CEN policy for the transposition of International Standards into European Standards

This page lays down the CEN policy for the transposition of international standards (ISO) into European Standards (EN).


" Noting

  • the CEN policy to deal only with precise and limited subjects for which (European) standardization is clearly and urgently needed;
  • that the need for European work is either based on clearly expressed market needs (through the CEN members, the Associates and Affiliates, the Associated Bodies, the CEN technical bodies, the reporting secretariats, the European professional and trade organisations) in view of eliminating barriers to trade; or
  • that the subjects are needed to support European legislation in particular in the frame of New Approach Directives where the "harmonised" standards can give presumption of conformity with the "essential requirements" of a Directive (and thus has to be in line with these essential requirements); or
  • that the subjects are needed to support European Public Procurement Directives imposing reference to national standards transposing ENs, when they exist and when they include provisions for establishing conformity of the products to the standard;
  • also that the Public Procurement Directives foresee the possibility to refer to other documents, amongst others and where ENs do not exist, to national standards implementing international standards;
  • that the CEN policy is to use international work (ISO) whenever possible;
  • that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) gives preference to ISO standards;
  • that several means of using ISO standards can be used such as: 

 o transposing the ISO standard
  - without change
  - with common modifications
 o quoting part of the ISO standard
 o normative or informative, dated or undated, reference to the ISO standard

  • that the need and justification for transposition of ISO standards can vary from sector to sector;

the Technical Board (BT) decides that the following criteria will apply for taking a decision on the opportunity to transpose an International ISO standard into an EN:

  • need for an EN to support a New Approach Directive and likelihood that the ISO standard is in line with the Essential Requirements and will be accepted as such;
  • need and feasibility for an EN for direct reference in public procurement (conditions being that they (the international standards) include provisions for establishing conformity or that technical means exist for establishing the conformity of the products to the standard);
  • need for an EN to support European policies other than in New Approach or Public Procurement Directives (and existence of an international standard covering the need);
  • need for harmonised European answers to requirements of the European or international market where there is a risk of undue national deviations through direct national transposition of the ISO standard;
  • (need for a quick) completion of the standard(s) (comprehensive document, package (see resolution BT 20/1993 revised), package involving other transposed ISO standards, availability of language versions...);
  • need to review an EN (five years review);
  • (expressed request or need of the) market for the sector in question (global or regional).

The BT reconfirms that requests for transposition of an international standard into an EN shall be agreed upon by the BT. "

NOTE: Through its resolution BT 76/1995 Revised, the CEN BT has delegated the power to decide on the transposition of an international standard into an EN to the responsible CEN Technical Committees.


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