Understanding EN standards, or harmonised standards, is an integral part of ensuring compliance when selling products in the European Union. In this article, Ferry Vermeulen of INSTRKTIV explains what an EN standard is, and what you must know to make sure that your products are fully compliant.
1. What is an EN standard?
EN standards are standards that have been developed by a standardisation institute, mandated by the European Commission and are in order to comply with one or more mandatory essential requirements from a specific European directive.
Products that meet the requirements of harmonised standards [applicable in all EU member states] benefit from a presumption of conformity with the corresponding essential requirements.
Generally speaking, harmonised standards contain the following content:
Scope – Describes the field of application of the standard.
Normative reference – Lists the standards that have been used and which are essential for the correct application of the standard.
Terms and definitions – Describes used terms and definitions.
Requirements – Gives detailed requirements on how to meet the more general product requirements from the related directive.
Warnings, markings, and instructions – Describes how to properly instruct users about product risks and inform them about important product characteristics?
Test methods – Describes how to test if a product meets the requirements and how to document this for the technical file.
2. Where can I find EN standards online?
Whereas directives are mandatory and can be freely accessed via the website of the European Commission, standards are voluntary and need to be purchased.