The Russian national standards body, the Russian Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology, has signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ASTM International, originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials.

The goals of the MoU are to remove technical barriers in economic and trade relations, create greater efficiency in the development of standards, deliver greater quality products, provide environmental and labour safety, and recognize the mutual benefits to be derived from cooperation in the field of standardization.

Through the MoU, the Russian Federation joins 47 other countries that have signed MoUs with ASTM international and will also give it access to the full collection of ASTM’s 12,000 standards. ASTM standards are an important source of technological know-how to advance manufacturing productivity and product quality that will bolster the capability for Russia to export and compete in global markets.

The MoU also allows technical experts from Russian industry and scientific enterprises to influence the technical content of ASTM International standards that are important to Russia’s economy through direct free participation in the ASTM standards development process.

James A. Thomas, president of ASTM International, stated, “With Russia’s aim to join the World Trade Organization in 2008, the MoU is a timely initiative that will foster much greater cooperation between Russia and ASTM International in the development of international standards.”