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Common standards for enterprises

88 pages
Intra-Community trade - free movement of goods
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Commission of the European Communities
Florence Nicolas
with the cooperation of Jacques Repussard
DEADLINE Florence Nicolas
with the cooperation of Jacques Repussard
Common standards
for enterprises
by Florence Nicolas
with the cooperation of Jacques Repussard
This publication, designed to contribute to public debate on European integration, was prepared outside the
Commission of the European Communities. The views expressed are those of the author alone, and do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of the Commission.
This publication is also available in:
ES ISBN 92-825-8550-6
DA ISBN 92-825-8551-4
DE ISBN 92-825-8552-2
GR ISBN 92-825-8553-0
FR ISBN 92-825-8555-7
IT ISBN 92-825-8556-5
NL ISBN 92-825-8557-3
PT ISBN 92-825-8558-1
Cataloguing data appear at the end of this publication
Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1988
ISBN 92-825-8554-9
Catalogue number: CB-PP-88-AOl-EN-C
© ECSC-EEC-EAEC, Brussels ■ Luxembourg, 1988
Printed in the FR of Germany
4 Foreword
Achievement of the internal market means that products must be able to move freely
within the European Economic Community. This principle is enshrined in the Treaty
of Rome and has been widely applied by the Court of Justice of the European Com­
munities. However, there can be exceptions to the mutual recognition of national
regulations concerning products when a specific national rule is justified by an
essential requirement such as human health or safety, or environment or consumer
In such cases Community harmonization of regulations is sought and the principle of
the new approach adopted by the Community in 1984-85 for harmonization of
technical regulations is based on harmonizing essential requirements — to afford a high
level of protection — by means of ay Directive referring to standards for
manufacturing specifications. Obviously reference to standards is possible only if the
sector in question lends itself to standardization.
Technical standardization is therefore essential to the achievement of the Community's
internal market. In many countries the authorities have only recently started to
attribute importance to it. Nevertheless the declaration by Community Heads of State
or Government in June 1987 which regarded this as a priority field reflected the vital
role played by standardization in the task of completing the internal market.
There is virtually no literature on standardization that is readily accessible to the
layman so the work you are about to read undoubtedly fills a gap as well as satisfying a
growing demand for information on the subject.
In dealing with this vast, complex and technical area, the authors have succeeded in the
daunting task of providing full and precise information without using unfamiliar jargon.
If standardization is of direct concern to you because of your work in manufacturing
industry, you are sure to find a wealth of valuable, extremely up to date and well-
documented information on the latest moves in European standardization, amply
illustrated by examples. If you are an executive and you want to know something about
European standardization for planning purposes, this work will very quickly give you a
grasp of the process and show you its potential impact on your activities.
If your work in a trade association, a consumer organization or a trade union, whether
national or European, requires you to analyse the implications of the advent of the
large market for your members or the interest you represent, this work will tell you all you need to know about the role, function and objectives of national and European
standardization and introduce you to all those involved.
Last but not least, anyone having a professional or purely scientific interest in the
construction of Europe will find replies to the many queries surrounding standardiza­
tion today.
I am convinced that this book will provide a better understanding of the importance of
standardization in business life and demonstrate the benefits that European standardi­
zation can bring. It therefore makes a valuable contribution to the day-by-day con­
struction of the frontier-free area towards which the Community is working.
European standardization will increasingly have to take over from national standardi­
zation and play its part in the creation of the internal market by removing technical
barriers to trade, helping to develop a 'think European' attitude and promoting
European cohesion in technological development.
Finally, as the authors so rightly say, the ultimate aim is, through better organization of
the European market, to allow Europe to play a fuller role in the development of
world trade not by sheltering behind its frontiers but by maintaining an outward
looking, responsible and dynamic attitude towards the rest of the world.
Director-General for the
Internal Market and Industrial Affairs Contents
Foreword 5
Introduction 9
1. Standardization, the best way of organizing economic relations 11
1.1. Definition 1
1.1.1. A written document approved by a recognized body2
1.1.2. A document available to the public
1.1.3. At drawn up by a method requiring the approval of all interests
concerned and to the benefit of all
1.1.4. A document for repeated or continuous application3
1.1.5. A non-mandatory document
1.2. The content of standards4
1.2.1. The different types of standards 1
1.2.2. The major sectors of standardization5
1.3. Standardization objectives and uses
1.3.1. Standardization objectives
1.3.2. The main uses of standards6
1.3.3. Standards and certification7
1.4. Standards and technical barriers to trade 21
1.4.1. Technical specifications
1.4.2. Certification2
1.4.3. The removal of technical barriers to trade
2. Standardizing methods in Europe5
2.1. Nationals 2
2.1.1. Similarities and differences in standardizing structures 2
2.1.2. The specific case of the electrotechnical field7
2.2. The European structure
2.2.1. CEN/Cenelec
2.2.2. The working of European standardization 28
2.2.3. The use of European standards 3 Conversion into national standards for use in trade 3 European certification systems2 The Community directives3 Public procurement4
2.2.4. The European partners in European standardization5 General ideas The ASB Other forms of cooperation6 2.3. Liaison between the Community and CEN/Cenelec 36
2.3.1. General cooperation guidelines7
2.3.2. Directive 83/189/EEC 38
2.3.3. Icone9
2.3.4. Standardization mandates
2.4. Relations with EFTA 40
3. Standardization in support of European policies3
3.1. Two essential objectives for European standardization 4
3.1.1. The creation of the internal market ,
3.1.2. European cohesion in technological development
3.2. Some particularly significant examples5
3.2.1. For the establishment of the European internal market The removal of technical barriers to trade The creation of European reflexes6
3.2.2. Support for technological development and industrial cohesion in Europe:
information technology 49
Conclusion 5
1. Council Directive of 28 March 1983 laying down a procedure for the provision of information
in the field of technical standards and regulations 5
2. Standards institutions 65
3. Council Resolution of 7 May 1985 on a new approach to technical harmonization and
4. Functional standards 7
5. Members of EWOS9