Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A harmonized standard "is a European standard elaborated on the basis of a request from the European Commission to a recognized European Standards Organisation (CEN, CENELEC or ETSI) to develop a European standard that provides solutions for compliance with a legal provision. Such a request provides guidelines which requested standards must respect to meet the essential requirements or other provisions of relevant European Union harmonization legislation.

 

Compliance with harmonized standards provides a presumption of conformity with the corresponding requirements of harmonization legislation. Manufacturers, other economic operators or conformity assessment bodies can use harmonised standards to demonstrate that products, services or processes comply with relevant EU legislation."

List of Harmonised Standards

 

Please click on 'Subject (short title of directive)' to view the list of titles and references of harmonised standards under the directive.

The portfolio of documents produced by CEN and CENELEC, known collectively as CEN and CENELEC publications, covers:

 

European Standards (ENs)
standard adopted by CEN/CENELEC and carrying with it an obligation of implementation as an identical national standard and withdrawal of conflicting national standards

 

Technical Specifications (TSs)
document adopted by CEN/CENELEC for which there is the future possibility of agreement on a European Standard, but for which at present
• the required support for approval as a European Standard cannot be obtained,
• there is doubt on whether consensus has been achieved,
• the subject matter is still under technical development, or
• there is another reason precluding immediate publication as a European Standard

 

Technical Reports (TRs)
document adopted by CEN/CENELEC containing informative material not suitable to be published as a European Standard or a Technical Specification

 

Guides
document published by CEN or CENELEC giving rules, orientation, advice or recommendations relating to European standardization. The list of CEN guides and CENELEC Guides are available through their respective Business Operation Platforms (BOSS)

 

Harmonization Documents (HDs)
CENELEC standard that carries with it the obligation to be implemented at national level, at least by public announcement of the HD number and title and by withdrawal of any conflicting national standards.

 

Workshop Agreements (CWAs)
CEN/CENELEC agreement, developed by a Workshop, which reflects the consensus of identified individuals and organisations responsible for its contents

 

More information is available from:

The CEN and CENELEC "Search Standards" database

 

No, European Standards are the result of extensive efforts performed by the market players who provide the expertise and fund the infrastructure of standardization in Europe. They represent an exceptional value for the users, who support this work and infrastructure through their purchase.

 

CEN and CENELEC standards can be purchased for a reasonable fee from CEN and CENELEC's Members, the National Standards Organizations:

  • CEN National Standards Bodies
  • CENELEC National Committees
    and also from:
  • CEN Affiliates
  • CENELEC Affiliates

 

NB: Certain CEN and/or CENELEC Workshop Agreements (CWAs), mainly in the ICT field, are available free of charge under special arrangements, for example, where industry has offset the loss of sales.

 

Visit the website to see which CWAs can be freely downloaded.

 

All CEN and CENELEC publications are protected by copyright and associated exploitation rights.

The CEN and CENELEC Management Centre does not sell or distribute Standards or any other deliverable.


All European Standards (ENs) and drafts (prENs), as well as Harmonisation Documents (HDs) or any other approved documents (Technical Specifications (TSs), Technical Reports (TRs) and CEN or CENELEC Workshop Agreements (CWAs), are directly available for purchase from:

  • CEN National Standards Bodies
  • CENELEC National Committees
    and also from:
  • CEN Affiliates
  • CENELEC Affiliates

 

NB: Certain CEN and/or CENELEC Workshop Agreements (CWAs), mainly in the ICT field, are available free of charge under special arrangements, for example, where industry has offset the loss of sales.

 

Visit the website to see which CWAs can be freely downloaded.

 

All CEN and CENELEC publications are protected by copyright and associated exploitation rights.

The lists of the entire collections of both published standards and standards under development from CEN and CENELEC are available via the "Search standards" functions:

 

  • CEN
  • CENELEC
  • by CEN Technical Committee
  • by Business sector

 

The CEN-CENELEC Work Programme accessible through the sectors and topics pages gives an overview of the most significant European standardization activities that will be supported by CEN and CENELEC.

CEN and CENELEC are not certification bodies and therefore certification is not part of their activities.

 

To receive support in this domain, please contact your CEN National Standards Body or CENELEC National Committee.

The 'CE marking' (sometimes improperly known as "CE Mark") represents the declaration that the product conforms to all applicable European legislation.

 

A useful reference is the European Commission's "Guide to the implementation of Directives based on the New Approach and Global Approach", more specifically Chapter 7 dedicated to CE Marking, which can be downloaded here.

 


CE MARKING IS NOT PART OF CEN or CENELEC ACTIVITIES.

Technical questions are the competence of CEN or CENELEC Technical Committees.

 

However, please note that, as a rule, Technical Committees do not deal directly with questions from private experts.


To obtain support on technical questions, please contact your:

 

Need for help in your own language?

 

Contact one of the 42 national helpdesks . The national SME Helpdesks are service centres established by CEN and CENELEC members to provide direct support to SMEs. The national SME Helpdesks will help you understand the standardization system and identify the standards you need to become more competitive at national and/or European level.

A Notified body is a certification body that is designated by the notifying authority of a Member State to carry out the tasks pertaining to the conformity assessment procedures, referred to in the applicable New Approach directives when a third party is required.

 

The Nando (New Approach Notified and Designated Organisations) Information System allows you to search for Notified Bodies by Directive or by country.

 

NB: CENELEC Guide 17 provides information on the Procedure for the certification of products not fully covered by safety standards because of technical progress for use within the CENELEC Certification Agreement (CCA).

Technical standards are classified according to the International Classification for Standards (ICS).

 

This system classifies standards by industrial sectors and was elaborated by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in order to unify the classification of data about standards throughout the world.

The full text of European Directives, Regulations and other EU legislation can be obtained from EUR-LEX, where you can find a 'Directory of Community Legislation in Force' and other acts of the European Community institutions.

 

The full text of European Directives, Regulations and other EU legislation can be obtained from EUR-LEX, where you can find a 'Directory of Community Legislation in Force' and other acts of the European Community institutions.

An EU Directive is a legislative act of the European Union, which requires member states to achieve a particular result without dictating the means of achieving that result. It can be distinguished from European Union Regulations which are self-executing and do not require any implementing measures. Directives normally leave member states with a certain amount of leeway as to the exact rules to be adopted. Directives can be adopted by a variety of legislative procedures, depending on their subject matter.

 

The texts are also available on paper from sales agents of the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities (EUR-OP) throughout the world.

A standardization request (previously called Mandate) is a political request from the European Commission (EC) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA), agreed upon by the Member States, addressed to CEN or CENELEC, in support of an action from the European Commission. This can be in support of legislative work such as a Directive (some EC Directives, not all, are 'New Approach' Directives), or in support of an industrial policy action from the European Commission.

EC standardization requests (Mandates) texts are made available from the EC mandate database.

Standards are voluntary, consensus-based and as such do not impose any regulations. They provide the test specifications and test methods (interoperability, safety, quality, etc.).

 

Application of harmonized standards or other technical specifications remains VOLUNTARY.

 

However, laws and regulations may refer to standards and even make compliance with them compulsory. In the European Union, Directives, Regulations and other EU legislation may refer to European Standards. In particular, this is the case within the framework of the "New Approach" where European Standards are used to provide presumption of conformity to 'Essential Requirements' of the Directives. The 'Essential Requirements' are mandatory. However, products that comply with European Standards cited in the Official Journal of the European Union under a New Approach Directive benefit from a presumption of conformity with the Essential Requirements of that New Approach Directive. Manufacturers are always free to choose any technical solution that provides compliance with the essential requirements set by the Directive. This is a very important clause for it guarantees the ground for technical development, crucial when manufacturers of new or innovative products for which standards do not yet exist want to certify their products according to the legal European framework.

 

CEN-CENELEC Guide 30: European Guide on Standards and Regulation - Better regulation through the use of voluntary standards - Guidance for policy makers

The European Standards published by CEN or published by CENELEC are developed by experts, established by consensus and adopted by the Members of CEN or CENELEC. It is important to note that the use of standards is voluntary, and so there is no legal obligation to apply them.

 

Standards can however be used to support EU legislation and policies.

 

Compliance with harmonised standards provides a presumption of conformity with the corresponding requirements of harmonisation legislation. Manufacturers, other economic operators, or conformity assessment bodies are free to choose another technical solution to demonstrate compliance with the mandatory legal requirements."

The Business Operations Support System (BOSS) is the unique source of reference for all CEN and CENELEC System operations:

 

  • Corporate information: on the CEN mission, principles, business environment, membership, etc...;
  • Production Processes: standards making processes (core process);
  • Support Processes: services supporting the operations of the CEN and CENELEC System, its actors and customers;
  • Organization: organizational overview of the CEN and CENELEC System and description of its bodies and constituents;
  • Supporting Material: reference documents (e.g. Statutes, Internal Regulations, CA and BT decisions);
  • Guidance documents, forms, resolution formats & templates, useful hyperlinks;
  • Management Processes: processes used by management committees to direct and control CEN.

 

Access the CEN BOSS

Access the CENELEC BOSS

SR stands for "Secrétariat Rapporteur" (SR) or Reporting Secretariat in English.

AC stands for Amending Corrigendum.

CEN and CENELEC aligned their policy concerning ‘Standards and Patents’ to the one of ISO/IEC.

 

List of Patent Declarations received by CEN and CENELEC.

 

CEN-CENELEC Guide 8 on the Guidelines for Implementation of the Common IPR Policy (Patents and other statutory intellectual property rights based on inventions), defines the common CEN and CENELEC policy in relation to IPR issues and gives a systematic procedure for the implementation of the policy developed at international level by ISO and IEC (see ISO/IEC Directives Part 1, Reference to patented items, and Part 2, Annex F).

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