Skip to main content

Standards FAQs

How do I order an API standard?

Visit our API Publications Store to order API Standards and Publications.

How do I search the API catalog?

A PDF of the full printed catalog, or section by industry segment, can be download and searched from our Publications Catalog page.

Who should I contact at API for additional information on a standard?

Please view the contact list and click on the item of interest to contact API.

General Standards Questions

Requests for general information include but are not limited to publication dates, editions, price or availability. Click here for more information on requests for interpretations and general questions about API Standards or Publications.

Technical Questions and Requests for Interpretation

Do you have an inquiry related to API standards, specifications, recommended practices, technical reports and codes (i.e. documents). We use the terms “General and Technical Questions,” and “Requests for Interpretation” to describe the typical categories of questions we receive.

Click here for detailed information on Technical Questions and Requests for Interpretation.

How do I participate on API standards committees?

API standards are developed by Subcommittees and task groups made up of industry experts. These groups identify the need, then develop, approve, and maintain standards and other technical publications. New projects must be justified by valid business and safety needs. The standards-writing subcommittees and task groups are open to representatives of groups that are materially affected by the standards. These include oil and natural gas companies, manufacturers and suppliers, contractors and consultants, and representatives of government agencies and academia.

API standards-writing groups do their work at meetings (typically two per year) and by mail, fax, phone, e-mail, and electronic collaborative authoring. API corporate membership is not a requirement for participation in the process. Representatives of organizations most impacted by the standards being developed (“materially affected parties”) may attend standards-writing meetings, and they may review drafts of standards and have their comments considered.

View more information about the benefits of committee participation and who to contact.

What is the schedule for upcoming Standards Meetings?

Each year, API hosts standards meetings that bring together the best minds in the business. For a list of scheduled meetings, please visit the meetings website.

What is the value of standards?

Standards enhance the safety of industry operations, assure quality, help keep costs down, reduce waste, and minimize confusion. They help speed acceptance and bring products to market quicker. And they avoid having to reinvent the wheel every time a product is manufactured.

Since 1924, the American Petroleum Institute has been a cornerstone in establishing and maintaining standards for the worldwide oil and natural gas industry. Our work helps the industry invent and manufacture superior products consistently, provide critical services, ensure fairness in the marketplace for businesses and consumers alike, and promotes the acceptance of products and practices globally.

View more information on the value of standards.

What standards will API be updating this year?

Each year, API updates current standards, creates new standards, and adopts back existing standards. View our Annual Standards Plan for a listing of the projected updated standards by industry segment.

What are API's Procedures for Standards Development?

API, as approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), has developed a document that details the process of API standards development. This document provides guidance on the development, revisions and interpretations API standards, as well as the development of committees and designation of each document into standards, recommended practices, specification or codes.

Please use this link to view the API Procedures for Standards Development in full.

How do I avoid anti-trust concerns?

API’s Office of the General Council has put together guidelines for Anti-Trust Compliance. These guidelines explain the specific nature of each Federal Anti-Trust Law and State Trade Regulation Statute. Anti-trust laws guard against such circumstances as price discrimination, boycotts, and derogatory comments against competing industry enterprises. For more details on anti-trust laws, regulations and compliance, please view the Anti-Trust Compliance Guide.

What are the definitions of "Shall" and "Should"?

Shall: As used in a standard, “shall” denotes a minimum requirement in order to conform to the specification.

Should: As used in a standard, “should” denotes a recommendation or that which is advised but not required in order to conform to the specification.

What is the United States Standards Strategy?

”United States Standards Strategy establishes a framework that can be used by all interested parties to further advance trade issues in the global marketplace, enhance consumer health and safety, meet stakeholder needs and, as appropriate, advance U.S. viewpoints in the regional and international arena.” (ANSI website,

For more specific information on the US Standards Strategy, its history and implementation, please visit the ANSI website.