International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

The 2021 Plenary Meeting of ISO/TC 296

8 Nov 2021

INBAR attended the Sixth Session of the Plenary Meeting of ISO/TC 296.

On Tuesday 26th October 2021, the Sixth Plenary Meeting of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 296 (ISO/TC 296), which focuses on the standardisation of bamboo and rattan materials, was held online. The meeting was hosted by the TC’s secretariat and the International Center for Bamboo and Rattan (ICBR) with the support of INBAR.

The ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 166 national standards bodies. Its aim is to develop and promote standards for various aspects of technology and manufacturing. The ISO can play a particularly important role in the development of sectors such as bamboo and rattan, where production is mainly domestic and there is a lack of consensus on how to create high-quality goods.

In response to this gap, ISO/TC 296 was established in 2014. Its overarching objective is to develop standards to ensure the safety and quality of bamboo, rattan, and derived products, and to harmonise existing terminologies, test methods and quality requirements.  The work of the TC is complementary to ISO/TC 165 on timber structures (Working Group 12 of which focuses on ‘structural applications of bamboo’) and ISO/TC 89 on wood-based panels.

Bamboo flooring one of the items focused on by ISO/TC 289 Working Groups. Standards can help companies develop high-quality products for export.

Currently, ISO/TC 296 is made up 17 participating members and 18 observing members. The TC has four Working Groups: one on bamboo flooring, one on bamboo charcoal, one on rattan and one on bamboo for furniture. Six standards have been published, and another five standards are under development, including the first ever ISO standard related to rattan.

The plenary meeting included an update on the work of each Working Group and the reappointment of key conveners. INBAR was represented at the meeting by Mr. Rene Kaam, Director of INBAR’s Central African Regional Office and Convenor of ISO/TC 296 Working Group 4, on rattan. The meeting was also attended by delegates from China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Uganda.

Dr. Fei Benhua, Secretary of ISO/TC 296, chaired the session and thanked all committee members for their hard towards the progress of ISO/TC 296. He also hoped that the next session of the Plenary Meeting of ISO/TC 296 would not be virtual, but would be held in person, once COVID restrictions allow.

For more information about ISO/TC 296, please contact Rene Kaam: rkaam@inbar.int