International Committee Focuses on Standards Adoption

The International Committee of the IIAR is working across Latin America to educate leaders in several countries in the region, helping them adopt IIAR standards to better promote safety, sustainability and international commerce.

Yesenia Rector, director of the IIAR, said all of the IIAR’s standards have now been translated into Spanish, and these documents were made available for purchase for the first time at the association’s annual conference in March. This is a tremendous step forward, she said, as it provides the entire region with greater access to IIAR’s expertise and will energize its industry

Specifically, Rector highlighted important updates from four different countries:

Costa Rica: Rector said that Costa Rica recently adopted three IIAR standards – IIAR 2, IIAR 4 and IIAR 8 – and promoted them as voluntary best practices. In addition, she said, the nation’s regulatory bodies are now initiating the process of making these standards mandatory. Regulators are also working to implement IIAR 5, which covers system installation, as a voluntary standard, with the ultimate goal of eventually making it mandatory as well.

Each standard is up for review and revision every five years, so the staggering of the approvals ensures revisions can be made on different time frames, Rector said.

Argentina: IIAR is now working to plan a conference scheduled for Aug. 8 and 9 in Buenos Aires, Rector said.

“The idea of the seminar is to invite and include the local regularity agencies, particularly the national institutions that write the norms,” Rector said. “We want them to attend so they can get to know IIAR. They’re very open to this and willing to do the work of developing their safety standards [based on IIAR’s standards].”

This is an important first step, Rector said. In order to work together, these regulatory bodies need to understand the IIAR organization, what it does and how its resources can be best utilized in the country and region.

The seminar’s topics will include maintenance of ammonia systems, energy efficiency measures, safety and security, according to Rector.

“I think we’re in the process of establishing a good relationship – a good sound basis for what’s coming in the pipeline,” Rector said. “The idea is for them to follow Costa Rica’s example and adopt these norms, but this is, of course, a process.”

Mexico: Similar to the event in Argentina, another conference is scheduled for August in Guadalajara. The purpose is to invite and involve the county’s regulatory authorities so they can gain a familiarity with IIAR and its resources.

The meeting in Mexico is a little more complex than that set for Argentina, Rector said. Because Mexico covers such a large area and has so many different states and provinces, its legislation and regulations can be a little more fragmented; however, the message will be the same.

“The idea is to bring the message of IIAR – what is the mission of the organization and how are we structured – and encourage the local authorities to get more acquainted and more knowledgeable with and about us,” Rector said. “I think the opportunity lies in getting the word out to these local government agencies.”

Chile: The University of Santiago is now offering a degree in refrigeration engineering, with a curriculum developed largely from IIAR materials, along with input from local industry experts and governmental regulatory agencies. “It’s a joint effort using IIAR publications and Academy of Natural Refrigerants certificate materials,” Rector said, “but they’re also using their experience, their expertise and their knowledge of the local market.”

The first students are in classes now, Rector said.