Standards & your business 

Find basic information about standards; how they add value for your business and how other SMEs use standards: 

SMEs and standards - success stories:

You can obtain published standards from the CEN and CENELEC European network of national members. These local standards organizations can also provide you with a range of services e.g. advice to take advantage of the benefits of standards, support to use standards etc.

Contact a national SME Helpdesk, a service centre that can provide direct support in your own language:

Small Business Standards (SBS)

You can obtain valuable information, advice and support from Small Business Standards (SBS), the European association representing Small and Medium sized Enterprises in the standardization process at European and international level.

Small Business Standards (SBS) is a European non-profit association established in 2013. It aims at enhancing SMEs' active participation and involvement into the European standardization process. SBS' role is to ensure that SMEs' interests are increasingly integrated into the standardization process through a relevant information flow related to European standardization and SME needs. SBS work is mandated and financed by the European Commission. For additional information, please contact SBS.

National Trade Associations and Federations operating in specific industries and trades may also offer a range of support, help and advice services to SMEs to use standards.  In many instances, CEN and CENELEC national members have links with these organizations.

New Approach

The European Standardization Organizations (ESOs) CEN, CENELEC and ETSI are involved in a successful partnership with the European Commission and the European Free Trade Association. The ESOs support European legislation in helping the implementation of the European Directives and Regulations, particularly those developed under the New Approach (Guidance document).

To support its policies and legislation, the European Commission requests the ESOs to develop and adopt European Standards, by means of 'standardization mandates'. Those European Standards developed in response to a mandate are called 'Harmonized Standards'. A list of Harmonized Standards supporting EU Directives and Regulations is available in a dedicated area on the European Commission website.

Conformity Assessment

Conformity assessment is a demonstration that specified requirements relating to a product, process, system, person or body are fulfilled. The purpose of conformity assessment is to provide confidence that applicable requirements have been met. Such confidence contributes to the market acceptance of these products, services and systems. The generic term conformity assessment includes activities such as testing, inspection, certification and accreditation.

CEN and CENELEC provide a range of European Standards and other publications for the implementation and recognition of good conformity assessment practices.

Doing business with China?

A Chinese-European platform called CESIP helps European business, in particular SMEs, explore market opportunities in China. This web-based platform gives the titles and information on nearly 20 000 Chinese standards for 9 sectors which European manufacturers must consider for access to the Chinese market. These sectors are electrical equipment, medical devices, machinery, environmental protection, aerosol containers, packaging, textile, toys and child care articles.

Go to the next step: Find the right standards