2. Policy guidance
3. Handling a derogation from standstill
4. Technical Committee decision on a derogation from standstill
5. Supporting tools
As soon as work is started at European level, there is an agreement between the CEN National Members not to develop or publish a new or revised national standard on the same subject that could endanger the progress of the work at European level. This is called 'standstill'.
For an activity started within the frame of a mandate from EC or EFTA, the EU member states shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that their standard institutions do not develop or introduce standards in the field in question. In this case, standstill is a legal obligation.
In Directive 98/34/EC, it is required that the member states police the standstill.
2. Policy Guidance
There are provisions relating to standstill in the area of standardization and technical harmonisation:
- in the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations – Part 2; and
- in Directive 98/34/EC, laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations, and the EFTA Council decision of 24 October 1984.
2.1 Standstill under the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations - Part 2
=> applies to ALL standard projects and standards of CEN
CEN/CENELEC standstill is an obligation accepted by the CEN members not to take any action, neither during the preparation of a European Standard (EN) nor after its approval, that could prejudice the intended harmonisation and, in particular, not to publish a new or revised national standard that is not identical to an existing EN.
NOTE It does not apply to Technical Specifications (CEN/TS) unless otherwise determined by the Technical Board (BT).
CEN/CENELEC standstill applies to an individual standard project, i.e. to a work item accepted by the BT with a clearly defined scope. It does not apply to areas or programmes of work (see Clause 5 of the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations – Part 2).
Standstill continues to remain in force until cancellation of the EN, unless a BT Decison is taken (weighted vote) to release standstill for the work item. Following the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations – Part 2, derogations and specific 'parallel' procedures are permitted in cases where a CEN National Member encounters a safety of health problem requiring urgent action (see the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations – Part 2, Clause 5.2.4).
2.2 Standstill under Directive 98/34/EC
=> applies to ALL MANDATED standard projects
Directive 98/34/EC gives the Commission the possibility to issue standardization mandates to the European standardization organisations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI).
Article 7, Clause 1 of the directive contains the principle of a standstill provision for member states and thus for national standards institutions. During the preparation of a European standard following a Commission mandate, or after its approval, Member states shall ensure that their standardization bodies do not take any action that could prejudice the intended harmonisation and, in particular, that they do not publish a new or revised national standard in the field in question that is not identical to an existing European standard.
NOTE 1 In this case, standstill applies to both ENs and CEN/TSs.
This 98/34 standstill, as given in Article 7 – Clause 2 of the directive, does not apply to work undertaken by the National Standardization Bodies (NSB) at the request of national public authorities to draw up technical specifications or a standard for specific products for the purpose of enacting a technical regulation for such products.
NOTE 2 Such requests are to be notified to the European Commission.
2.3 Non-infringement of standstill
Standstill is not infringed by:
- the issue by a CEN National Member of a draft for public Enquiry intended and designated as a contribution to ISO/IEC or CEN/CENELEC standardization;
- the publication by a CEN National Member, within three months of the start of standstill, of a national standard that the member has already approved;
- the publication by a CEN National Member, after notifying BT, of a national standard adopting without change a published ISO or IEC standard where there is no EN already in existence.
NOTE To simplify the administrative handling, this can be done by addressing a letter to all BT members, notifying this publication, with copy to CCMC (BT Secretariat). Any member having an objection can then address the initiator and CCMC for further treatment.
In cases 2 and 3, the member is committed to implement the EN when published.
2.4 Derogation from standstill
Standstill is one of the major added values and cornerstones of the work within CEN; derogation from standstill is therefore granted only in exceptional cases.
Only CEN National Members may submit formal requests to the BT seeking derogation from standstill and only if, on a subject where standstill is in force and except as in paragraph 2 and 3 of Clause 2.3, the member wishes to:
- change an existing national standard (e.g. to reflect the state of the art);
- publish a new national standard (e.g. urgent need);
- adopt a reference document with or without changes as a national standard;
NOTE 1 When a reference document is a published ISO or IEC standard and is adopted without change, paragraph 3 of Clause 2.3 applies.
- take any other action nationally that might prejudice the intended harmonisation.
NOTE 2 Recognising the duty of care borne by NSBs to maintain the integrity of the existing body of national standards during the periods in which ENS are in preparation, the BT will normally grant derogation from standstill to a CEN National Member who makes an application for non-mandated work, to amend an existing national standard.
3. Handling of a derogation from standstill
3.1 Prior to issuing a request for derogation from standstill, the CEN National Member checks if its derogation request includes:
- the justification of the request and any supporting documentation;
- the work item number(s) or reference(s) of the draft or published EN(s) that are affected, their progress status and the relationship with '98/34 standstill';
- the references of the national draft standards that are concerned (i.e. number, title, scope, date) and the intended changes;
- its commitment to withdraw the standard and to replace it by the corresponding EN, when available, as well as the declaration that the national foreword will contain a reference to the prEN.
3.2 All derogation requests should be addressed to the TC Secretary, if any, with a copy to CCMC.
NOTE When there is no responsible TC, and instead the BT is responsible, the same procedure applies.
3.3 The TC Secretary evaluates if the request is really a case subject to derogation from standstill (see Clause 2.3). If it is, and when all the relevant documentation is available (see Clause 3.1), the TC Secretary submits the derogation request to the TC for decision.
NOTE In the framework of resolution BT 76/1995 (revised), this decision has been delegated from the BT to the TC.
3.4 When deciding on the request, the TC should keep in mind that standstill is one of the major added values of the work within CEN and that a derogation from standstill should only be granted in exceptional cases. Moreover, special attention shall be paid to mandated work as explained in
So, even if, theoretically, the TC can decide on a derogation from CEN standstill, it is not empowered to do so for standstill created under the 98/34/EC Directive application (generally for all mandated work). The consequence is that, via CCMC, at least a formal notification has to be made to the Commission.
The decision is taken by weighted vote and a decison should be drafted in conformity with the annexed format (see Clause 5) and sent to CCMC (email@example.com).
3.5 When receiving a derogation request, the TC shall deliver a decision no later than
5 months from the date of receipt of the CEN National Member's request. Therefore, it is advisable to take a decision by correspondence.
NOTE If no reaction is received within 5 months, the derogation is automatically agreed upon.
4. Technical Committee decision on a derogation from standstill
||To amend an existing national standard
(IR-Part 2: 5.2.3 a)
|To have a new |
(IR-Part 2: 5.2.3 b)
|Use pure national work
(IR-Part 2: Clause 5.2.3 a)
|Normally granted (TC speed up work)
||Granted if need is adequately explained|
|Adopt prEN as national standard
(IR-Part 2: Clause 5.2.3 c)
| Normally granted |
Adopt reference document
with or without changes as national standard
(IR-Part 2: Clause 5.2.3 d)
| Normally granted for published ISO and IEC standards) |
NOTE The TC shall justify a negative decision.
5. Supporting tools