International Partnerships
February 23, 2024

International Standards Collaboration for New Technologies and Electrical Codes: The 2024 CANENA Annual General Meeting

On Feb. 21-22, 2024, UL Standards & Engagement proudly sponsored the 31st Annual General Meeting for the Council for Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standards of the Nations of the Americas in San Jose, Costa Rica. The organization, also known as CANENA, is a volunteer-based association dedicated to driving the harmonization of electrotechnical standards in Canada, Mexico, the United States, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. 

The theme of this year’s meeting was “Strengthening Collaboration for New Technologies and Electrical Codes,” with a focus on reducing technical barriers to trade caused by differing national conformity assessment and product installation criteria. 

Circular Economy Standards for Electronics

ULSE Senior Standards Specialist Shaz Mohd presented at the AGM as part of a panel on circular economy practices for electronics.

“The circular economy is a system where materials never become waste and nature is regenerated,” Mohd explained. “In a circular economy, products and materials are kept in circulation through processes like maintenance, reuse, refurbishment, remanufacture, recycling, and composting.”

Shaz Mohd
ULSE Senior Standards Specialist Shaz Mohd (left)

Mohd shared that only 3% of electronic waste is recycled in central America, and only 17.4% of e-waste is recycled globally, contributing to negative impacts on air and water quality, agricultural productivity, population health, living conditions, and biodiversity. However, by implementing circular economy practices, Mohd explained, countries can tackle systemic inefficiencies in satisfying societal needs while also conserving unique natural wealth and improving the well-being of citizens.

He highlighted several UL standards for sustainability that aid in the advancement of the circular economy, including UL 110, Sustainability Standard for Mobile Devices, which makes mobile phones easier to be disassembled and recycled or refurbished, and is currently in use by manufacturers including Apple, Samsung, Google, and Zebra Technologies.

Mohd also introduced UL 2710, Outline of Investigation for Sustainability for Portable Electronic Products, which (upon publication as a standard) will cover the sustainability related to design, manufacture, use, and end-of-life management of electronic products. Mohd explained how participants can get involved in the development of UL 2710 and other standards by submitting proposals or applying to join technical committees.

The CANENA Harmonization Process

ULSE International Standards Manager Valara Davis

ULSE International Standards Manager Valara Davis, who also serves as the U.S. SDO representative to the CANENA Executive Committee, also presented at the AGM, outlining the CANENA harmonization process, a with a focus on including neighboring countries, Costa Rica, Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru. She also presented on the new CANENA Strategic Taskforce on IEC Collaboration discussing how CANENA can help leverage UL/CSA/ANCE IEC adoptions in the region.  

ULSE is proud to support CANENA’s efforts in harmonizing safety standards across borders.