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European standards

A ‘harmonised standard’ is a standard adopted by one of the European standardisation organisations – European Committee for Standardization (CEN), European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) – following a request from the European Commission.

The so-called ‘New Approach’ represents an innovative way of technical harmonisation by splitting the responsibilities between the European legislator and the European standards bodies.

The ‘New Approach’ is based on the following fundamental principles:

  • European directives define the ‘essential requirements’ to ensure a high level of protection of health, safety, consumer protection, or the protection of the environment. Such directives under the new approach are based on Article 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (ex Article 95 TEC) which allows for the adoption of measures for the improvement of free movement of goods.
  • The task of drawing up the corresponding harmonised standards meeting the essential requirements of products established by the directives is entrusted to the European standardisation organisations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI).
  • Products that comply with harmonised standards are presumed to meet the corresponding essential requirements (presumption of conformity, CE marking) and Member States must accept the free movement of such products.
  • The use of these standards remains voluntary. Alternative standards are possible but manufacturers then have an obligation to prove that their products meet the essential requirements.

In-depth information on the directives adopted under the New Approach can be found in the directives section or on the following European Commission web pages:

 

Links to European and international standardisation bodies 

National standardisation bodies

Members of CEN
Country Institution / member of CEN
Austria Österreichisches Normungsinstitut (ON)
Belgium Bureau de Normalisation/Bureau voor Normalisatie (NBN)
Bulgaria Българският институт за стандартизация (BDS)
Cyprus Κυπριακοσ Οργανισμοσ Τυποποιησησ (CYS)
Czech Republic Úřad pro technickou normalizaci, metrologii a státní zkušebnictví (ÚNMZ)
Denmark Dansk Standard (DS)
Estonia Eesti Standardikeskus (EVS)
Finland Suomen Standardisoimisliitto r.y. (SFS)
France Association Française de Normalisation (AFNOR)
Germany Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V. (DIN)
Greece Ελληνικός Οργανισμός Τυποποίησης (ELOT)
Hungary Magyar Szabványügyi Testület (MSZT)
Iceland Islenskir Stadlar (IST)
Ireland National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI)
Italy Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione (UNI)
Latvia Latvijas Standarts (LVS)
Lithuania Lietuvos Standartizacijos Departamentas (LST)
Luxembourg Institut Luxembourgeois de la normalisation, de l'accreditation, de la sécurité et qualité des produits et services (ILNAS)
Malta Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA)
The Netherlands Nederlands Normalisatie-instituut (NEN)
Norway Norsk Standard (SN)
Poland Polski Komitet Normalizacyjny (PKN)
Portugal Instituto Português da Qualidade (IPQ)
Romania Asociaţia de Standardizare Din România (ASRO)
Slovakia Slovenský ústav technickej normalizácie (SUTN)
Slovenia Slovenian Institute for Standardization (SIST)
Spain Asociación Española de Normalización y Certificación (AENOR)
Sweden Swedish Standards Institute (SIS)
Switzerland Schweizerische Normen-Vereinigung (SNV)
United Kingdom British Standards Institution (BSI)

Members of CENELEC  

Country Institution / member of CEN
Austria Österreichischer Verband für Elektrotechnik
Belgium Comité Electrotechnique Belge / Belgisch Elektrotechnisch Comité
Bulgaria Българският институт за стандартизация (BDS)
Cyprus Κυπριακοσ Οργανισμοσ Τυποποιησησ (CYS)
Czech Republic Úřad pro technickou normalizaci, metrologii a státní zkušebnictví (ÚNMZ)
Denmark Dansk Standard (DS)
Estonia Eesti Standardikeskus (EVS)
Finland Sähkö- ja Elektroniikka-alan Kansallinen Standardointijärjestö (SESKO)
France Union Technique de l'Electricité
Germany Deutsche Kommission Elektrotechnik Elektronik
Greece Ελληνικός Οργανισμός Τυποποίησης (ELOT)
Hungary Magyar Szabványügyi Testület (MSZT)
Iceland Staðlaráð Íslands
Ireland Electro-Technical Council of Ireland Limited
Italy Comitato Elettrotecnico Italiano
Latvia Latvijas Standarts (LVS)
Lithuania Lietuvos Standartizacijos Departamentas (LST)
Luxembourg Institut Luxembourgeois de la normalisation, de l'accreditation, de la sécurité et qualité des produits et services (ILNAS)
Malta Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA)
The Netherlands Nederlands Normalisatie-instituut (NEN)
Norway Norsk Elektroteknisk Komite
Poland Polski Komitet Normalizacyjny (PKN)
Portugal Instituto Português da Qualidade (IPQ)
Romania Asociaţia de Standardizare Din România (ASRO)
Slovakia Slovenský ústav technickej normalizácie (SUTN)
Slovenia Slovenian Institute for Standardization (SIST)
Spain Asociación Española de Normalización y Certificación (AENOR)
Sweden SEK Svensk Elstandard
Switzerland Electrosuisse
United Kingdom British Electrotechnical Committee / British Standards Institution