Background of the Standards


The Association first became active in standardization after the attacks on September 11, 2001, when it was clear that the United States would tighten security. In addition to the new security concerns, IAM recognized that effective standardization could improve efficiency for our members while reducing redundancies leading to cost savings and greater profits.


The first steps in this process were to understand what this new security environment would mean for our members and how standards would promote them, while ensuring compliance with any potential regulation or restriction. It was clear from our analysis that the international moving and mobility industry was set to face significant challenges because shipments of household goods and personal effects are subject to greater scrutiny by customs organizations due to the nature of used household goods and personal effects as a commodity.

IAM Standards & Technology Partnership

With this in mind, IAM formed the IAM Standards and Technology Partnership to encourage industry stakeholders to explore the development of standards that simplify shipment data through codification and facilitate the exchange of data. The Partnership was successful in developing the Numeric Codification of Contents for Electronic Inventories and Manifests of Household Goods and Personal Effects Shipments, which defined the data exchange requirements and provided for the numerical codification of items and exceptions that constitute a shipment. In June of 2010, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) published the standard as an American National Standard. As part of this process, IAM also became an Accredited Standards Developer with the ANSI.  

Pursuit of Global Standard with ISO

Following publication as an American National Standard, IAM led the process to publish the American National Standard as a Global Standard with ISO. Through this process, representatives from other industry trade associations like the FIDI Global Alliance, the Bundesverband Möbelspedition und Logistik (AMOE), the British Association of Removers (BAR) contributed to the development of the Global Standard and determined it was necessary to split the standard into the two separate documents (ISO 17451-1 and ISO TS 17451-2).

What a Global Standard Means to IAM Members

IAM will continue to work with IAM Members and external stakeholders to refine the codes with the purpose of providing a common language by which all industry stakeholders can communicate. A standardized set of codes means that your operations employees can record an inventory in their own language, as the underlying numeric code will enable instantaneous translation to another language if necessary. In addition, codifying the data elements in a household goods shipment puts the industry in a proactive position and ahead of the curve in the event that regulatory and security requirements mandate the transmission of detailed electronic inventory prior to customs clearance.