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



1. What are CENELEC Products?
2. Are European Standards free of charge?
3. Where can I purchase European Standards and draft standards?
4. Is there a CENELEC Catalogue of European Standards?
5. Is there copyright on European Standards?
6. What is a Harmonized Standard?
7. What is a European Directive?
8. Where do I find directives and regulations?
9. What is the relationship between directives and standards?
10. What is CE Marking?
11. What is Certification?
12. What is a Notified Body?
13. Who can answer my technical question?
14. Numbering of Amendments to CENELEC Standards
15. What is the meaning of “SR”?
16. What is the National SME Helpdesk?
17. What is the meaning of “AC”?
18. What are ICSs numbers?
19. Want to know more on CENELEC IPR declarations?


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1. What are CENELEC Products?

The list of CENELEC Products is available here.


2. Are European Standards free of charge?

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.

3. Where can I purchase European Standards and draft standards?

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

4. 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.

5. Is there copyright on European Standards?

The distribution of European Standards is the responsibility of the CENELEC National National Committees (NCs). Consequently, CENELEC has entrusted these NCs 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 NC where the standard was purchased.

6. What is a Harmonized Standard?

A harmonised standard "is a European standard elaborated on the basis of a request from the European Commission to a recognised European Standards Organisation (CEN, CENELEC or ETSI) to develop a European standard that provides solutions for compliance with a legal provision. Such a request provides guidelines which requested standards must respect to meet the essential requirements or other provisions of relevant European Union harmonisation legislation...

Compliance with harmonised standards provides a presumption of conformity with the corresponding requirements of harmonisation legislation. Manufacturers, other economic operators or conformity assessment bodies can use harmonised standards to demonstrate that products, services or processes comply with relevant EU legislation."


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.

7. What is a European Directive?

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.

8. Where do I find directives and regulations?

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.

9. What is the relationship between directives and standards

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.

10. What is CE Marking?

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'

CE Marking is not a CENELEC activity.

11. What is Certification?

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.

Certification is not part of the CENELEC activities.


12.What is a Nofified Body?

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).

13. Who can answer my technical question?

Technical questions are the competence of the CENELEC Technical Committees.

NB: Technical Committees do not deal directly with questions from private experts.
Technical questions shall first be referred to the appropriate CENELEC National Committee (NC) or Affiliates.

Need for help in your own language?
Contact one of the 42 national helpdesks. The national SME Helpdesks are service centres established by CEN and CENELEC members to provide direct support to SMEs. The national SME Helpdesks will help you understand the standardization system and identify the standards you need to become more competitive at national and/or European level.

14. Numbering of Amendments to CENELEC Standards

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 IEC and CENELEC normally take numbers over 20.

15. What is the meaning of “SR” ?

SR stands for "Secrétariat Rapporteur" (SR) or Reporting Secretariat in English.


16. What is the National SME HELPDESK ?

The national SME Helpdesks are one-stop service points to introduce SMEs to the benefits of European Standards and to the business tools required to access the European Standardization System. CEN and CENELEC, as well as each national standardization organization, have set up an SME Helpdesk. Similar support is provided by each of the Helpdesks, however national standardization organizations can provide this support in your national language and in line with the national situation. More information is available at

17. What is the meaning of “AC”

AC stands for Amending Corrigendum.

18. What are ICSs numbers?

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.

19. Want to know more on CENELEC IPR declarations?

CEN and CENELEC aligned their policy concerning ‘Standards and Patents’ to the one of ISO/IEC.

list of Patent Declarations received by CEN and CENELEC

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).