For governments, International Standards provide the technological and scientific bases underpinning health, safety and environmental legislation.
For trade officials, negotiating the emergence of regional and global markets international Standards create “a level playing field” for all competitors on those markets.
The existence of divergent national or regional standards can create technical barriers to trade, even when there is political agreement to do away with restrictive import quotas and the like. International Standards are the technical means by which political trade agreements can be put into practice.
For developing countries, International Standards that represent an international consensus on the state of the art constitute an important source of technological know-how.
By defining the characteristics that products and services will be expected to meet on export markets, International Standards give developing countries a basis for making the right decisions when investing their scarce resources and thus avoid squandering them.
For consumers, conformity of products and services to International Standards provides assurance about their quality, safety and reliability.
For everyone, International Standards can contribute to the quality of life in general by ensuring that the transport, machinery and tools we use are safe.
For the planet, we inhabit, International Standards on air, water and soil quality, and on emissions of gases and radiation, can contribute to efforts to preserve the environment.