United States (US) is the first trading partner of the European Union (EU) accounting more than 20% of the EU exports in goods, mainly in the field of machinery and transport equipment, chemicals and related products.
In spring 2013, the EU and the US Government launched negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a historical trade deal, which is expected to boost growth and jobs on both sides. Due to the role of standards in boosting trade and facilitating market access CEN and CENELEC have been very active in the TTIP negotiations. Cooperation in standard relating matters play a key role in unlocking trade potential, alongside with regulatory cooperation.
Cooperation with ANSI, the American National Standards Institute
Without having signed any formal agreement, the ESOs (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have a longstanding dialogue about 25 years ago. ANSI is the ISO Member Organization representing the US. It also hosts the secretariat of the IEC National Committee of the US (USNC).
ANSI represents a very different approach to standardization when compared with the European model. ANSI accredits US Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs), which are then likely to develop national standards for the US (referenced as ANS), while in Europe, we are developing European standards (referenced as ENs) ourselves.
For a better understanding of their structure and functioning, we invite you to read the:
Questions and Answers about the US standardization system (pdf format)
Questions and Answers about the European standardization system (pdf format)
Whereas our standardization models are very different, both sides respect each other’s functioning and working principles. The ESOs and ANSI agreed to facilitate a standardization dialogue whereby interested stakeholders could meet to discuss potential solutions of mutual benefit, coming in support of European and American industry needs.
CEN and CENELEC together with US SDOs maintain technical dialogues in areas of mutual interest, and this fits within the overarching cooperation with ANSI.
The ESOs and ANSI hold regular meetings (every 12-18 months) to update each other on the latest developments in Europe and the US and exchange information of areas interest.
Cooperation with ASTM International
On 27 September 2019, CEN and ASTM International signed a Technical Cooperation Agreement. The aim of the agreement is to facilitate global dialogue and coordination in specific standardization areas of mutual interest.
The Agreement establishes a framework for technical cooperation and information exchange between the two standardization organizations, thus facilitating dialogue and convergence on the technical requirements and related attributes of standards development, and preventing duplication of efforts, for the benefit of their respective stakeholders.
As a first step in their cooperation, ASTM International and CEN establish a pilot with the involvement of four identified technical groups of common interest.