International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

CENELEC facts and figures

CENELEC in a nutshell

CENELEC is the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization. Officially recognized by the European Commission as the competent European Standardization Organization in this field, CENELEC creates both voluntary and harmonized Standards (supporting the guidelines of a New Approach Directive). By doing this, CENELEC is shaping the European Internal Market with high quality Electrotechnical Standards that:

· allow direct access to at least 34 European countries
· guarantee the safety and health of consumers
· encourage technological development

CENELEC Standards are technologically neutral and are developed thanks to the contributions of experts coming from all over Europe. They guarantee market accessibility and economic exchange because with CENELEC Standards there is no more need to test or add/remove any specifications for your product depending on the country of sale. All possible requirements are already included in the text. The whole process is based on consensus among members which at the same time becomes the driving force and strength of the final text.

CENELEC has revised its foreign partnership concept in 2017. For an accurate and timely overview of the foreign partners statute with CENELEC, please check the Affiliate and Companion Standardization Body (CSB) pages.

CENELEC standards

CENELEC ended up the year 2020 with a total figure of 7493 active Standards. During the year 2020, 454 standards were published.

CENELEC Active Standards 2018 2019 2020
Published standards */year 383 463 454
Total active Standards * 7085 7305 7493
Net increase at year end 59 220 188

* These figures include amendments  

Total number of active CENELEC Deliverables at the year end 2020:

Active CENELEC portfolio

New deliverables in 2020

Total deliverables at the end of 2020

Standards (EN & HD)



ENV (pre-standards)*






Technical reports



Technical Specifications









Total Deliverables



* ENVs/Reports/ESs/CECC Specifications are not published any more


Note: The total number of overall standards figures at the end of 2020 does not result from summing up the overall standards figures of 2019 (7305) to the total output of standards of 2020 (454). This is due to the fact that CENELEC only counts as standards those that are currently active and stops counting those that have been withdrawn after the date of withdrawal or DOW.

CENELEC Standards ratified, awaiting publication: 83
The overall figures only take into account active Standards (Standards that are currently valid) and stops counting those that have been withdrawn.

Links with the IEC
In a world like today's where markets become global and products are being sold worldwide, CENELEC makes sure that the majority of its Standards are identical to the Standards developed by the IEC, the International Electrotechnical Commission. This is achieved thanks to the intense cooperation between both organizations, laid down in the Frankfurt Agreement, and through the participation of CENELEC members directly in IEC work..

The added value for the manufacturer in applying CENELEC Standards emanating from the IEC is that, besides granting access to all 34 CENELEC countries, these same Standards are also recognized worldwide thanks to the work of the IEC. Sometimes CENELEC adopts IEC Standards that are slightly modified with some specifications added for the European marketplace. Normally, these common modifications include tougher guarantees of health and safety to be applied for the European market.

In overall terms, 80% of CENELEC deliverables are identical to or based upon IEC’s. Next charts clearly show these trends.

Level of equivalence between IEC and CENELEC deliverables published in 2020

Identical to the IEC



Based on the IEC



Purely European






Figures take into account all documents (excluding Corrigenda and Guides) in the CENELEC portfolio.


Level of equivalence between IEC and CENELEC for the overall deliverables at the end of 2020

Identical to the IEC



Based on the IEC 



Purely European  






Figures take into account all documents (excluding Amendments, Corrigenda and Guides) in the CENELEC portfolio (for this table 'portfolio' is based on deliverables as they can be implemented, rather than as individual work items. This approach better reflects the degree of equivalence of the final deliverable).

Links with the European Commission and EFTA
To provide a means for demonstrating conformity with European Directives, CENELEC and the European Commission have reached agreements for CENELEC to develop appropriate Standards - Harmonized Standards -over a wide range of electrotechnical areas.


Total CENELEC deliverables offered for citation at the end of 2020

Total CENELEC deliverables


   100 %

Of which offered



* These figures include amendments.
Figures take into account all documents (excluding Corrigenda and Guides) in the CENELEC portfolio.

Harmonized Standards are those that fulfill the requirements set by New Approach Directives. These Standards are unique in the sense that they provide presumption of conformity with the European legal framework. In other words, and this is a specific feature of the European Standardization System, Harmonized Standards help manufacturers comply with the applicable law.

In addition to the New Approach, CENELEC also prepares standards in support of the Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC), Waste from electrical and electronic equipment directive (WEEE).

To assist manufacturers and other interested parties, the Official Journal of the European Communities provides a list of Harmonised Standards giving presumption of conformity for each Directive.

More information about the New Approach Directives and the harmonization process can be found on the European Commission DG Growth website as well as a dedicated New Approach website.

Technical bodies and Manpower

CENELEC standardization work is carried out in different Technical Bodies in which a wide range of interests is represented.

Technical Bodies



Technical Committees / Sub-Committees



TCs / SCs Working Groups (WGs)



BT Task Forces and WGs






The CENELEC Online Info Service: