Date of withdrawal

This page describes the different cases where the dow (date of withdrawal) is applied.


When a European Standard (EN) is approved, implementation is compulsory for all CEN Members from EEA countries.
In case of non-EEA countries, the following applies:

  • when an EN is approved in accordance with the rule: "votes from all members are counted first, and the proposal shall be adopted if 71 % or more of the weighted votes cast (abstentions not counted) are in favour", CEN Members from non-EEA countries are bound to implement the EN;
  • when an EN has not been approved in accordance with this rule, but has been approved in accordance with the rule: "second counting: the votes of the members from EEA countries are counted separately and the proposal shall be adopted if 71 % or more of the weighted votes cast by these countries (abstention not counted) are in favour", only those CEN Members from non-EEA countries that have voted affirmatively are bound to implement the EN.

European Standards (EN) shall be implemented by the CEN Members within a period expressed in months from the date of availability (dav) of the EN. This is normally three months for the date of announcement (doa), six months for the date of publication (dop) and six months for the date of withdrawal (dow).

The date of withdrawal (dow) is by definition the latest date by which any national standard conflicting with an EN has to be withdrawn. It is a date common to all CEN Members.

As stated in the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations – Part 2, the dates of implementation are fixed by the Technical Board (BT). In practical terms, the implementation dates are proposed on the Dispatch Notice for Enquiry and Formal Vote and on the E-balloting platform on Livelink. The CEN Members are invited to vote on the proposed implementation dates at the same time as they vote on the draft EN.
Unless, in exceptional cases (see below) the responsible CEN/TC proposes another date, the dow proposed will be dav + 6 months.

The dow should be stated in the foreword of every published text issued by the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre (CCMC). Moreover, the dow concerns the EN as a whole. It is not possible to exempt any clause, sub-clause or other element of the EN from the application of the dow.

The BT recognized there is sometimes a need for a pre-existing conflicting national standard to be declared "obsolescent" rather than withdrawn. The BT confirmed that the action of declaring a national standard obsolescent is equivalent to withdrawal under the condition that the "obsolescent conflicting national standard" clearly indicates that it is not to be used for new designs.

In case of implementation of a Technical Specification (CEN/TS), existing conflicting national standards may be kept in force (in parallel to the CEN/TS).


2.1 General

In exceptional cases and upon a justified request, a dow later than dav + 6 months may be fixed. A dow later than three years from the dav should not be allowed. Moreover, the extension of the dow does not modify the other dates of implementation, i.e. doa and dop.

2.2 Package of inter-related European Standards

In some cases, a number of European Standards (ENs) are inter-related. Such a group is called a package, because it is necessary to wait until the last EN in the group is available before any practical use of the ENs can be made and thus before there is any obligation to withdraw conflicting national standards.

This also implies that all the standards of the package need a common dow. As a result, an exceptional extension of the dow beyond the usual six months may be decided upon by the Technical Committee (TC) or by the BT. That extension should not go beyond three years later than the availability date of the first published (or available) standard of the package.

A package of ENs is constituted by the TC, on a case-by-case basis. It can consist of separate standards or separate parts of the same standard, but should not contain more standards or parts than are absolutely necessary. Those standards may all belong to the work programme of the same TC or may include work items belonging to another TC.

Once the composition of the package has been defined, the TC establishes a plan for the completion of each individual standard included in the package following the 'three-year timeframe for the development of ENs'. When all work items of the package belong to one Technical Committee, it takes a Decision to confirm the package and the corresponding dow. In all other cases, the final decision is taken by BT.
NOTE: The dow mentioned in the Decision must be a date and not a formula

2.3 Transitional period defined in a related directive

Upon the request of a CEN Member, the BT may decide to make the dow coincide with the date of the end of the transitional period defined in a related directive. This should be mentioned in the foreword of the EN.

In this case, the publication of the EN follows the normal CEN practice. National implementations, however, should include a note drawing the attention to national legislation implementing the directive and the interim coexistence of both regimes.

2.4 European Standards cited in the Official Journal of the European Union

European Standards can be listed in the 'Official Journal of the European Union' (OJEU) under one or more New Approach directives. In practice, this means that a product manufactured according to a European Standard, the reference of which is cited in the OJEU under a New Approach directive, is presumed to comply with the essential requirements of that directive (this is called 'presumption of conformity').

When a European Standard that is cited in the OJEU is replaced by a new version (also to be cited in the OJEU under the same directive), the European Commission (EC) may use the dow of that new version as the 'Date of cessation of presumption of conformity of the superseded standard' (DOCOPOCOS). The EC can also use as DOCOPOCOS, the transition period which was agreed in the relevant sector. This date marks the end of the period during which both the old and the new version of the standard can be used to claim 'presumption of conformity' to the essential requirements of the relevant directive. After that date, 'presumption of conformity' can no longer be claimed for a product manufactured according to the old version of the standard.

It should be noted that extending the dow does not lead to an automatic extension of the 'Date of cessation of presumption of conformity of the superseded standard', for standards that have already been sent to the EC for citation in the OJEU. When it is deemed necessary to extend the 'Date of cessation of presumption of conformity of the superseded standard' for such standards, CCMC should be contacted for guidance.

2.5 Conversion and adaptation of industry to ENs

Exceptionally, it is sometimes necessary to allow more than six months for the withdrawal of national standards in order to allow industry to make an ordered conversion to the new EN (or for other reasons).

In this case, the BT can decide to extend the dow, on a case by case basis, upon adequate justification.


3.1 Before Formal Vote stage

As a general rule, any request for an extended dow, introduced before the submission of the draft to CCMC for Formal Vote, should be considered by the responsible TC. If the TC is of the opinion that the request is justified (see Clause 2), it should take a Decision to confirm the proposed dow.

This proposed dow, as well as the other proposed implementation dates, appears on E-balloting, where the CEN Members are invited to vote on the proposed dates at the same time they vote on the draft EN. They can also submit comments using the CEN Commenting Form.
NOTE: Exceptionally, extension requests can be considered and decided upon at BT level instead.

3.2 After submission to Formal Vote

Requests for an extended dow can be proposed by a CEN Member, accompanied preferably by the opinion of the TC, or by the TC itself, expressed in the form of a TC Decision that should be sent to CCMC. The BT has delegated the authority to decide to CCMC.


The dow should not be delayed by problems experienced by individual CEN Members in achieving recognition by their public authorities of the nationally implemented EN, where conflicting national standards are referred to in national regulations. Such cases should be noted by the BT.


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