Guide on chemicals in products standards 

Project aiming to develop a new CEN Guide on Chemicals - completed in July 2017

Logo of the Chemical Guide project


Existing guides and tools available to Technical Committees (TCs) in CEN are often considered too general and a number of TCs are in definite need of a more hands-on approach and more detailed guidance on specific issues. One of the most relevant issues identified was how to address hazardous chemicals in standards.
TCs are either not aware of the importance of considering hazardous chemicals or often lack the expertise on how to draft specific provisions in standards. Such provisions are however necessary to ensure that product standards in the market comply with the legislation on chemicals and contribute to minimising the health and environmental impacts of chemicals in products.  


The purpose of this project was to develop a new CEN Guide providing support to Technical Committees on how to develop requirements in product standards that can contribute to minimising the use of hazardous chemicals in products, and thereby reducing health and environmental risks arising from exposure to chemicals.


This project was initiated by the European Commission (DG GROW) in collaboration with CEN. The project is led by a project team composed of Austrian Standards (ASI), Danish Standards (DS), the Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification (AENOR) and the European Environmental Citizens’ Organisation for Standardisation (ECOS).

The project includes three key activities:

  1. The setting up and running of a multi stakeholder panel of experts responsible for advising the project team;
  2. The development of a Guide including practical recommendations for standardizers on how to include requirements related to chemicals in product standards;
  3. The development of a strategy for the promotion and implementation of the Guide. 


The final deliverables are:

  •  CEN Guide 16 for addressing chemicals in standards for consumer-relevant products and a document with background information to the Guide (published in July 2017) and
  •  a strategy for the implementation of the Guide, which was approved end of 2017 and its implementation is ongoing.

For further information contact:  Ms Andrea NAM