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NMEA’S global impact on standards development set to expand

National Marine Electronics Association
November 5, 2013
Filed under News

International Electrotechnical Commission upgrades NMEA status to Category A Liaison

SEVERNA PARK, MD-The National Marine Electronics Association’s (NMEA) involvement in marine electronics equipment standards worldwide has achieved greater recognition under a status enhancement granted by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The enhancement was announced during the NMEA International Marine Electronics Conference & Expo and the annual meeting of the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM), held jointly September 25-28 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina.

Under the status change, IEC has appointed the NMEA as a Category A Liaison with IEC’s Technical Committee TC 80. Created in 1980, TC 80 defines operational, performance, and test methods required for maritime navigation and radio communication equipment and systems. TC 80 provides the industry standards that are the basis for type approvals by national governments, as required by the International Maritime Organization’s SOLAS Convention. As a result of the Category A Liaison designation, the NMEA will have more visibility and access to contribute to marine electronics interface standards worldwide.

The NMEA has established a strong working relationship with TC 80’s Working Group 6 (WG 6) over nearly 30 years. WG 6 is the equipment interface Working Group within TC 80. IEC has adopted NMEA interface standards NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000®.

The NMEA Standards Committees and TC 80/WG 6 have produced the marine industry communications interface standards NMEA 0183, IEC 61162-1, NMEA 0183 HS, IEC 61162-2, NMEA 2000®, IEC 61162-3, and IEC 61162-450. The NMEA has been a key contributor to all of these IEC standards, and IEC WG 6 has been a key contributor to the NMEA standards. In 2009, IEC granted the NMEA a Category D Liaison, which is defined by IEC as “Organizations that make a technical contribution to and participate actively in the work of a working group.”

In granting the Category A Liaison status, IEC recognizes the NMEA’s collaboration and contributions to TC 80. IEC defines Category A Liaisons as “Organizations that make an effective contribution to the work of the technical committee or subcommittee for questions dealt with by this technical committee or subcommittee. Such organizations are given access to all relevant documentation and are invited to meetings. They may nominate experts to participate in a WG.”

“NMEA is honored to have this acknowledgement by IEC,” said NMEA Technical Director Steve Spitzer. “It demonstrates respect for the value of NMEA contributions to international standards and acknowledges the constructive collaboration between NMEA and IEC TC 80. NMEA Standards Committee contributors should be proud of this international recognition of their diligent work. NMEA will strive to continue our collaboration and to provide expertise to relevant standards bodies. NMEA is committed to continuing our alliance with international partners for the benefit of maritime safety and everyone involved in the marine electronics industry.”

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