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TRIS: Technical Regulations Information System

    At a time when technology is evolving rapidly, it is important to ensure that national technical regulations adopted by European Union Member States do not impede the free movement of goods and services within the EU. TRIS, a tool within the framework of the 98/34 procedure, enables EU Member States to inform each other and the European Commission of planned regulations and resolve Internal Market issues before laws are passed. In this way,Europe’s citizens and companies can reap the full benefit of the EU’s Internal Market.

Document created: 03/2004

What is TRIS?
How does it work?
Who benefits?
The role of IDABC
Technical Information

What is TRIS?

TRIS is a web-based information system which facilitates data exchange concerning technical regulations between national public administrations and the European Commission.

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The main objective of the TRIS project is to facilitate the management of the 98/34/EC Directive.

This Directive obliges Member States to notify the European Commission, and each other, of all draft technical regulations concerning all industrial and agricultural products and information society services before they are adopted at national level. Their adoption could create barriers to trade and impede the proper functioning of the Internal Market.

This procedure provides a solution, forcing Member States to avoid problems early, rather than being forced to solve them once national laws have been enacted. Moreover, it increases transparency, since national draft regulations are brought to the attention of the authorities and interested parties in good time.

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How does it work?

The database automates effective and reliable communication between Units in the Member States and the European Commission. Within the Commission, the system ensures that all services are continuously informed on new draft regulations in the fields of their competence.

In addition, the database allows the storage and retrieval of full textual information to and from the database. Custom-built applications also permit consulting and reporting functions.

A substantial proportion of the content handled by the procedure is public information, accessed via a public website. The system is being further developed to provide a better integrated environment (Notifications portal). According to a user's specific and predefined rights of access, they will be presented with various types of information, eliminating the need for the current two or three different components.

Notifications from all Member States can be sorted by number, country date and key word. TRIS provides the submission date and the standstill period (date) of each notification text. A feed-back feature is also available on the website to allow the public to submit comments and opinions.

The technical regulations database was redesigned to support current and future needs, i.e. joining of the Acceding and Candidate Countries, whilst fully exploiting recent technical possibilities.

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  • The TRIS system is at present fully operational and exchanges 8-10,000 messages per month.
  • The project provides maintenance and an online helpdesk that offers technical and background information to end users about TRIS and the 98/34 procedure.
  • Both the internal and external applications were enhanced, particularly with the objective of including Candidate Countries in the message flow of the procedure.
  • Enterprises can now subscribe to an automatic alerting system on new notifications and select one or more products from about 13 sectors. TRIS will automatically notify you via e-mail as soon as a new notified text is received in the category/ies you selected.

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Who benefits?

Citizens and Businesses: Access by citizens and enterprises has been facilitated by the creation of the public PISA (Public Information System Administration) website. This enables businesses to take part in the procedure, by expressing their opinions on national legislation before it is finally adopted.

Public Administrations: TRIS has enhanced the level of cooperation among Commission services and between Commission and Member State Administrations. The exchange of information tangibly contributes to improving national law-making and avoiding litigation. Both Member States administrations and the Commission use the procedure to influence national and community legislation through the identification of areas where harmonisation is necessary or where national legislation needs modifications. The use of formats enables greater transparency and re-use of information by automated tools that collate, analyse and abstract meaningful information from data. The good performance of the TRIS system explains why the Council of Europe considers it as a model for its information exchange system, which will be set up as a tool within the Convention No 180 on information and legal cooperation on information society services.

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The role of IDABC

IDA funded TRIS between December 1997 and January 2002.

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Technical information

Project start date


Project completion date


Project status


IDA budget

1999 335,000

Responsible service

DG Enterprise and Industry

Project coordinator

Jacques Degrèves


Countries involved

All EU Member States

Public website

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