Skip to main content

Finnish Standards Association SFS – The national standardization organisation in Finland

Our goal is to ensure that Finnish organisations, both public and private, have an opportunity to have their say on the contents of standards, the common rules of the market. By using our services, Finnish organisations can be involved in the development of standards and keep track of standards under preparation. We also make sure that they have access to a collection of standards responding to their needs.

Safety and efficiency through standards

Standards help to build a sustainable future on a national, European and global level. Using standards and influencing them helps to make the world a safer place and increases efficiency.

The Finnish Standards Association SFS is the central standardization organisation that controls and coordinates all national standardization work in Finland except for electrotechnical and telecommunications standardization. As a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), SFS supports the development of international standards together with our network of experts.

We maintain a standards collection corresponding to Finland’s needs and coordinate the development of standards in response to the needs of the market. This work is being carried out by both SFS and its affiliates, the standards writing bodies, to whom SFS has delegated the responsibility of drafting standards for certain economic sectors.

  • We provide a framework for standardization (except for electrotechnical and telecommunications standardization) and ensure that responsibilities relating to standardization are fulfilled in Finland.
  • We maintain a standards collection that corresponds to Finland’s needs and includes standards required in global and European agreements.
  • We work in close liaison with standardization organisations in other countries.
  • We represent Finland in international and European standardization organisations and promote Finland’s interests.
  • We participate in European and international standardization activities in cooperation with our affiliates (i.e. the standards writing bodies).
  • We control and coordinate national standardization work in Finland and approve national standards with the SFS designation.
  • We provide users of standards with national and international standards and other publications.
  • We provide information on standardization and maintain information systems on standardization.
  • We are also responsible for a number of other tasks entrusted to us by the state of Finland, such as running the national WTO Enquiry Point, which provides information on standards currently being developed and adopted in WTO member states.

SFS is a member of both CEN and ISO, collaborating closely with both organisations.

Standardization organizations in Finland and globally
National representation in standardization is divided between three organisations: In the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), Finland is represented by the Finnish Standards Association SFS. In the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the European Committee For Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), Finland is represented by the Finnish Electrotechnical Standards Association SESKO. In the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Finland is represented by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

SFS approves and sells standards that are valid in Finland. There are currently over 27,000 such standards, most of which (over 97 percent as of 2019) are of European or international origin.

On our webstore, we maintain a catalogue of nationally approved standards. The webstore is designed for more than just purchasing standards; it also serves as a comprehensive database of information on all existing standards. There are over 27,000 valid standards in Finland.

SFS is a non-profit organisation. Most of our funding (64 percent as of 2019) comes from sales. In 2019, state financing provided by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy accounted for 14 percent of our funding.

Our office is located in Kamppi, central Helsinki. Our staff comprises around 50 skilled individuals with a broad range of expertise, performing a wide array of tasks.

Our Mission:

Sustainable growth and welfare through cooperation in standardization and use of standards.

Our Vision:

In 2030, SFS is operating in the digital frontline and creates significant and measurable value to its customers.

Standardization is an international effort

Most of our standardization activities take place on a global level. We offer Finnish companies and the public sector our expertise and means to influence the rules and practices in the European and global market.

Influencing market-driven standards is fundamentally based on the needs of Finnish companies, and the goal is to improve Finland’s competitiveness.

Over 900 Finnish organisations use our services to participate in standardization. Around 80 percent of the participants are from the private sector. Finnish experts participate actively in international standardization, but there are only a few individuals acting as Chairs and Secretaries or Committee Managers in international standards committees. Unfortunately, this gives other countries a competitive edge.

SFS is actively involved in the administrative activities of CEN and ISO. For example, Finland is one of the leading European developers of digital standards deliverables.

Regulations and guidelines on standardization

As a member of the European Union, Finland complies with the EU Regulation on European Standardization. In addition, as a member of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), we adhere to the regulations of these organisations.

See Finnish guides on standardization work.

Work programme for Finnish standardization

As a member of CEN, SFS is required to publish annually a work programme for standards to be developed for national purposes.

See national work programmes of other European standards bodies.