Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1) What are the sectors covered by CEN standards?

Accessibility, Air and Space, Bio-based products, Chemical, Construction, Consumer products, Energy and utilities, Environment, Food, Health and Safety, Healthcare, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), ICT, Innovation, Machinery safety, Materials, Measurement, Nanotechnologies, Pressure equipment, Security and defence, Services, Transport and packaging, etc
 

2) What are the CEN Products?

3) Are European Standards free of charge?

No, CEN standards are not free of charge.

They are available from CEN's National Members and Affiliates for a reasonable fee.

Indeed, 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 CEN Workshop Agreements (especially in the ICT domain) 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.

4) Where can I purchase European Standards and draft standards?

CEN does not sell or distribute Standards or any other deliverable.

All European Standards (ENs) and drafts (prENs), as well as any other approved document (Technical Specifications (TSs), Technical Reports (TRs) and CEN Workshop Agreements (CWAs), are directly available for purchase from:

 

5) Where can I find the CEN Catalogue of published standards and work programme?

The full catalogue of CEN standards is available online through the search standards function. It is also available:

The CEN-CENELEC work programme 2017 gives an overview of the most significant European standardization activities that will be supported by CEN and CENELEC during 2016.

6) Is there copyright on European Standards?

The distribution of European Standards is the responsibility of the CEN National Standards Bodies (NSBs). Consequently, CEN has entrusted these NSBs 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 NSB where the standard was purchased.

More information on CEN IPR policy.

7) Are CEN standards mandatory?

The European Standards published by CEN are developed by experts, established by consensus and adopted by the Members of CEN. It is important to note that the use of standards is voluntary, and so there is no legal obligation to apply them.

Standards can however be used to support EU legislation and policies.
 

 

8) What is a Harmonized Standard?

A harmonized standard "is a European standard elaborated on the basis of a request from the European Commission to a recognised European Standards Organization (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 harmonization 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."
 
 
Please click on 'Subject (short title of directive)' to view the list of titles and references of harmonized standards under the directive.

9) 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.

CE Marking is not a CEN activity.

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 4.5.1 dedicated to CE Marking (see also Annex VII).

10) Is certification part of CEN activities?

No, CEN is not a certification body or authority.
For any further support on question regarding certification, please contact your National Standardization Body.
 
 

11) What is a Notified 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.

12) What is BOSS?

The CEN Business Operations Support System (BOSS) is the unique source of reference for all CEN System operations:

  • Corporate information: on the CEN mission, principles, business environment, membership, etc...;
  • Production Processes: standards making processes (core process);
  • Support Processes: services supporting the operations of the CEN System, its actors and customers;
  • Organization: organizational overview of the CEN System and description of its bodies and constituents;
  • Supporting Material: reference documents (e.g. Statutes, Internal Regulations, CA and BT decisions);
  • Guidance documents, forms, resolution formats & templates, useful hyperlinks;
  • Management Processes: processes used by management committees to direct and control CEN.

13) Who can answer my technical question?

Technical questions are the competence of the CEN Technical Committees.
 
NB: Technical Committees do not deal directly with questions from private experts.
 
Technical questions shall first be referred to the appropriate CEN National Members 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) Want to know more on CEN IPR Declarations?

CEN 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).