APEC Register to Ease International Barriers

To facilitate the ability of engineers to work abroad, the Asia Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC), an international organization promoting economic cooperation and open trade, is currently developing the APEC Engineer Register.


To facilitate the ability of engineers to work abroad, the Asia Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC), an international organization promoting economic cooperation and open trade, is currently developing the APEC Engineer Register.

As an agreed upon set of licensing standards among participating countries, the Register is expected to help reduce the application time and simplify credential reviews for engineers seeking overseas practice privileges, according to Skip Lewis, P.E., a member of the U.S. Council for International Engineering Practice (USCIEP) who is actively involved with the Register.

USCIEP-an organization representing the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, the American Consulting Engineers Council and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology-plans to enroll the United States onto the Register this year, joining Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and New Zealand.

Even though Register members are currently working to establish a set of uniform professional standards, Lewis-who is the chairman of H2L Engineers, Greenville, S.C.-points out, "A major barrier for U.S. engineers to cross-border practice lies not with professional recognition, but instead with business barriers created by export/import laws, currency transaction impediments, liability implications and corporate presence restrictions."

"The Registry will not resolve these barriers to mobility," Lewis continues, "but it will be through common forums such as this that the engineering-related issues which separate the various countries can be placed on the table for debate and ultimate resolution."

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