The Department of Commerce of the United States of America, and the ASEAN Secretariat, acting for and on behalf of the Member States of ASEAN (hereinafter referred to as “the Participants”);

DESIRING to further promote the close and friendly relations existing between the Participants;

RECOGNIZING the contribution of standards and conformance to trade, economic and social development and the benefits to be derived by the Participants from close cooperation in these fields;

Have reached an understanding on the following:



The Participants may cooperate in the fields of trade-related standards and conformance in accordance with the terms of this Memorandum of Cooperation (hereinafter referred to as the “Memorandum”).


Cooperative Activities

Cooperative activities under this Memorandum may be undertaken in the following priority subject areas:

(a) Standards; and

(b) Conformance.

Both Participants expect that cooperative activities undertaken pursuant to this Memorandum shall normally be open, publicly available research intended for publication.


Coordinating Agencies

The Participants designate the ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the International Trade Administration (ITA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, respectively, as the Coordinating Agencies of the Memorandum. Activities under this Memorandum may be performed by the Coordinating Agencies and other appropriate institutions, as determined by the Participants. The Coordinating Agencies should, at times mutually established by the Participants, plan and review activities under this Memorandum.


Implementing Arrangements

In support of and pursuant to the objectives of this Memorandum, the Coordinating Agencies expect to elaborate the specifications, program tasks, schedules, financial arrangements, workplans, termination arrangements, and other appropriate matters in detailed implementing arrangements for specific projects (hereinafter referred to as “Project, Annexes”). The Project Annexes may be jointly developed by the coordinating agencies of this Memorandum at any time during the course of the Memorandum.


Forms of Cooperation

Forms of cooperative activities between the Coordinating Agencies may include:

(a) Exchange of publicly available technical data and information;

(b) Visits and exchanges of scientists, trade policy analysts and other experts or technical personnel;

(c) Information exchange on mutual market access issues;

(d) Technical meetings, joint seminars, workshops and exhibitions;

(e) Joint or cooperative programs and projects;

(f) Establishment of closer links between business interests;

(g) Education, training and participation in ongoing programs; and

(h) Other forms of cooperative activities as may be mutually agreed upon.


Implementation and Funding

The implementation of this Memorandum is subject to the laws and regulations of each country. This Memorandum is not intended to be legally binding upon the participants and shall not be used as the basis for the creation of any legal claims. Activities under this Memorandum are subject to the availability of funds.


Intellectual Property

Should it become necessary, provision for the protection and allocation of intellectual property, created or fumished in the course of cooperative activities under this Memorandum, should be set forth in a subsequent, legally-binding agreement, separate from this Memorandum and the Project Annexes.


Commencement and Duration

Activities under this Memorandum may commence as of the date of signature and continue for a period of five years, unless ended by the Department of Commerce or the ASEAN Secretariat by written notice, within a six-month period prior to such conclusion.

This Memorandum may be modified or continued for additional periods by the Participants. The conclusion of this Memorandum may not, unless otherwise agreed by the Participants, affect the validity or duration of projects under Article 4 of this Memorandum that are initiated prior to such conclusion.