Technological Innovation

Are EN and ISO standards the same?


In the field of technical standards, EN (European Norm) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) play significant roles. While both aim to establish guidelines for various industries, there are distinct differences between them. This article delves into the disparities and similarities, shedding light on whether EN and ISO standards are essentially the same.

EN Standards: The European Perspective

EN standards, as the name suggests, are specific to Europe. They are formulated by CEN (European Committee for Standardization), which comprises national standardization bodies from different European countries. EN standards cover a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, engineering, and services. They are result-oriented, focusing on performance and safety requirements within the European market.

ISO Standards: The Global Framework

On the other hand, ISO standards have a broader international scope. ISO develops consensus-based standards with input from national standards bodies worldwide. These standards tackle diverse topics, such as quality management, environmental sustainability, and information security. ISO standards aim to facilitate global trade and ensure interoperability among products and services across borders.

Differences in Development Process

The development process sets EN and ISO standards apart. EN standards follow a systematic approach called "New Approach" directives, which outline essential requirements for health, safety, and environmental protection. On the contrary, ISO standards adhere to the "consensus-based" approach, allowing a wider range of stakeholders to contribute to the standardization process. This leads to a more objective and inclusive outcome.

Harmonization and Compatibility

Although there are differences in their development processes, EN and ISO standards are designed to be harmonized and compatible with each other. This means that in areas where both EN and ISO standards exist, they can be applied together without conflict. The objective is to facilitate global trade while ensuring compliance with regional requirements.


In summary, while EN and ISO standards share the common goal of establishing guidelines for various industries, they operate within different frameworks. EN standards focus on European markets and are primarily result-oriented, whereas ISO standards have a broader international scope and promote global compatibility. Nevertheless, efforts are made to harmonize both standards, emphasizing their complementarity in facilitating global trade.



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