Standards are ...
To put it simply, standards document the state of the art and contain generally accepted specifications for products and services.
They define, for example
- Product requirements
to ensure fitness for use, compatibility, safety, health and environmental protection
- Procedures and processes
e.g. on the expert performance of tasks or the awarding of contracts
- Test and measurement methods
for proving compliance with limit values or requirements
- Terms and definitions
to facilitate communication with businesspartners, customers, testing institutes and authorities on the basis of harmonized terminology
As a result, standards
- facilitate the comparability of products and services
- ensure rational planning and production processes
- reduce routine work, and
- dismantle barriers to trade – at a national, European and international level – and
- thereby facilitate access to markets.
Standards for Austrian products
Austrian standards are called ÖNORMs. They are issued by the Austrian Standards Institute. The Austrian Standards Institute organizes and co-ordinates the elaboration of standards by the stakeholders concerned and interested from the economy, administration, science and consumer protection organizations that delegate representatives to the committees. The legal framework is provided by the Federal Act on Standardization (Normengesetz) adopted in 1971.
The majority of standards currently effective in Austria – more than 20,000 normative documents – originate at the European level. European Standards (called "ÖNORM EN” in Austria) are identical in all EU and EFTA countries and, as a result, eliminate barriers to trade within the European Economic Area (EEA). They are jointly prepared in a consensus of the experts delegated by national committees.
The European standardization bodies are:
- European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
- European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC)
- European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)
In many cases, European Standards are the basis for meeting the essential requirements of European legislation (EU directives) in practice and, thereby, are prerequisite for the permission to place products on the European market.
A list of the relevant directives and the related standards can be found on the New Approach pages.
Apart from European standards, there are standards recognized world-wide: these are called International Standards (ISO). Such International Standards taken over in Austria are identified as “ÖNORM ISO” standards. Many International Standards are also adopted as European Standards and, hence, incorporated into the national body of standards ("ÖNORM EN ISO” in Austria).
The international standardization bodies are:
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Although European (and International) Standards account for almost 80% of the Austrian body of standards, there are also purely national standards. National ÖNORMs have been and are primarily developed in areas in which there has not been any need for supranational standards so far.
Importing to EU countries
The free movement of goods is one of the fundamental freedoms of the European Internal Market. This means that products that may already be placed on the market in Austria – because they meet the essential requirements of the applicable EU directives and the related standards – can also be marketed in other EU countries.
If there should be no European Standards for these products or if compliance with national standards should be required in the destination country, please contact Austrian Standards plus Publishing (AS+P). AS+P is a unit of Austrian Standards plus GmbH, a business division of the Austrian Standards Institute.
Importing to countries outside the EU
National (Austrian) and European Standards define a high safety and quality level for Austrian products. Nevertheless, it may be necessary to adjust products to the legal provisions and also normative specifications of the destination country so that they can be placed on the market.
If you need information on the standards and legal regulations applicable in the importing country, please contact Austrian Standards plus Publishing:
Access to standards
Information on the standards met by a product you want to import from Austria is usually provided by the manufacturer. If you wish to learn more about the specifications contained in these standards, you can contact Austrian Standards plus Publishing (AS+P).
At Austrian Standards plus Publishing, you can obtain all the standards you need – against a charge. Upon request, the AS+P team also performs research on standards applying in the destination country and obtains the original documents for you.
Where to get standards
You can search for standards free of charge in the online Web shop of the Austrian Standards plus GmbH around the clock. You only have to enter a search term, a document number, the title of a document in full or in part in the search field.
More than 200,000 documents are available and can be purchased against a charge. These documents include:
- all ÖNORMs and ON Rules (ONR)
- all European standards (EN) in German and English
- all International Standards (ISO, IEC), as well as
- a great number of foreign standards (e.g. German DIN standards – also in German and English).
More information can be found on the AS+P pages, or please contact:
Conformity with standards – certification
Standards define quality requirements for products and services, regulate procedures and processes, and lay down test methods. Manufacturers and service providers can credibly demonstrate that their products and services meet all the requirements defined in a standard by means of certification.
Austrian Standards plus Certification (AS+C) offers several possibilities for obtaining a certificate evidencing that products are in conformity with standards, such as the “Ö NORM ... geprüft ” system. Other conformity marks available are: ON Certified Product, ON Certified Service, ON Certified Person, Keymark, CENCER.
Moreover, AS+C is a notified body authorized to issue EU conformity certificates and certificates on factory production control that are a prerequisite for the CE marking of construction products.