Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

More FAQs are available from the websites of :

1) What is a Harmonized Standard?

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.

2) What are the CEN and CENELEC Products?

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

document published by CEN or CENELEC giving rules, orientation, advice or recommendations relating to European standardization
List of CEN-CENELEC Guides

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 availalbe from:

The CEN Search Standards database

The CENELEC Search Standards database

3) Are European Standards free of charge?

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:
and also from:

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 CEN website to see which CWAs can be freely downloaded via the following link:


4) Where can I purchase European Standards and draft standards?

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:

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 CEN website to see which CWAs can be freely downloaded

5) Where can I access the CEN and CENELEC online catalogues of published standards?

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:

6) Is there copyright on European Standards?

The distribution of European Standards is the responsibility of the CEN and CENELEC Members, the National Standards Organisations. Consequently, CEN and CENELEC have entrusted their National Standards Organisations with the protection of their copyright interests, each in their respective territories.
Therefore, any reproduction, distribution, resale or communication of standards in any medium, is forbidden without the formal written authorization from the National Standards Organisations where the standard was purchased from. 

All standardization documents are protected by copyright and associated exploitation rights.

7) Is certification a CEN or CENELEC activity?

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.

8) What is CE Marking?

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.

9) Who can answer my technical question?

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:

• CEN National Standards Body
• CENELEC National Committee

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.


The CEN-CENELEC SME Helpdesk is the one stop service point to introduce SMEs to the benefits of European Standards and to the business tools required to access the European Standardisation System of CEN and CENELEC. More information is available at

11) What is a Notified Body?

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.

12) What are ICSs numbers ?

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.

13) Where do I find EC directives and regulations?

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.

14) What is a standardization request?

A standardization request ( also 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.

15) Where can I find the text of a specific EC standardization request (mandate)?

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