The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP)/International Hot Tub Association (IHTA) has joined the European Portable Hot Tub Standards Harmonization Work Group, a standards task force spearheaded by the British and Irish and German hot tub associations. The alliance of national organizations will work together to harmonize global safety standards for portable hot tubs.

Standards alignment is important because governments look to standards as the basis for their ordinances and codes. Standards become law, and laws guide manufacturers, builders and retailers in their product choices, building techniques and emphasis. When standards are harmonized country-to-country, the global industry is bound together by a common language of product expectation.

In addition to spurring demand, uniform standards encourage economic growth. With consistent international standards, companies can expand to or trade with other countries more easily, knowing that expectations will be the same.

“Global harmonization of portable hot tub standards is important to the future success of spa manufacturing and ultimately will increase consumer satisfaction with a consistent product,” said APSP President and CEO Rich Gottwald.

Bob Lauter, CEO of Master Spas and key member of the APSP/IHTA initiative remarked that this effort was several years in the making with interest from across the globe. “Swedish colleagues initially convened a meeting in 2013 to discuss a way forward, and now through cooperation between many nations, we are on the verge of harmonizing standards to increase efficiency and equality in trade and use.”

The working group will meet December 17-18 in Berlin to begin key areas of discussion such as electrical product safety and water treatment. The process will encompass multiple steps including but not limited to: mutual understanding of terms and definitions; test procedures; units of measure; identifying differences between standards and ultimately developing a harmonization plan.

For more information about the work group, contact APSP’s Senior Director, Technical & Standards, Carvin DiGiovanni.

Scott Webb is Executive Editor of AQUA Magazine.