The international trade arena is more complex and competitive than ever before, but standards help trade work more smoothly. Some estimates contend that approximately 80 per cent of world trade today is affected by standards.
How standards impact Canadian exporters
In order to gain market access, companies increasingly need to ensure their products and services follow international standards. Canadian businesses face increasingly stringent legal, technical and regulatory requirements when exporting.
Standards are a key to export success because they can help Canadian companies to:
- access markets and sell to customers in other countries
- reduce costs, increase revenue and enhance productivity
- manage and reduce risk
- gain a competitive edge
- foster and support innovation
- support environmental objectives and sustainability
Alignment of standards helps SMEs export
The alignment of requirements through the harmonization of standards does not just help large exporters; it also helps businesses of any size and sector. In fact, standards can be particularly beneficial for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because they often need to work harder to prove themselves, compete against larger companies and to gain customers’ confidence.
Increased use of international standards and the mutual recognition of conformity assessment between Canada and its trading partners helps to level the playing field and inspire confidence in products and services. Ultimately, it can set Canadian businesses apart from the competition and help them scale up and go global.
SCC and international standardization activities
The Standards Council of Canada coordinates Canadian participation in international standardization activities. By helping to shape the world-wide standards landscape, SCC helps Canadian companies to compete internationally. The Standards Council of Canada represents Canada’s interests globally as a member of two organizations that develop voluntary international standards:
- The International Organization for Standardization, and
- The International Electrotechnical Commission
SCC’s membership in these organizations and other regional bodies helps Canada stay connected with the international standards development community.