Regulation on Standardisation: which benifit for SMEs?

The Regulation on Standardisation was published in the O.J. on 14th November 2012, is directly applicable and will be in force since 1st January 2013 in all Member States.  The new regulation amends Council Directives 89/686/EEC and 93/15/EEC and Directives 94/9/EC, 94/25/EC, 95/16/EC, 97/23/EC, 98/34/EC, 2004/22/EC, 2007/23/EC, 2009/105/EC and 2009/23/EC of the European Parliament and the Council.

The Regulation aims to ensure: (i) the effectiveness and efficiency of standards and standardisation as policy tools for the Union through cooperation between European standardisation organisations, national standardisation bodies, Member States and the Commission; (ii) the establishment of European standards and European standardisation deliverables for products and for services in support of Union legislation and policies, (iii) the identification of ICT technical specifications eligible for referencing, (iv) the financing of European standardisation and (v)stakeholder participation in European standardisation.

The text of the regulation also contains provisions that aim to encourage and facilitate SME access to standards and standards development processes in order to achieve a high level of participation in the standardisation system. For instance, paragraph 1 of art. 5 and art. 6 will give explicit and effective examples in protecting the access of SMEs to standardisation activities and the standards themselves. Indeed, they establish that SMEs should be able to take advantage of favorable conditions than largecompanies. In particular, art. 6 refers to the possibility of benefits  – free access or special rates  –  for the participation in standardisation activities and also for the SMEs to access the standards.

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