International Harmonization Council – February 2019 Update

March 15, 2019

IHC Background

Founded in 2001, the International Harmonization Council (IHC) is a cooperative effort between the Asia Industrial Gases Association (AIGA), the Compressed Gas Association (CGA), the European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA), and the Japan Industrial and Medical Gases Association (JIMGA) to manage the global harmonization of industry standards. To date, the IHC has completed harmonization of 56 industry publications and revised 37 harmonized publications. 15 new harmonization projects and 21 revision projects are currently underway.

Meeting Report

In February 2019, AIGA hosted the 44th IHC meeting, which was attended by staff representatives from AIGA, CGA, EIGA, and JIMGA Councils; liaisons from each Association’s technical councils; and observers from Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Air Liquide SA, and The Linde Group.

A significant focus of IHC Meeting No. 44 included modifying the harmonization work process to streamline working group efforts and reduce project timelines where possible. Meeting participants agreed to new guidelines for timing of document reviews and negative comment resolution, and also clarified existing guidance around working group meeting schedules to ensure that projects progress without losing momentum. These changes will be reflected in an updated version of the IHC Work Process, expected to be finalized at the IHC’s next meeting in August 2019.

IHC participants also initiated the development of a strategic plan focused on engagement with external standards bodies. These organizations play a substantial role in our industry, and in some cases have the potential to overlap with the topics addressed by IHC Association publications. The IHC will present the strategic plan and overview of Association interaction with key external bodies at the May 2019 IOMA (International Oxygen Manufacturers Association) Global Committee meeting.

CGA will host the next IHC meeting on 20 – 21 August, 2019.

How to Learn More

Individuals working for CGA member companies may access a full list of IHC projects by logging into the member portal and navigating to:  https://portal.cganet.com/Harmonization/Index.aspx (Tip: use the menu to filter by active projects to see current work efforts). If you are interested in joining the joint working group for any project, please contact Laura Brumsey at CGA.

If your company is not currently a member of the Compressed Gas Association, we invite you to learn more about CGA member eligibility and benefits.