To put it simply, standards document the state of the art and contain generally accepted specifications for products, procedures 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
- dismantle trade barriers - at a national, European and international level
- facilitate the comparability of products and services
- ensure rational planning and production processes
- reduce routine work, and
- thereby facilitate access to markets
Austrian standards are called ÖNORMs. They are issued by the Austrian Standards International. Austrian Standards International organises and co-ordinates the elaboration of standards by the stakeholders concerned and interested from the economy, administration, science and consumer protection organisations that delegate representatives to the committees. Besides it coordinates the participation of Austrian experts in European and worldwide standardisation projects at CEN and ISO respectively.
More than 90% of standards currently effective in Austria originate at the European or international level. European Standards (called "ÖNORM EN” in Austria) are identical in all EU and EFTA countries including Macedonia and Turkey 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 standardisation bodies are:
- European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
- European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC)
- European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)
In many cases, European Standards are an instrument 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 recognised 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 standardisation bodies are:
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Although European (and International) Standards account for more than 90% 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 – can also be marketed in the entire European Economic Area (EEA).
European standards (EN) developed under a mandate of the European Commission and EFTA help to comply fully with the EU directives. For more information on the respective standards applied – whether European standards or national standards in the destination country – contact Austrian Standards.
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 Customer Service:
Austrian Standards International
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.
At Austrian Standards, you can obtain all the standards you need – against a charge. Upon request, the Austrian Standards team also performs research on standards applying in the destination country and obtains the original documents for you.
Where to get standards
Norms, standards and other regulations from Austria and around the world can be obtained directly from Austrian Standards. You can search for the relevant standards online in the Austrian Standards Webshop for free and can order 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. In the navigation menu at the left hand side you can refine the search results by validity, date of publication, topic, publisher and ICS number.
More than 200,000 documents are available and can be purchased against a charge. These documents include:
- all ÖNORMs including all European standards (EN) in German and English
- ONR (other national normative documents)
- all International Standards (ISO, IEC), as well as
- a great number of foreign standards (e.g. DIN standards – also in German and English), SNV (Switzerland), BSI (United Kingdom) etc.
- and standards issued by various standard developers from all over the world like ASTM, IEEE, etc.
On request Austrian Standards will provide you with national standards from around the world.
More information can be found on https://www.austrian-standards.at/en or please contact:
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 offers several possibilities for obtaining a certificate.
For more details please contact:
Austrian Standards Certification
Mr. Peter Jonas, Director Certification