ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards.
The International Organization for Standardization widely known as ISO, is an international-standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization promulgates worldwide proprietary industrial and commercial standards. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. While ISO defines itself as a non-governmental organization, its ability to set standards that often become law, either through treaties or national standards, makes it more powerful than most non-governmental organizations. In practice, ISO acts as a consortium with strong links to governments.
ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 162 countries , one member per country, (The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the India's representative to ISO) with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.
ISO is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.
Therefore, ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.
Standards are important in international trade because incongruent standards can be barriers to trade, giving some organizations advantages in certain areas of the world. Standards provide clear identifiable references that are recognized internationally and encourage fair competition in free-market economies.
Standards facilitate trade through enhanced product quality and reliability, greater interoperability and compatibility, greater ease of maintenance and reduced costs.