Washington, DC, March 17, 2009: The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, today named three Accredited Elevator and Escalator Certification Organizations (AECO) that were part of the pilot program launched by ANSI in February 2008.
The following Certification Bodies are the first to be recognized under the AECO program, which operates according to requirements defined in the international standard ISO/IEC Guide 65, General Requirements for Bodies Operating Product Certification Systems, and in ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7, Performance-based safety code for elevators and escalators.
With hundreds of thousands of elevators and escalators transporting citizens in North America each day, manufacturers are eager to demonstrate the safety and reliability of their products. Through this program, AECOs are accredited by ANSI to evaluate and certify elevator and escalator systems, subsystems, components, and functions. These products are evaluated against the guidelines of ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7, a standard that was developed jointly by ASME and the CSA. Those that meet these guidelines can be certified.
“The AECO designation demonstrates that accredited organizations are competent and capable at assessing compliance to standards that help assure the safety and reliability of elevators and escalators,” said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. “ANSI congratulates the three organizations that achieved accreditation under the first round of this new initiative.”
Third-party accreditation by ANSI enhances the credibility and value of the process by attesting to the competence and qualification of Certification Bodies to act as certifiers, offering them a significant distinction from their competitors in the marketplace.
ANSI values the importance of accreditation in enhancing consumer safety and international trade. The Institute’s portfolio of accreditation services includes programs for a wide variety of product certification bodies, such as AECOs, personnel certification bodies, greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies, and standards developers.
In 2007, ANSI signed a Multilateral Recognition Agreement (MLA) with the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), bringing worldwide recognition and acceptance to the Institute’s accreditation program for product certification bodies.
“Mutual recognition of product certification eliminates duplicative conformity assessment costs for importers and exporters on a global scale. It also helps reduce technical barriers to trade, assuring that evaluations of competence can cross borders,” explained Hallenbeck. “ANSI is pleased to extend the benefits of our 2007 signatory to the IAF MLA to our new Accredited Elevator and Escalator Certification Organizations.”
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.
The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee , the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).