IHC Meeting No. 52 Meeting Update

April 2023

The International Harmonization Council (IHC) is a group of industry associations that work cooperatively to manage the global harmonization of industry standards. The IHC maintains a portfolio of more than 70 harmonized standards and coordinates uniform industry responses to global issues.

The IHC held its 52nd meeting on February 28 – March 1, 2023 in Singapore. The meeting included representatives from the Compressed Gas Association (CGA), European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA), and the Japan Industrial and Medical Gases Association (JIMGA) as well as representatives from Messer Group and Messer Americas, Air Products & Chemicals Inc., Nippon Sanso HD and Nippon Gases Europe, Linde PLC, American Air Liquide Holdings, and the Industrial Gas Association of Singapore.

At present, the IHC is supporting the development of 12 new globally harmonized publications, including topics on hydrogen production and delivery, cryogenic pumps used in flammable gas service, safe installation and use of cryogenic food freezing equipment, and more. The group is also managing the development of a hydrogen safety education plan and the revision of 11 previously harmonized publications.

In addition to the harmonization project workload, the IHC Associations continued work on several critical hydrogen initiatives, including:

Hydrogen Publications

The IHC is expediting the development of three critical hydrogen publications. These publications are being developed by joint working groups (JWGs), which are open to participation from all IHC Association member companies. To join a JWG for any of the projects listed below, please contact Laura Brumsey (lbrumsey@cganet.com).

Hydrogen Systems Separation Distances

The JWG for this project recently initiated work. This publication will provide guidance on considerations for determining separation distances and related mitigation methods.

Hydrogen System Standard Procedures

The JWG recently completed the first draft of this document, which will be circulated shortly for membership review. This publication provides recommended best practices and standardized procedures for those personnel using hydrogen systems. The practices and procedures are limited to bulk gaseous and cryogenic liquid hydrogen and do not address non-bulk (cylinders) supply systems.  The material in this publication addresses processes for commissioning, filling, decommissioning, maintaining, and operating hydrogen supply systems.

Design of Hydrogen Loading and Unloading Connections

The JWG for this project is currently being formed. This document will focus on bulk liquid hydrogen connections.

External Standards Participation

The IHC Associations are each active in regional and international standards development efforts, and work to represent unified industry positions in global standards settings whenever possible. The Associations are working to increase industry participation on ISO Technical Committee 197, Hydrogen Technologies, to ensure that the industry is adequately represented on this group. Active projects under ISO TC 197 include hydrogen fuel quality specifications, basic considerations for the safety of hydrogen systems, hydrogen connection devices, design requirements for cylinders and tubes used for hydrogen storage, and requirements for hydrogen generators using water electrolysis.

CGA members interested in participating on ISO TC 197 should contact Tom Deary (tdeary@cganet.com).

Hydrogen Safety Education

A JWG is creating a plan for the development of training materials addressing liquefied and gaseous hydrogen from the point of production to the point of end use. the audience for the materials will include operators, drivers, and emergency responders. The material will include key safety messages, do’s and don’ts, etc.

Hydrogen Outreach

EIGA lead the development of the Hydrogen Safety Ecosystem, which lists the relevant hydrogen safety standards in each region.

The IHC Associations are also actively participating in regional outreach efforts, including partnering with hydrogen organizations and presenting information about hydrogen safety standards at external conferences. CGA and EIGA are partnering to present at the upcoming Center for Hydrogen Safety Europe Conference on May 9 – 11, 2023 in Rotterdam.

Global harmonization has many benefits to industry. It is in the interest of enhanced safety, as well as improved efficiency, that industry publications are consistent wherever gases are produced, distributed, or used. It has become increasingly important and beneficial for the industry to share safety practices and promote unified positions as the world we operate in becomes increasingly globalized. CGA is proud to support the efforts of the IHC.

CGA will host the next IHC meeting on August 29 – 30, 2023 in McLean, Virginia.

CGA Website Tip: To view globally harmonized publications, go to our Publications page and select Advanced Filters. Under By Category select Special Tags, and under By Subcategory select Harmonized.