.  As part of the public interest, three new CPI representatives should soon be joining the CPI Network.

Three new consumer leaflets
More leaflets telling people about significant standards for daily life, have recently been published and are being uploaded onto the BSI website at:

Look for:

  • Easy to open packaging which describes the new European Standard CEN TS 15945, which gives test methods that manufacturers can use to help design packaging that all consumers, whatever their age or physical strength, can open with ease.
  • Ethical business: protecting our planet and the people on it – a consumer’s guide to the social responsibility standard, ISO 26000).
  • Making scuba diving safer – an explanation of eight international and European standards relating to recreational scuba diving.
BSI Easy to open packaging brochure, showing two hands trying to open a cylindrical container Cover of BSI brochure "ethical business" showing a farmer on rice paddies built on the slopes of a mountain Cover of BSI brochure on scuba diving, showing a scuba diver and a sea turtle



Did you know …?

…that road traffic injuries have become the leading killer of young people aged 15-29 years?

Almost 1.3 million people die each year on the world's roads, making this the ninth leading cause of death globally. In addition to these deaths, road crashes cause between 20 million and 50 million non-fatal injuries every year.

With more than 200 directly-relevant standards, ISO is contributing to the Decade of Action. This UN initiative, launched in May 2011, seeks to prevent road traffic deaths and injuries.
See more.


To find out more...

Visit us in the consumer section of ISO's Web site, ISO Online, Consult: "Resources for ….. Consumers".

Is the ISO member in your country a member of COPOLCO? If not, encourage this national standards body to join COPOLCO!

For a full list of ISO members, see

Is your organization a member of Consumers International? Find CI at

Questions …? Comments… ? News to share…? Subscription requests …..? We would like to hear from you!  Contact us at


ISO Consumer update is a free service by the Secretariat of the ISO Committee on consumer policy (ISO/COPOLCO).
Editor: Ms. Dana Kissinger-Matray, Secretary of ISO/COPOLCO.

ISO Consumer update gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the Marketing, Communication and Information services of the ISO Central Secretariat.


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