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General information on standards

Caution

These rules apply to all traders from EU Member States in Austria. More information on the principle of mutual recognition of goods can be obtained from Product Information Point at USP.gv.at.

Areas of standardisation

Standards no longer apply exclusively in technical fields (e.g. construction, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering), but are now relevant to almost every aspect of daily life. They cover areas ranging from the work place, management processes, health and environmental protection to the services sector.

Tip

Details can be found in the 2015 Annual Report published by Austrian Standards.

Areas of standardisation

Field

Examples

Construction

  •  Infrastructure

  • Building products

  • Building construction and civil engineering

  • Procurement

Mechanical engineering

  • Printing devices
  • Refrigeration and heat pumps
  • Heating systems
  • Warehousing

Electrical engineering

  • Safety of electrical systems
  • Lightning protection
  • Electromagnetic compatibility
  • Suitability for use of electrical devices

Workplace

  • Occupational safety/personal protective equipment
  • Information security
  • Office work
  • Ergonomics

Management processes

  • Quality management
  • Environmental management
  • Safety management
  • Risk management
  • Compliance

Health

  • Medical technology
  • Rescue services
  • Medical radiation protection
  • Quality management in care

Environment

  • Waste management
  • Acoustics and vibration
  • Water
  • Air pollution control and indoor air
  • Environmental management
  • Radiation protection

Services

  • Call centres
  • Translators and interpreters
  • Language study trips
  • Tourism
  • Art shipment
  • Diver training
  • Consulting
    • Health
    • Private financial provision
  • Facility management

Benefits of standardisation

Standardisation provides tangible benefits to companies that make products or offer services in line with applicable standards:

  • The use of standardised parts, processes and materials reduces development time and cuts costs.
  • Compliance with standards means purchase and supply contracts no longer need to include so many technical details. This reduces transaction costs.
  • The application of standards reduces product liability risks and, within companies, increases occupational safety.
  • European and international standards help to eliminate barriers to trade and thereby facilitate imports and exports.
  • Active participation in the drawing up of standards provides cost, competition, knowledge and time benefits, reduces research risks and development costs, and lays the foundations for innovation.

Citizens and consumers can rest assured that products and services that comply with standards meet a minimum level of safety and usability and are compatible.

Tip

More information about participation in the standardisation process and existing standards can be found on the Austrian Standards website.

Normung leistet einen wichtigen Beitrag für die Volkswirtschaft. Standards sorgen in Österreich für ein Mehr an innovativer Wirtschaftsleistung in Höhe von rund 2,5 Mrd. Euro pro Jahr.

Standardisation makes an important contribution to the economy. In Austria, standards are responsible for increasing innovative economic output by around 2.5 billion Euro each year.

Standardisation organisations

Austrian Standards is the Austrian centre for the development of standards (called "ÖNORM" standards) and regulations. It also provides the infrastructure for participation in European and international standardisation bodies (CEN, ISO).

Standards in the field of electrical engineering are drawn up in collaboration with the Austrian Federation for Electrical Engineering (OVE).

As a private, non-commercial, non-profit organisation, the Austrian Standards Institute finances the Austrian standardisation system using revenue from the sale of its products and services. In 2014 this funding covered around 95 percent of all costs. The Institute also performs a range of other tasks

  • Standardisation platform (→ Austrian Standards)
    Austrian Standards is a neutral and independent service centre. It offers all those involved in standardisation a platform for developing standards. Experienced committee managers from the Austrian Standards Institute coordinate and assist those participating in the standardisation process.
  • Opinion procedure (→ Austrian Standards)
    Whether or not a standard is needed is determined via an opinion procedure as early as the conception phase. When an application for a new draft standard (or revision of an existing standard) or the establishment of a new committee is submitted, relevant interest groups are first contacted and surveyed.
  • Draft Standard Portal (→ Austrian Standards)
    The Draft Standard Portal is open to all, and is a place where people can comment on available draft standards and submit official opinions.
  • Access to standards and regulations (→ Austrian Standards)
    ÖNORM standards (including European standards, international standards (ISO, IEC) as well as national standards, regulations and relevant legislation from all over the world are available in digital and printed format. Other available resources include reference works, technical literature, software, online standard management systems and the possibility to research standards, regulations and technology legislation.
  • Certification (→ Austrian Standards)
    The Austrian Standards certification body (Austrian Standards plus Certification) offers services for certifying the compliance of products, services and individuals with relevant standards (e.g. ÖNORM-certified).
  • Information (→ Austrian Standards)
    Austrian Standards is the centre of expertise for all information on standards and related areas. As a World Trade Organization Inquiry Point, it can perform searches in this regard.
  • Further training (→ Austrian Standards)
    "Austrian Standards plus Trainings" offers seminars, lectures, courses and vocational qualification opportunities with respect to standards, changes in technology legislation and business management.

Tip

On the homepage of Austrian Standards you will find an overview of their certification services as well as all conformity symbols and valid certificates.

As the Austrian member of CEN and ISO, → Austrian Standards acts as a hub for European/international standardisation (CEN und ISO). The field of electrical engineering has its own separate organisations (CENELEC, IEC), of which the Austrian Federation for Electrical Engineering (OVE) is a member.

Please note

In spite of this legislative framework, as a matter of principle standards are qualified recommendations and standardisation is voluntary.

Further links

Legal basis

Normengesetz

Translated by the European Commission
last update: 3 November 2020
responsible for content:
  • USP Editorial Staff
  • Austrian Standards International

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