Standardisation is the voluntary process of developing technical specifications based on consensus among all interested parties (industry including Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), consumers, trade unions, environmental NGOs, public authorities, etc). It is carried out by independent standards bodies, acting at national, European and international level. While the use of standards remains voluntary, the European Union has, since the mid-1980s, made an increasing use of standards in support of its policies and legislation.
In Europe, the most relevant organisation on standardization is the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). CEN brings together the National Standardization Bodies of 33 European countries. CEN, together with CENELEC and ETSI, has been officially recognized by the EU and by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as responsible for developing and defining voluntary standards at European level.
It supports standardization activities in relation to a wide range of fields and sectors including: air and space, chemicals, construction, consumer products, defence and security, energy, the environment, food and feed, health and safety, healthcare, ICT, machinery, materials, pressure equipment, services, smart living, transport and packaging. CEN provides a platform for the development of European Standards and other technical documents in relation to various kinds of products, materials, services and processes.
- Check the Botswana Certification Bodies at BOBS as it is the CEN’s partner in Botswana.