1. What is CENELEC?
2. Who are the European Standards Organizations?
3. What is a standard?
4. How are standards developed?
5. What are the benefits of standards?
6. European Standards are powerful marketing tool
7. Are European Standards free of charge?
8. Where can I purchase European Standards and draft standards?
9. Is there a CENELEC Catalogue of European Standards? How do I search the collection of CENELEC standards?
10. Is there copyright on European Standards?
11. What is a Harmonized Standard?
12. What is the 'New Approach'?
13. What is a European Directive?
14. Where do I find directives and regulations?
15. What is the relationship between directives and standards
16. What is CE Marking?
17. Do separate components of a product need to be CE Marked separately?
18. Who is responsible for affixing the CE Marking?
19. What is Certification?
20. Who is responsible for certification?
21. What is a Notified Body?
22. Where to find the list of Notified Certification Bodies
23. What is accreditation?
24. What is Conformity Assessment?
25. What is the HAR?
26. Who can answer my technical question?
27. Numbering of Amendments to CENELEC Standards.
28. What is the meaning of “SR” ?
29. Where can I check the technical Committees meetings’ calendar ?
30. The sale of electronic components
31. Where can I find the text of a specific EC standardization Mandate ?
32. What is the CEN-CENELEC SME HELPDESK ?
33. What is the meaning of “AC”.
34. How to know if an IEC standard is identical to an EN having the same reference?
35. What are stage codes ?
36. What are ICSs numbers ? 37. Want to know more on CEN IPR declarations ?
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CENELEC, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, was created in 1973 because of the merger of two previous European organizations: CENELECELCOM and CENELECEL. Nowadays, CENELEC is a non-profit technical organization set up under Belgian law and composed of the National Electrotechnical Committees of 31 European countries. In addition, 12 National Committees from neighboring countries are participating in CENELEC work with an Affiliate status.
The European Commission (EC) and the European Free Trade Association Secretariat (EFTA) act as CENELEC's Counselors in terms or regulatory or public interest.
CENELEC works in a decentralized way. Its members – the National Committees (NCs) of the EU and EFTA countries – operate the technical groups that draw up the standards.
The CENELEC Management Centre in Brussels manages and coordinates this system. Since January 2010, the position of a common Director General for both CEN (European Committee for Standardization) and CENELEC consolidates the close collaboration of the two bodies.
CENELEC is one of the three European Standardization Organizations (ESOs) whose main objective is to remove trade barriers for European industry and consumers.
CENELEC, CEN, and ETSI are the three European Standardization Organizations (ESOs) recognized as competent in the area of voluntary technical standardization and listed in Annex I of EU Directive 98/34/EC. Although their subject areas are generally different, CENELEC, CENELEC, and ETSI cooperate in a number of fields of common interest, such as the machinery sector or in information and communications technologies (ICTs) – where a co-ordination body known as the ICT Standards Board also includes a number of industry standards consortia. They also share common policies where possible.
Respective ESOs fields of competence:
CENELEC is the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization of which the main field of activity covers the Electrotechnical domain.
CEN is the European Committee for Standardization of which the main fields of activity cover various sectors such as Air and Space, Chemistry, Construction, Consumer Products, Energy and Utilities, Food, Health and Safety, Healthcare, Heating, Cooling, Ventilation, ICT, Materials, Measurement, Mechanical Engineering, Nanotechnology, Security and Defence, Services, Transport and Packaging and others.
ETSI is the European Telecommunications Standards Institute of which the main field of activity is Telecommunications (applicable standards for Information & Communications Technologies including fixed, mobile, radio, broadcast, internet and several other areas).
A standard (French: Norme, German: Norm) is a document, designed for common and repeated use, to be used as a rule, guideline or definition. It is both consensus-built and approved by a recognized body. Standards are created by bringing together all interested parties such as manufacturers, consumers, and regulators of a particular material, product, process or service. All parties benefit from standardization through increased product safety and quality as well as lower transactions costs and prices. CENELEC produces European Standards (ENs), which are also national standards in our member countries. In addition, CENELEC produces some other technical documents such as Harmonization Documents (HDs); Technical Specifications (TSs); Technical Reports (TRs); Guides (Gs); CENELEC Workshop Agreements (CWAs) which are often used in fast-evolving technologies and the creation of new markets.
Most standards are prepared at the request of industry. The European Commission can also request the relevant standards bodies to prepare standards in order to implement European legislation. This type of standardization activity is 'mandated' by the European Commission. In most cases, such initiatives are supported by the EFTA Secretariat.
A collective of stakeholders, manufacturers, users, research organizations, government departments and consumers, undertakes all CENELEC activities. In CENELEC Technical Committees, experts are mandated by national member bodies, with formal decisions by national delegations. In CENELEC Workshops, a more informal approach is used, with any interested party being able to participate, sometimes after paying a fee. Representatives of the CENELEC Members act as secretaries to the various technical groups and manage the projects and the production of standards and other documents.
Standards are a powerful tool for supporting innovation and increasing productivity. Effective standardization promotes forceful competition and enhances profitability. Standards allow a company to:
• attract and assure customers;
• demonstrate market leadership;
• create competitive advantage;
• develop and maintain best practices;
• comply with European legislation.
Compliance with widely recognized European Standards is an effective means of differentiation in a competitive marketplace. In addition, manufacturing products or supplying services that conform to appropriate standards maximizes their compatibility with those manufactured or offered by others, thereby increasing potential sales and widespread acceptance.
Standards are a respected badge of quality
Certification marks are earned by businesses whose products and practices consistently prove conformity to relevant standards.
CENELEC Standards define the characteristics of electrotechnical products or services. These characteristics usually determine the performance and safety requirements that are voluntarily agreed upon by the interested parties. However, in the electrotechnical field, things are more complicated and safety of consumers is the number one priority. The European Commission often encourages and supports this safety policy, which leads us to the so-called harmonized standards.
No, standards are publicly available documents that may be purchased from CENELEC's National Committees and Affiliates for a reasonable fee. 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.
Certain CENELEC Workshop Agreements are available free of charge under special arrangements, for example, where industry has offset the loss of sales.
All standardization documents are protected by copyright and associated exploitation rights.
CENELEC does not sell or distribute Standards or any other deliverable.
All European Standards (ENs) and drafts (prENs), as well as any other approved document such as Harmonization Documents (HDs); Technical Specifications (TSs); Technical Reports (TRs); CENELEC Workshop Agreements (CWAs) CENELEC can be purchased from:
• CENELEC National Committees
• CENELEC Affiliates
The Catalogue of European Standards, and the CENELEC Guides are freely made available from the CENELEC website under the section 'Publications' in 'News & Views'.
Is there a CENELEC Catalogue of European Standards? How do I search the collection of CENELEC standards?
The entire collection of both published standards and standards under development (Work Programme) can be searched online via the 'Database search' function. This function is directly accessible from the CENELEC home page.
The results of your search will also display the scope of each standard.
Data on the standards to be withdrawn is also made available from the CENELEC database search.
The distribution of European Standards is the responsibility of the CENELEC National Committees. Consequently, CENELEC has entrusted its National Committees 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 Committee (NC) where the standard was purchased.
The European Commission refers to European Standards that are produced by CEN, CENELEC, or ETSI under a mandate given by the European Commission as 'harmonized standards' (hEN). In general, these standards support the essential requirements of a New Approach Directive.
List of Harmonized Standards
Please click on 'Subject (short title of directive)' to view the list of titles and references of harmonized standards under the directive.
The 'New Approach' was first created by the European Council in May 1985. It is the means by which open, voluntary standardization can support regulations concerning products on the European market.
Since then, European Union Directives define 'essential requirements' (e.g. related to health, safety and environment) that products must meet before they can be placed on the European market. In these circumstances, manufacturers may choose any technical solution that fulfils the essential requirements. If they follow the relevant harmonized European Standard(s), they benefit from a 'presumption of conformity' to the essential requirements set out in the Directive. If they choose their own method, they must provide a 'technical file', which sometimes must include reports from recognized testing agencies that they are in conformity with the relevant Directive. Following a European Standard is therefore the simplest route to accessing the European Single Market and over 480 million consumers. Under an EU Council and Parliament Decision (768/2008/EC), the 'New Approach' has been enhanced and extended to all sectors. This common framework for the marketing of products, with accompanying regulations, is known as 'the goods package'.
For more information on the common framework for marketing and the 'New Approach' go to 'New Approach Standardization in the Internal Market' and the European Commission's web pages on this subject.
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 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 texts are also available on paper from sales agents of the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities (EUR-OP) throughout the world.
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.
The 'CE marking' (sometimes improperly known as 'CE Mark') stands for “Conformité Européenne” in French and 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.
Every product placed in the EEA (European Economical area) covered by the principles of the New Approach Directive must bear the CE marking. However, a product may not be CE marked, if it is not covered by a directive providing for its affixing.
"Where products are subject to several directives, which all provide for the affixing of the CE marking, the marking indicates that the products are presumed to conform to the provisions of all these directives."
In principle, the individual components of a product should not bear the CE Marking. The CE Marking is to be affixed to the finished assembled product, machinery, apparatus or equipment (the definitions are given in the texts of the EC directives themselves). However, 'safety components which are placed on the market separately' will need to bear the CE Marking (e.g. see Machinery Directive).
List of Directives
The CE Marking must be affixed by the manufacturer or by the authorized representative established within the community.
Certification is a sub-field of conformity assessment (e.g. testing, certification, accreditation). It represents a third-party attestation that a product, service, person or management system meets specified requirements.
By giving the purchaser confidence that a product or service meets the requirements, certification facilitates trade both within countries and between countries.
As a manufacturer, it is your responsibility to check whether your product falls under the scope of any European Union legislation. If it falls within the scope of a common framework ('New Approach') Directive, CE marking is obligatory.
Manufacturers shall ensure, when placing their products on the market, that they have been designed and manufactured in accordance with the requirements set out in the legislation. More information on the responsibilities here.
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).
Like certification, it is a sub-field of conformity assessment. It relates to the Conformity assessment of those bodies that perform conformity assessment services. It is the last level of control.
To find out which conformity assessment bodies have been notified (Notified Bodies) and for which Directive, visit the NANDO web site.
Conformity assessment is a series of three functions that satisfy a need/demand for demonstration that specified requirements are fulfilled: Selection, Determination, Review and attestation.
HAR is a voluntary mark.
The scope of CENELEC HAR Agreement is to grant a mark of conformity according to CENELEC HDs and ENs on cables and cords, which is unconditionally recognized by all participating Approval Organizations as equivalent to their national mark. More information at: http://www.sgs.com/safety_v2/har_mark.htm
The CENELEC Infodesk has no technical competence and therefore cannot provide technical solutions to questions such as what standard to use or to queries relating to the interpretation of standards, etc.
Technical questions are the competence of the CENELEC Technical Committees. Please note that, as a rule, Technical Committees do not deal directly with questions from private experts. Technical questions shall first be referred to the appropriate CENELEC National Committee (NC).
- What standard(s) to use?
Some of CENELEC National Committees provide consultancy in the domain. Please contact your National Committee for further help.
- Interpretation of standards?
These questions are in most cases dealt with by Interpretation Panel Groups and consequently, should be addressed directly to the CENELEC National Committee.
- What is the channel to be used for queries by non-EU members?
Questions from non-EU members should be addressed to colleagues in Europe that have a connection/liaison with a CENELEC National Committee.
Standards numbered from 60000 to 69999 refer to the CENELEC implementation of IEC standards with or without changes.
Amendments to CENELEC standards implemented from the IEC (that is, the 60000 to 69999 series) take numbers 1 to 9. Amendments made at CENELEC level take numbers 11 to 20. Those made commonly by EIC and CENELEC normally take numbers over 20.
SR stands for "Secrétariat Rapporteur" (SR) or Reporting Secretariat in English.
From the List of Technical Bodies, click on the TC of your interest and go under the tab 'meeting'.
CENELEC does not sell any electronic components. For any further help on this, please contact your National Committee.
Access the EC Mandates database that allows you to find EC Standardization Mandate.
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 Standardization System of CEN and CENELEC. Learn more on SMEs and standardization.
AC stands for Amending Corrigendum.
Starting January 2011, CENELEC corrigenda shall be cited in the "Official Journal” – considering there was no separate documents for these CENELEC corrigenda in the past, it was proposed to indicate them where any, but these shall be found in the amendment of the document itself.
No consolidated version will be issued for including a corrigendum. Therefore, two documents will exist separately.
As a result of the successful CENELEC cooperation with the IEC, some 82% of CENELEC standards are identical to or based upon IEC’s.
Those based upon IEC’s (some 10,76%) are indicated in our database with the “(modified)” mention.
IEC 60669-1:1998 (Modified)
To note that the 50000 series of CENELEC standards are purely European standards, by definition, have no real equivalence at IEC level.
The items of work are grouped, within each technical body's programme of work (SR or TC)*, according to their stage of progress. In the BT/SR programme of work the items are sorted additionally according to the technical domain, i.e. to the relevant IEC TC/SC.
A system of stage codification has been established to record the work item progress by ISO, IEC, CEN and CENELEC ( See progress stage codification ).
*BT= Technical Board, SR= Reporting Secretariat , TC= Technical Committee
Technical standards are classified according to the International Classification for Standards (ICS). This system classifies standards by industrial sector and was elaborated by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in order to unify the classification of data about standards throughout the world.
CENELEC aligned its policy concerning ‘Standards and Patents’ to the one of ISO/IEC.
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).