ITA Successfully Assists Chart Industries Inc. Enter the Japanese Market
The Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) helped the Ball Ground, Georgia facility of Chart Industries Inc. (Chart), overcome a testing standard that would have prevented it from entering the Japanese market.
Why it Matters
Without ITA’s assistance, Chart would have faced unnecessary Japanese trade-restrictive testing procedures for its fueling system designed for liquefied natural gas (LNG). Chart’s product would have had to be redesigned in order to be used in Japan. This would have made market entry impossible for Chart since it would not have been able to compete in the country.
Chart manufactures LNG vehicle fueling systems. A Japanese standard published by the Japan Gas Association (JGA) included a vibration performance standard which Chart believed to be more severe than typical U.S. standards for vibration performance requirements. Chart attempted testing under the JGA standard for their LNG products and concluded that compliance would require a total redesign of its products. Such a change would have compromised thermal performance to the point that the advantages of LNG over compressed natural gas would have been eliminated. Thus, the JGA standard would have effectively eliminated LNG vehicle fuel systems from competing in the Japanese market. The WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade requires that conformity assessment procedures not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.
ITA specialists proposed a solution during meetings with representatives of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), suggesting that the High Pressure Gas Safety Institute of Japan review Chart's U.S. testing records and product safety history to satisfy certification requirements. METI encouraged the Institute to adopt this solution, which it supported and subsequently certified Chart products. As a result, Chart will no longer have to go through the Japanese vibration test and its product will now be available in Japan without modifications.
Working closely with U.S. companies, ITA creates, expands, and defends market access for U.S. goods and services overseas through the Trade Agreements Compliance Program. “We promote policy that develops a more favorable business climate for U.S. companies in global markets; we employ commercial diplomacy to resolve trade barriers; and we leverage our bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to ensure our trading partners live up to their commitments so that our businesses can compete on a level playing-field.” - Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance, Michael C. Camuñez.