Standards New Zealand’s application to become a Companion Standards Body (CSB) with the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has been approved by the CEN General Assembly, effective 1 July.
CEN is one of the three officially recognised European standardisation organizations. CEN brings together the national standards agencies of 34 countries. Members are the national standardisation bodies (NSBs) of the 28 European Union countries, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey, plus three countries of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland). There is one member per country. The European standardisation system is unique in the world. After the publication of a European Standard, each NSB is obliged to withdraw any national standard which conflicts with the new European Standard. Hence, one European Standard becomes the national standard in all the 34 member countries of CEN.
CSB status is a cooperation framework with CEN offered to NSBs that are not eligible to become a CEN member or affiliate. It enables technical alignment with the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) in a flexible manner, allows participation in CEN standardisation work, and contributes to facilitating trade between New Zealand and Europe. It offers the possibility to work closely with CEN, achieve technical harmonisation with Europe, and contribute to the removal of technical barriers to trade. CEN CSBs enjoy unlimited access to European Standards (ENs) for adoption, they can influence the development of ENs by participating in the work of CEN technical bodies and get first-hand information on the latest developments in CEN. The concept of the CSB agreement is to establish a partnership model that will strengthen the global trading position of New Zealand and bring it closer than ever to the European market.
Benefits of becoming a CSB include:
- gaining direct access to the CEN standards repository
- the ability to adopt ENs as national standards without restriction
- the ability to send observers to an unlimited number of CEN technical bodies (upon technical committee approval);
- participation in CEN General Assembly meetings as observers.