ISO standards set for adoption

(January 5th, 2023: This first week of the new year, before I’d really gotten my feet under the desk yet, has seen a good email exchange amongst ME-038 about the adoption of ISO standards. I had the post below sitting in the drafts section of WordPress, waiting to be published here, wouldn’t you know it, next week. But in light of the sudden interest in this topic, I’ve brought forward the information for the rest of the industry to be aware of)

Adopting ISO Standards

There’s always been an underlying intention to ‘mirror’, or adopt, whenever possible, existing international (ISO) standards into the Australian framework.

By “whenever possible”, that means someone has to make the effort to adopt them. Currently Liam Hatchell, our ISO Liaison, is putting in that effort.

By “whenever possible”, we also mean that if an ISO Standard exists, and we in the Australian pipeline community don’t have particular expertise in that area, then that’s a reason to adopt it.

Here are some points that Liam has put out there for us to know:

  1. Adopting these standards does not mean we are mandating them. It is an endorsement from the relevant committee that they “reflect the best experience of industry and regulators worldwide” and are suitable for application here in Australia if selected. The aim being that should an “Unnamed Pipeline Engineer” in the future want to put something in place to (for example) specify an induction bend, they can comfortably choose to call up ISO 15590 knowing that we have reviewed it and endorsed its content. As such, in the Aus pipeline industry it is my expectation that AS2885 will be the standard that will continue to be mandated, and only if we (over time) get comfortable enough with the sub-ISO standards to specifically instruct usage, will they then be mandated. What this means is that we can adopt these standards, but it does not necessarily prevent users from selecting other equivalent international standards at this time.
  2. It has been a work in progress of mine (Liam’s) for over 10yrs now, but we now have nominated experts on 85% of the active working groups within ISO TC67 SC2. Should we choose to adopt all or some of these ISO standards then this greatly increases our justification to be more actively involved, and to participate vocally and actively in any future development. Taking this approach should (taking ISO 15590 as an example again) shift our focus away from feeling we need to develop our own standard, and ensure we put more effort into actively being involved in the ISO document. Note: we are a well respected member of this ISO committee, so if we ever wish to drive change in any standard then we are always able to put forward a proposal to ISO to lead or trigger a revision.

Thanks, Liam!

The list of ISO Standards below are currently being shepherded through the adoption process. Again, I’d like to thank Liam for his work on this, as some of the Standards below could be of good value for us in Australia to know about.

The adoption process doesn’t mean they are mandated, only that we recognise these Standards and maybe won’t need to develop our own.

If there are any here that you have a differing view of (ie, it shouldn’t be adopted), let us know. Standards Australia has asked for feedback by 20/01/2023, but if that date has passed when you read this, and you have an opinion, don’t let that date stop you. It’s still a process to get through, so there may be time yet.

ISO StandardTitle
ISO 12490:2011Mechanical integrity and sizing of actuators and mounting kits for pipeline valves
ISO/TS 12747:2011Recommended practice for pipeline life extension
ISO 14313:2007Pipeline valves
ISO 14313:2007/COR 1:2009
Pipeline valves — Technical Corrigendum 1
ISO 14723:2009Subsea pipeline valves
ISO 15590-1:2018Induction bends, fittings and flanges — Part 1: Induction bends
ISO 15590-2:2021Induction bends, fittings and flanges — Part 2: Fittings
ISO 15590-3:2022Induction bends, fittings and flanges — Part 3: Flanges
ISO 15590-4:2019Factory bends, fittings and flanges — Part 4: Factory cold bends
ISO 16440:2016Design, construction and maintenance of steel cased pipelines
ISO 20074:2019Geological hazard risk management for onshore pipeline
ISO 21329:2004Test procedures for mechanical connectors
ISO 21857:2021Prevention of corrosion on pipeline systems influenced by stray currents


A minor but important correction to the post on Use of alternative Standards: Towards the end of the second-last paragraph a vital “not” was left out. The affected sentence should read “Similarly ASME IX is written to meet the requirements of various standards including ASME B31.3 but does not meet all of the requirements of AS 2885.1.”

The omission has now been fixed on the website but this extra post is for those of you who read the blog via email.

Use of alternative Standards

A recent addition to answered a question about weld procedure qualification using other Standards. This provides a nice opportunity to address a broader issue that is perhaps under-appreciated.

A general principle is that it is not appropriate to pick and choose from a mix of different Standards covering the same subject. Rather a single Standard must be chosen and used in its entirety. Certainly in the pipeline industry there is a range of Standards available for both pipeline systems as a whole (AS 2885, ASME B31 series, etc) and piping fabrication (AS 2885, AS 4041, ASME B31 series, ASME BPVC, etc).

In practice in Australia the choice of Standard is not usually a problem because AS 2885 is mandated in most States. Nevertheless AS 2885 does permit use of other Standards in some situations, particularly piping fabrication. The overall principle for use of other Standards is governed by Clause 1.6.3 of Part 0, which expresses the intent that the other Standard be used in full (you are familiar with Part 0, aren’t you?).

The reason for using a single Standard in its entirety is is to avoid the possibility of inconsistencies or omissions which might occur if requirements are taken from different Standards.

A lightly edited version of the post is copied below. Even if the specific details are not relevant to you it nicely illustrates the principle of not picking and choosing between Standards.


Versions of AS 2885.2 prior to 2020 allowed weld procedure qualification of AS 2885.1 pipeline assemblies to alternative standards (such as ASME IX). Is this still allowed? If not, what is the reason?


The qualification requirements for pipeline assemblies were tightened in the 2020 version of AS 2885.2. If the pipeline assembly is designed to AS 2885.1 then it must be welded using a procedure qualified to AS 2885.2. If it is designed to an alternative standard such as AS 4041 or ASME 31.3, then it can be welded using a procedure qualified to AS 3992 or ASME IX respectively, as long as the fracture testing requirements are met, material yield strength < 450 MPa and the WPS is approved by a Welding Engineer. The detailed requirements can be found in section 6.4.3.

When standards are written in parts, each of the parts needs to be used in conjunction with the other parts. This is the case with the AS 2885 series. In particular, Part 2 is written specifically considering the requirements of Part 1. ASME B31.3 has different design approaches, material requirements, NDT requirements etc. compared to AS 2885. Similarly ASME IX is written to meet the requirements of various standards including ASME B31.3 but does not meet all of the requirements of AS 2885.1. Therefore it is not appropriate to mix these standards

Previous to the 2020 version of AS 2885.2, qualification to alternative standards was allowed, such as ASME IX. This created many issues such as fracture control, NDT acceptance criteria, NDT methods, qualification ranges etc. and with improper application could result in welded joints that are not fit for purpose.