Russ Chaney, executive director of IAPMO R&T, and Zhang Wei, secretary general of CQM, have signed what is believed to be the first mutual recognition agreement for product certification since China's entry into the World Trade Organization. The agreement provides for products bearing the IAPMO R&T marks of conformity to be accepted for sale in the Chinese market. The signing ceremony was attended by high level U.S. and Chinese dignitaries such as Charles Winburn, commercial officer U.S. Embassy, and Zhoughai Li, administrator, State Administration of People's Republic of China for Standardization.

The foundation for this agreement was laid in April 2000 when IAPMO R&T joined forces with the China Association of Engineering Construction and Standardization (CECS) in order to use IAPMO R&T's product certification program to test, inspect and certify engineering construction materials, fixtures, components and other related products in China.

When this agreement is fully implemented, an IAPMO R&T-listed manufacturer will have the ability to sell its product line in China without the delays often associated with the Chinese regulatory approval process.