In order to strengthen bilateral standardization cooperation between CANENA and regions outside of North America, CANENA has Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with other regional standardization bodies.  The MoUs CANENA has signed are developed on an ad hoc basis in order to fulfill the specific expectations of CANENA and those of their counterparts, based on the reciprocity principle. They usually derive from a shared objective to use technical alignment as a pillar of global trade flows.  These MoUs cover a broad range of activities, e.g. the organization of regular meetings, exchange of strategic and technical information, as well as the possibility to organize technical dialogues in relevant areas of work.

Primary Directives

  1. Ensure that harmonized standards developed within CANENA are unimpeded in their adoption in each participating country.
  2. Ensure that the initiation and scope of a CANENA harmonization project has core support from industry, the relevant standards development organizations (SDO) and other relevant entities in each participating country.
  3. Ensure that CANENA’s role in national, regional and international standardization is complementary, periodically assessed and clearly communicated through appropriate channels.
  4. CANENA official communications shall be purposeful, timely and authorized by the CANENA Executive Committee (ExCo).


This CANENA Cooperation & Communication Strategy attempts to document:  WHO are the electrotechnical standardization entities in each country directly or indirectly affected by CANENA activities; WHAT needs to be communicated to each entity to ensure our complementary relationship; and HOW do we maintain effective communication between CANENA and its members, and each of these identified entities.

This strategy also designates who is primarily responsible for establishing, maintaining and measuring the effectiveness of CANENA’s communications and complementary relationships. Importantly, every CANENA member shares in these responsibilities and is encouraged to communicate openly with the CANENA ExCo through the identified primary designees.

It is to be understood that the types of cooperative relationships (e.g. direct, indirect, formal, informal, liaison, etc.) CANENA establishes and maintains may differ. It is the objective of this strategy to ensure that CANENA seeks the appropriate relationships and establishes the optimum channels of communication to ensure accomplishment of the Primary Directives.

With Whom does CANENA need to cooperate/communicate to be successful?

The following entities have been identified by CANENA members. It is intended that CANENA will establish and maintain active and effective liaisons with each entity.

National Standardization Bodies

CANENA must establish and maintain a complementary relationship with those official entities that determine national standards policies and that provide national representation in regional and international standards forums in countries with CANENA activities.

-ANSI Standing Committee for the Americas (COPANT)





CANENA’s purpose has to be understood by each and be considered complementary to strategies, policies and practices.

National Committees to IEC

Where appropriate, CANENA must establish and maintain a complementary relationship with each IEC National Committee in countries with CANENA activities.

The extent of that relationship may vary from country-to-country and may include direct liaison at the management levels and communication interfaces between sector “mirror committees” at the technical levels.

  • Canadian National Committee of the IEC (CANC/IEC)
  • Comité Electrotécnico Mexicano (CEM)
  • United States National Committee (USNC)

CANENA’s purpose is to be understood by each and be considered complementary to strategies, policies and practices.  CANENA is committed to work through the national committee structure in any technical proposals or comments intended to influence an IEC standard, procedure or policy.

Nationally Recognized SDOs

CANENA’s international identity depends on ongoing recognition, coordinated procedures, and technical involvement from nationally recognized Standards Development Organizations (SDO) in countries with CANENA activities.

  • ANCE
  • DGN
  • CSA
  • NEMA
  • Underwriters Laboratory

CANENA must foster and maintain these relationships and ensure they remain mutually beneficial.

Nationally Recognized COs

CANENA must more fully define its role in conformity assessment and foster close association between nationally recognized conformity assessment laboratories in countries with CANENA activities as a means of realizing benefits from harmonized standards.

  • ANCE
  • CSA International
  • UL LLC
  • Intertek

Electro-industry Trade Associations

CANENA must maintain a complementary relationship with prominent electro-industry trade associations in countries with CANENA activities, realizing these are the principal source of Council membership and it is their standardization priorities that are facilitated in CANENA.

  • EFC
  • NEMA
  • AHRI

Regional and International Standardization Bodies


Respectful of the primary role of National Committees to IEC, CANENA shall honor its commitments to IEC as expressed in the formal cooperation agreement between the two parties. (Also see National Committees to IEC above)


CANENA shall honor its commitments to CENELEC as expressed in the formal cooperation agreement between the two parties.


Respectful of the primary role of the official national representation to COPANT, CANENA will  maintain an effective liaison with COPANT in order to ensure a complementary relationship in electrotechnical standardization within the region.

AMN (Asociación Mercosur de Normalización)

CANENA will continue to explore an appropriate cooperative relationship with AMN and Mercosur countries in order to ensure a complementary relationship in electrotechnical standardization within the region.

What does CANENA Need to Communicate?

CANENA official communications shall be purposeful, timely and authorized by the CANENA Executive Committee. Unless specifically authorized, neither CANENA nor its members shall claim to represent another standardization entity or its positions through official CANENA communications or forums.

The criteria for Council recognition of General Members and any other class of CANENA membership, and the particular nature of each according to CANENA By Laws shall be clearly and publicly communicated.

CANENA shall continually assess and clearly communicate to its members and the standardization community, its place (role) in national, regional and international standardization activities.

CANENA members in good standing shall be informed on the administrative matters of the Council and  the Executive Committee and conduct of technical harmonization work programs in accordance with published CANENA By Laws and harmonization procedures.

Transparency is a cornerstone of CANENA communication. The following official CANENA communications shall be publicly accessible:

  • Committee Directory: All Technical Harmonization Committees and Technical Harmonization Subcommittees, their scopes, active work programs and summary status of work programs and contact information for Chairs and Secretaries.
  • CANENA By Laws and CANENA Standardization Procedures and other relevant procedures.
  • Current list of CANENA Members in Good Standing
  • Notices and Summary Agendas of CANENA Council Meetings
  • Summary Minutes and Meeting Reports of the CANENA Council Business Meeting and Executive Committee
  • CANENA Annual Report
  • Official Agreements between CANENA and other Standardization Entities

How is cooperation/communication best achieved by CANENA?

CANENA shall initiate and ensure open channels of communication with each of the identified standardization entities.

The primary responsibility for communications with identified entities in a country with CANENA activities  shall be the CANENA Vice President who is elected to represent the CANENA members in that country. The Council and the Executive Committee shall act on the advice of the respective CANENA Vice President, or other member, to authorize or establish the necessary means for a cooperative and complementary relationship with each identified standardization entity. The elected member-at-large for each country will assist the Vice President in fulfilling this important role as will specially appointed CANENA


The CANENA Secretary General, or a member authorized by the Executive Committee, shall be responsible for communication with regional and international standardization entities in countries other than those with CANENA activities. The Secretary General shall communicate annually with those entities with which CANENA has signed a formal cooperation agreement.

The Secretary General and the CANENA Registrar shall be responsible for communication with CANENA General members.

Within budgetary constraints, CANENA will accept invitations to attend general or subject specific meetings convened by an identified standardization entity. Whenever practical, the CANENA representative attending such meetings will exercise the opportunity to clearly convey a statement that establishes the atmosphere for a cooperative and complementary relationship.

The regular vehicles for communication between CANENA, its members, and the identified standardization entities shall be via CANENA’s website: www.canena.org, the CANENA Annual Report, and the CANENA Annual General Meeting. On a periodic basis, the CANENA Registrar will communicate with members in good standing by email on topics of general interest.

Glossary of Acronyms

AMN – Asociación Mercosur de Normalización

ANCE – Asociación de Normalización y Certificación, A.C.

ANFAD – Asociación Nacional de Fabricantes de Aparatos Domesticos

AHRI – American Heating and Refrigeration Institute

CANAME – Camara Nacíonal de Manufacturas Electricas

CANENA – Council for Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standards  in the Nations of the Americas

CENELEC – The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization

CNC – Canadian National Committee of the IEC

COPANT – Comisión Panamericana de Normas Tecnicas

CSA – CSA Group (Canadian Standards Association)

DGN – Dirección General de Normas

EFC – Electro Federation of Canada

ICONTEC – Instítuto Colombiano de Normas Tecnicas Certificación

IEC – International Electrotechnical Commission

INTECO – Instiítuto de Normas Tecnicas de Costa Rica

MNC – Mexican National Committee of the IEC

NEMA – National Electrical Manufacturers Association

SCC – Standards Council of Canada

SDO – Standards Development Organization

THC – Technical Harmonization Committee

THSC – Technical Harmonization Subcommittee

UL – Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

USNC – US National Committee of the IEC

Supporting Company and Association Members