As soon as work is started at European level, there is an agreement between the CEN 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'.


2.1 Standstill under the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations - Part 2

Such standstill 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 harmonization and, in particular, not to publish a new or revised national standard that is not identical to an existing EN.

Standstill 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 Decision is taken (weighted vote) to release standstill for the work item. Following the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations – Part 2 (clause 5.2.4), derogations and specific 'parallel' procedures are permitted in cases where a CEN Member encounters a safety of health problem requiring urgent action.

2.2  Standstill under Regulation 1025/2012

Such standstill applies to ALL MANDATED standard projects.

Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012 gives the European Commission the possibility to issue standardization requests to the European standardization organizations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI).

Article 3, Clause 6 of the Regulation contains the principle of a standstill provision for national standardization bodies. During the preparation of a European standard following a standardization request from the Commission, or after its approval, standardization bodies shall not take any action that could prejudice the intended harmonization and, in particular, shall not publish a new or revised national standard in the field in question that is not identical to an existing European Standard.

In this case, standstill applies to both ENs and CEN/TSs.

This 1025/2012 standstill, as given in Article 3,  Clause 6 of the Regulation, 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. Such requests are to be notified to the European Commission.

2.3  Non-infringement of standstill

Standstill is not infringed by:

  1. the issue by a CEN Member of a draft for public Enquiry intended and designated as a contribution to ISO/IEC or CEN/CENELEC standardization;
  2. the publication by a CEN Member, within three months of the start of standstill, of a national standard that the member has already approved;
  3. the publication by a CEN 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.

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 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:

  1. change an existing national standard (e.g. to reflect the state of the art);
  2. publish a new national standard (e.g. urgent need);
  3. adopt a reference document with or without changes as a national standard, noting that when a reference document is a published ISO or IEC standard and is adopted without change, paragraph 3 of Clause 2.3 applies;
  4. take any other action nationally that might prejudice the intended harmonization; recognizing 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 Member who makes an application for non-mandated work, to amend an existing national standard.


Prior to issuing a request for derogation from standstill, the CEN 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 '1025/2012 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.

All derogation requests should be addressed to the TC Secretary, if any, with a copy to CCMC.

When there is no responsible TC, and instead the BT is responsible, the same procedure applies.

The TC Secretary evaluates if the request is really a case subject to derogation from standstill (see 2.3). If it is, and when all the relevant documentation is available, the TC Secretary submits the derogation request to the TC for decision.

In the framework of resolution BT 76/1995 (revised), this decision has been delegated from the BT to the TC.

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 2.2.

When receiving a derogation request, the TC shall deliver a decision no later than 5 months from the date of receipt of the CEN Member's request. Therefore, it is advisable to take a decision by correspondence.

If no reaction is received within 5 months, the derogation is automatically agreed upon.



To amend an existing national standard
(IR-Part 2: 5.2.3 a)

To have a new
national standard
(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.


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