Canadian companies can now stay a step ahead of changing government requirements using Export Alert!, a unique Internet-based service offered by the Standards Council of Canada (http://www.scc.ca).
Export Alert! is a free pilot service that automatically e-mails companies when governments in any of 134 World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries - including Canada - are proposing changes to the rules that govern products and services. The Standards Council is believed to be the first organization in the world to use this technology to help companies take advantage of trade information made available through the WTO.
"The Web has provided us with a powerful and cost-effective new means to help Canadian businesses put this information to work for them," said Linda Lusby, Chair of the Standards Council. "This is a hassle-free, paper-free, fully-automated service that will benefit any company that must conform to government regulations."
Subscribers choose from among 41 fields of interest that they want to track. They are then notified by e-mail whenever a government is proposing a change to a technical regulation, conformity assessment regime or mandatory standard. Subscribers can also use the service to obtain full regulatory texts and relay comments back to government officials.
Export Alert! is credible and timely because it uses the official notifications required of governments under the WTO and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These notifications are issued before changes are actually implemented. In the past year, WTO signatory countries have issued over 1,400 notifications. The most frequently notified areas include telecommunications, agriculture, food technology, health care technology, environment and health protection, construction materials and building, and road vehicle engineering.
The Standards Council operates the Canadian WTO/NAFTA Enquiry Point under contract to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. In addition to offering Export Alert!, the Enquiry Point conducts research on behalf of clients into standards and regulations in global markets.
The Standards Council oversees Canada's National Standards System and represents the country internationally in matters involving voluntary standardization.
To subscribe to Export Alert free of charge, visit the Standards Council's Web site at http://www.scc.ca.