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Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products


Each New approach directive has an "ADCO", i.e. the informal group of the national administrations in charge of the market surveillance for this directive. The ADCO group supports and complements the work of the formal committee or the working party of the directive.

ADCO group provides administrative cooperation and consistent application of surveillance. At European level, joint market surveillance campaigns are carried out and information exchanged on irregularities found.


Administrative Cooperation for the RTTE


Equipment for use in potentially explosive atmospheres

Better regulation / Cutting Red Tape

Cutting red tape is the process of reducing unnecessary bureaucracy. The EU is committed to developing a better regulatory environment for businesses - one that is simple, understandable, effective and enforceable. Cutting red tape should help business people and entrepreneurs improve competitiveness, as well as contribute to sustainable development.


The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) is one of the three European Standardization Organisations (ESOs). A business facilitator in Europe, removing trade barriers for European industry and consumers. Its mission is to foster the European economy in global trading, supporting regulation where it has technical aspects, the welfare of European citizens and the environment. Through its services it provides a platform for the development of European Standards and other technical specifications.

More than 60 000 technical experts and 30 member countries are involved in the CEN.


CENELEC, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, is one of the three European Standardization Organisations (ESOs).

CENELEC provides the electrotechnical standards requested by the market and harmonized standards in support of European legislation (15 000 technical experts from 30 European countries).


European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (Comité Européen de Normalisation Electronique)


Communication and Information Resource Centre Administrator


A competitive economy is an economy with a consistently high rate of productivity growth. Competitiveness depends on the performance of the economy's SME-fuelled industry. To be competitive, the EU must outperform its competitors in terms of research and innovation, information and communication technologies, entrepreneurship, competition, education and training. The Lisbon Strategy set out to make Europe the most competitive and dynamic economy in the world: competitiveness is therefore one of the top political priorities of the European Union.


Clarification Sheet


Declaration of Conformity


European Commission


European Free Trade Association


ATEX Notified Bodies Group


One "Harmonised standard" is a standard used for implementing a given Directive. It translates in precise technical terms the Directive essential requirements.

A European standard, adopted by CEN, CENELEC or ETSI, following a mandate issued by the European Commission after consultation of Member States enters into force as a "Harmonised standard" when it is referenced as such in the OJEU. They are developed through an open and transparent process, built on consensus between all interested parties.

Compliance with harmonised standards provides presumption of conformity to the corresponding essential requirements of the EU new approach Directives. Compliance with harmonised standards remains voluntary, and manufacturers are free to choose any other technical solution that provides compliance with the essential requirements.


Harmonised Standards


Impact Assessment


The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is the world's global standardisation organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies collectively known as "electrotechnology".

The IEC also manages conformity assessment systems that certify that equipment, systems or components conform to its International Standards.

Impact Assessment

Before the European Commission proposes new initiatives, in particular proposed legislation, is bound to assess the various possible alternatives, including the status quo. It must assess the potential economic, social and environmental consequences of each option. The impact assessment is a set of formalized steps which prepares evidence for political decision-makers on the advantages and disadvantages of each possible policy option.


ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards other than electrotechnical or telecommunication ones.

ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 162 countries, based in Geneva.

Therefore, ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.


International Organization for Standardization


International Technology Agreement


Member State of the EU

Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs)

MRAs have the objective of promoting trade in goods between the European Union and third countries by facilitating market access. They are bilateral agreements, and aim to benefit industry by providing easier access to conformity assessment procedures .

MRAs lay down the conditions under which the EU and the third country concerned will mutually accept test reports, certificates and marks of conformity issued by the conformity assessment bodies (CABs) of the other party to the agreement, in conformity with the legislation of the other party.


In order to achieve the Single market for goods, a Resolution of 7th May 1985 of the European Council formally endorsed the principle of reference to European standards within the relevant European regulatory work (Directives), thereby paving the way to a New Approach in the philosophy of regulations and standards in Europe.

Since then, the New Approach and the European standardisation have contributed significantly to the development of the Single Market. The success of the European standardisation system, in removing technical barriers to trade, has played a vital role in ensuring the free movement of goods between Member States.


New Approach


Non Agricultural Market Access


Nando (New Approach Notified and Designated Organisations) Information System

Notification is an act whereby a Member State informs the Commission and the other Member States that a body, which fulfils the relevant requirements, has been designated to carry out conformity assessment for goods according to a given directive. Notification of Notified Bodies and their withdrawal are the responsibility of the notifying Member State.

Lists of Notified Bodies can be searched on the NANDO web site. The lists include the identification number of each notified body as well as the tasks for which it has been notified, and are subject to regular update.


New Approach Notified and Designated Organisations information system


Notified Body


Notified Bodies - Lifts


Notified Bodies - Machinery

New Legislative Framework (NLF)

Adopted in July 2008, the New Legislative Framework (NLF) is in fact an update of the New Approach by three texts:

  • Regulation (EC) 764/2008 on the free circulation of products in the non harmonised area
  • Regulation (EC) 765/2008 on the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies and on the organisation of market surveillance
  • Decision 2008/768/EC on general principles that the Parliament and Council should follow in the future for legislation covering the free circulation of products (definitions, rights and obligations of the various players, and conformity assessment modules)

New Legal Framework

Notified Body

Notified Body is a semi-official or private technical orgnisation appointed by Member States, either for approval and monitoring of the manufacturers' quality assurance system or for direct product inspection. A Notified Body may be specialised for certain products/product categories or for certain modules.


Non-Road Mobile Machinery


Official Journal of the European Union


Protocol to the Europe agreements on Conformity Assessment and acceptance of industrial products

The Europe Agreements are the basic accords governing bilateral relations between the European Communities and their Member States and each candidate country in central and eastern Europe. Under the terms of the Europe Agreements, candidate countries for EU membership should approximate their legislation to that of the Community. In the field of industrial standards and conformity assessment, the Europe Agreements aim to achieve the candidate countries' full conformity with Community technical regulations and European standardisation and conformity assessment procedures. They also envisage the conclusion of agreements on mutual recognition in these fields.


Protocols to the Europe Agreements on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products


Personal Protective Equipment


Recommendation for Use sheets


Standing Committee

Single or internal market

The EU's single or internal market is a market where goods, services, capital and people can circulate freely. The free movement of goods principle requires that national barriers to the free movement of goods within the EU be removed. Articles 34 to 36 of the TFEU prohibit quantitative restrictions on imports, exports or goods in transit and all similar restrictive measures between member countries. All measures capable of hindering directly or indirectly such imports are considered to be quantitative restrictions.


According to Article 2 of the Annex to Recommendation 2003/361/EC, the category of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is made up of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million (see: SME definition). SMEs are the backbone of the EU economy - they represent 99% of all enterprises in the EU. Some 23 million SMEs provide around 75 million jobs.


Standardisation is the process through which the EU aims to establish high quality criteria throughout its member countries. It is based on consensus among the various partners involved - industry, consumers and public authorities. Interoperability, i.e. the technical compatibility of complementary products, services and processes is the desired outcome. The process also involves setting up test methods and requirements for safety, health, organisational and environmental performance.

Standardisation allows SMEs to stay up to date with technology and business practices. It is a symbol of quality, recognised by customers. It is also a means of capitalising on European leadership in new markets.


Technical Barriers to Trade


Technical Committee in the standardisation area


Transatlantic Economic Council


The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations.

Its major aim is to promote pan-European economic integration while it is broader that Europe with 56 countries located in the European Union, in non-EU Western and Eastern Europe, South-East Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and North America. Over 70 international professional organizations and other non-governmental organizations take part in UNECE activities.

To this end, it provides analysis, policy advice and assistance to governments; it gives focus to the United Nations global mandates in the economic field, in cooperation with other global players and key stakeholders, notably the business community.


United Nations Economic Commission for Europe


Working group of a Technical Committee

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