The launch of European Standardization on carbon capture, utilization and storage

The Dutch Standardization Institute (NEN) has initiated the establishment of a European Technical Committee (CEN/TC 474) that will develop European Standards across the CCUS (carbon capture, utilization and storage) value chain. With broad participation from CEN Members and European organizations, the committee kicked off in Brussels and finalized its scope and first work programme.

European (EN) Standards are a key component of the European Single Market. They are crucial in facilitating trade and hence have high visibility among manufacturers inside and outside Europe. Standards provide individuals, businesses and all kinds of organizations with a common basis for mutual understanding. European standardization has also proven to be an effective tool to support European legislation and policy. Standards can be developed either as an alternative for legislation (i.e. self-regulation) or to support legislation (e.g. presumption of conformity). The CEN/TC 474 ‘CO2 capture, transportation, utilization, storage and carbon accounting’ will fulfil this role in the field of CCUS.


On the day of the CEN/TC 474 plenary meeting, the European Union (EU) launched its communication on an Industrial Carbon Management (ICM) Strategy, in which it states the need for standards within the field of the committee. The ICM emphasizes the importance of ensuring minimum COշ stream quality and other issues, such as composition, purity, pressure and temperature. In addition, common guidelines are needed regarding ‘incidental associated substances from the source, capture or injection process’ that can be accepted in COշ storage permits.


Interaction with ISO

To date, standardization activities are taking place at the international level in ISO/TC 265 with a focus on Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS). CEN/TC 474 will integrate CCU in their work programme. Although it is acknowledged that CCS & CCU are global issues in which international standards are preferred, there are topics that serve a particular European need, such as COշ stream quality and COշ utilization. CEN/TC 474 also allows European stakeholders to publish a European Standard that could be offered to ISO for adoption at the international level.


CEN/TC 474 offers several opportunities for European stakeholders, including but not limited to:

  • adoption of published ISO standards as EN Standards; all CEN Members (representing 34 countries) are obliged to adopt EN Standards as their national standards and to withdraw possible conflicting homegrown national standards;
  • parallel development of new EN-ISO standards to assess if these standards also satisfy the needs and expectations of European stakeholders while not conflicting with European regulations;
  • coordinated input, or at least exchange of views, with respect to ISO-related activities regarding the committee’s business plans, new work item proposals, and draft international standards.

Next steps

In the upcoming months, the affiliated CEN Members from across Europe will organize resources and further develop the committee’s work programme. Currently proposed standardization activities focus on COշ stream composition and quality, pipeline transportation, and transportation by shipping.  


If you are interested in joining this Technical Committee, please contact the CEN National Standardization Body in your country.

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