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What are harmonised standards? PDF Print E-mail

A harmonized standard is an European standard (EN), prepared under the mandate of the European Commission or the EFTA Secretariat with the purpose of supporting the essential requirements of a directive. The mandate does not necessarily cover the complete standard, and it is possible to include other, additional provisions in the text of the standard, the application of which is not mandatory. When this is the case, distinction should be made between the regulated area of the standard, which "supports" the requirements of the directive, and the voluntary area of the standard. This relation is explained in "Annex Z" to every mandated standard.

In principle, the procedure of preparing and adopting a harmonized standard is the same as the procedure of adopting European Standards, the difference being in that the role of "CEN Consultant" is included during public enquiry, who reviews the draft standard from the point of view of meeting the provisions given in the wording of the mandate, and from the point of view of meeting the essential requirements of the corresponding European directives. It often occurs that a mandated standard supports more than one European directive (e.g. the draft standard on garage doors, which creates a presumption of conformity with the requirements of the directive on machines and the directive on construction products as well as the directive on EMC). If this is the case, several CEN Consultants will review the standard, each giving their report for the relevant field. Prior to formal casting of votes on the mandated standard, the CEN Consultant will be engaged again to confirm, within four weeks, the final text of the standard for voting. If the Consultant refuses to confirm the text, further coordination will be necessary between the Consultant, the chairman and the technical secretary of the CEN TC who has prepared the draft.

When, in terms of the CEN/CENELEC rules, the result of formal voting is positive, the CEN Administrative Center will send to its members the text of the standard to be transposed into their national standards systems. At the same time, the European Commission and the EFTA Secretariat will be notified. At this point, the mandated standard is still a "candidate" for a harmonized standard. It is only after all Member States have communicated, through the intermediary of the CEN Administrative Center, to the European Commission and the EFTA Secretariat the title of the mandated standard translated into their national languages (e.g. the Spanish AENOR communicates the Spanish translation of the title, the Greek ELOT the Greek translation, etc.), that an announcement of the mandated standard is published in the Official Journal of the European Communities together with the indication of the directive in whose support the standard has been prepared. Through this act, a mandated European standard becomes a "Harmonized Standard". From now on, this standard may – and with some directives must – be applied in order to prove conformity with the requirements of the Directive.

 
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