Technical standards are documented agreements that provide, for general and repeated use, rules, guidelines, instructions or characteristics of activities or their results that ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for purpose.
In today's society, technical standards are qualified recommendations, not mandatory regulations. Their use is voluntary but universally beneficial.
What are technical standards for?
They help to create common solutions.
We encounter products based on technical standards on a daily basis without perhaps realising it, and in business or commerce we can practically do without them.
Standards make our homes more comfortable, our appliances more reliable and our children's toys safer.
What is meant by a Czech technical standard?
Each original Czech technical standardwhich can only be created in areas where there are no European or international standards
Any European or international standard (designated e.g. EN, ETSI, ISO, IEC), which is adopted into the system of Czech standards is becoming the Czech norm
At the same time, obsolete or conflicting original Czech technical standards are being repealed - e.g. the adoption of EN 1888 Baby care products - Baby strollers - Safety requirements and test methods has abolished ČSN 94 3002 Baby strollers and baby carriers - Technical requirements, safety requirements and test methods. The adopted standard has therefore the new designation CSN EN 1988.
The production of original CSNs currently accounts for only a very small part (5%) of the annual production of new CSNs. The majority of the more than 1,500 new CSNs issued annually are adopted European and international standards, in the creation of which experts from the Czech Republic participated more or less through the Institute of National Standards. Adoption of European standards is mandatory and results from membership in European standardization organizations.
The process of creating each Czech technical standard can be described in the following steps.
Proposal for the creation of a standard
Anyone can submit a proposal for a Czech technical standard. Through the ÚNMZ, it can also propose the elaboration of a European or international standard.
Assessment of the proposal
In the Czech Republic, the proposal is being assessed by the relevant national Technical Standards Committee.
Drafting of the draft standard
Commenting on the draft standard
Successive drafts of the original CSNs as well as drafts of European and international standards are discussed in Technical Standardization Committees, in which all interest groups are represented, especially manufacturers (both large companies and representatives of medium and small enterprises), consumers, business organizations, schools, public administration, research, etc. The common goal is to reach a consensus on the usefulness of the proposed solution for all stakeholders, including the Czech Republic.
Vote on the draft standard, approval of the draft standard
European standards proposals are approved in European organisations by weighted voting, which basically reflects the economic importance of CEN and CENELEC member countries. The Czech Republic has 12 votes in this system, as do Belgium, Hungary, Portugal and Greece). If the result of the 71% vote is positive, the proposal is approved and the member countries have to implement the relevant European standard in their national standards within 6 months. In ISO and IEC, 75% affirmative opinions from voting members are needed for approval.
Adoption of a European or international standard, approval of the original CSN, publication
It is the duty of the ÚNMZ, as a full member of the European standardization commissions, to ensure the introduction of all European standards into the system of ČSN and the abolition of those national standards that are in conflict with European standards. This process is carried out in different ways, mainly depending on the nature of the issue and the range of potential stakeholders or users of the standard. In each case, the European standard is given the status of a Czech national standard, either
The preparer submits the discussed final draft of the CSN, both of the adopted European or international standard and the original standard, for approval by the ÚNMZ. The approval procedure includes checking that the task has been fulfilled, methodological checking, cancellation of obsolete and conflicting standards and necessary editorial changes.
The total time required to develop a European or international standard is on average three years.
Delivering on a challenging standards development programme with is technically based on the following Technical Standardisation Commissions (TNCs), which act as advisory bodies to the IOM. Technical standards are adopted into the system of CSN:
Who creates European and international standards?
Experts from member countries representing national standards organisations (in the Czech Republic it is the ÚNMZ) in technical committees (working bodies) of European and international standardisation organisations. They have to discuss the draft European and international standards at the national level, especially with the members of the national technical commissions (in the Czech Republic these are the so-called Technical Standardisation Commissions of the TNC) so that the result meets the national needs as much as possible.
The Czech Republic is a full member European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) a European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) since 1997, member of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) The Czech Republic has been the first country in Central and Eastern Europe to do so since 1993. Since then, it has been obliged to adopt all European standards into its national system through the Czech Standards Institute, but at the same time it has the right and obligation to actively participate in the development of European standards. Furthermore, UNMZ as a national standardisation organisation is a full member of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
The main objective of these organisations is to contribute to the elimination of technical barriers to trade through the development of international or European standards, which are voluntary
Basically, three ways are possible:
Through the task manager of the technical standardisation plan, i.e. the person named in the plan
The plan of technical standardization can be found in the Bulletin of the Office for Technical Standardization, Metrology and State Testing (ÚNMZ). The standardisation task preparer listed here will send them the necessary documents on the basis of the expressed interest and will also deal with any comments.
This method is suitable for those persons who are interested in the creation of selected standards (norms) or in participation in the creation of European or international standards (norms), created by a specific working body (technical commission -TC, subcommission - SC) of European and international standardization organizations.
Through membership of the relevant Technical Standards Committee (TNC)
The TNC discusses both drafts of European and international standards and original CSNs, drafts of European and international standards in the course of their development, including their subsequent adoption into CSNs.
This method of participation in standards development is suitable for those who are interested in a broader spectrum of standardisation work, defined by the scope of the relevant TNC, which is usually quite extensive.
Commenting on draft European standards in the public comment phase
This method is limited to one particular stage of the European standard-setting process (Public Enquiry).
The lists of draft European standards, created in the European standardization organizations CEN, CENELEC and ETSI and intended for public comment are published in a special section of the Bulletin of the Ministry of Industry and Trade - On public consultation of draft European standards. Anyone wishing to get acquainted with these proposals and, where appropriate, to submit comments may obtain the relevant proposal from the Information Centre of the Office of the Minister of Industry and Trade and send their comments to the Office of the Minister of Industry and Trade.
For the sake of completeness, it should be noted that it is also possible to become a direct preparer of a technical standardisation plan task in agreement with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and that the best way to influence the content of a future European or international standard is to be a member of a working group that produces the initial draft(s) of a European or international standard, which the technical committee then discusses with member countries. Delegation of experts to the relevant working group, based on nomination from the TNC, is handled by the IOM. (Not everyone who applies needs to be delegated.)
TNCs are expert advisory bodies to the Department of Technical Standardization (DTN). Their task is to comprehensively assess standardisation issues within the defined scope of their competence, to take expert opinions on them and to propose appropriate solutions.
Why is it good to work in Technical Standardization Committees?
Active participation in Technical Standardization Committees brings members:
No, just like everywhere else in the world.
The amendment to Act No.22/1997 Coll. (implemented by Act No.71/2000 Coll.) explicitly states that the Czech technical standard is not generally binding. It follows that the CSNs are not considered as legal regulations and there is no obligation to comply with them.
However, as elsewhere in the world, there are cases where the obligation to comply with the requirements specified in Czech technical standards arises from another legal act, such as:
Yes, as in all other member countries of the European standardisation organisations. This means that each European standard is adopted in 33 European countries, only the letter designation differs, depending on the country in which the standard is adopted.
In practice, this means that, for example, the European standard EN 1640 Dentistry - Medical devices for dentistry - Equipment is adopted in the Czech Republic as ČSN EN 1640, in the Federal Republic of Germany as DIN EN 1640, in France as NF EN 1640 or in Estonia as EVS EN 1640. The content is equivalent from Portugal to Finland, from Cyprus to Iceland.
Does the Czech Republic have to adopt all European (EN) and international standards (e.g. ISO, IEC) into its system of technical standards?
The Czech Republic has an obligation (as do all other members of the European Union, regardless of the size and maturity of their economies, take over, as a rule, within six months into their national system of CSNs all European standards.
This obligation is based on membership of the EU and the European Standardisation Organisations, according to EU Regulation 1025/2012 (available at: narizeni-eu-c-1025-2012-o-europe-standardisation-) and EU Directive 98/35/EC (For more information on this directive, see: kontaktni-misto-98-34-r112) take over, as a rule, within six months into their national system of CSNs all European standards.
The most common cases are:
On the basis of the examination or on the basis of knowledge and suggestions of users (including TNK members) it is proposed to cancel the original CSN without replacement. In such cases, the proposal to repeal the existing CSN is discussed with the public by way of a notice of intent in the Bulletin of the Ministry of the Environment. Objections to the repeal may be raised and discussed with the MNMA.
Where there is a requirement to maintain the validity of a standard despite its obvious formal and substantive obsolescence, such a standard must be revised. The financial costs of the revision should then be borne by the respective applicant (see Article 5, paragraph 7 of Act 22/1997 Coll., as amended).
A new European standard has been approved in European standardization organizations, which ÚNMZ as a member of these organizations must adopt into the national system. If there is an original national CSN for the same subject, this CSN or part of it,
The revision and cancellation of the original CSN or part of it is discussed with the public as part of the task of the technical standardisation plan, which adopts a new European standard into the CSN system. A list of the CSNs proposed for repeal can be found in the section "Notification of Proposals for Repeal of CSNs" of the Bulletin of the Office of National Technical Standards.
In some cases, the European standards adopted for a particular subject have a different structure and structure as well as an overall philosophy and it is therefore not possible to repeal the original CSNs or parts of them one to one. In these cases, the European Standards Organisations allow national standards to be repealed at a later date after all parts (called a set) of European Standards have been completed.
When using a new European standard, a so-called transition period may also be established, when it is still possible to use both the original CSN and the European standard. The original CSN is only withdrawn at the end of this transitional period.
Discussions of the intention to repeal the applicable CSNs are always announced in the UNMZ Bulletin and on the UNMZ website and anyone from the general public can participate in these discussions.
For this purpose, information on the inclusion of tasks in the technical standardisation plan and proposals for the abolition of CSNs are published in the Bulletin of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and on the basis of which interested parties can apply to the relevant task preparer within the specified deadline or by email at email@example.com.
Interested parties can only register their interest up to the specified deadline before the end of the comment stage.
After the Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004, the European market became open to exporting companieswhich until now have respected the uniform rules of conduct of entrepreneurs with regard to legal regulations and European standards for products intended for export, in the reverse direction, i.e. inside the Czech Republic.
This had significant practical implications.
Every Czech entrepreneur - manufacturer or supplier of a process or service - must take into account that when entering the European market, he or she will find himself or herself in a competitive environment consisting of numerous companies in European countries. The notion that a product is not intended for any purpose other than limited use in the Czech Republic and therefore does not have to comply with the relevant European standard does not hold up, because competitors who have free access to the Czech market under the free movement of goods can take advantage of this by supplying products that meet the requirements.
This process leads to a natural demand for quality, certified products that meet the requirements of Czech technical standards, which are identical to European standards.
In this context, it is necessary to realize a very fundamental thing, namely that the creation of European standards should be seen as a direct creation of Czech technical standards. It is therefore necessary to increase the interest of business entities in active participation in the creation of European standards.
It is therefore essential that all stakeholders take seriously their own share of the outcome of European integration in the field of technical standards, which in its implications is a major challenge for many industries and a chance to make it in the European open market.