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Standardization in Finland and globally

Standardization in Finland is closely connected to international work. Most standards are international and therefore effective global tools.

Standardization in Finland

In Finland, SFS serves as the National Standards Body (NSB). Standardization work is carried out in standardization groups comprising of SFS and various organisations representing their respective industries, i.e. standards writing bodies.

The standardization groups follow European and global standardization, comment on draft standards and participate in their development. 97 per cent of the standards approved in Finland are of international origin. International standards are sometimes complemented by nationally developed standards, but some national standards are exclusive for Finnish use. A national standard may eventually become an international standard if there is a need for it in the European or global market. 97% of standards approved in Finland are of an international origin.

Standardization follows very precise processes. The responsible person is an expert of standardization appointed by a standards writing body. He or she will usually act as the secretary of the group. Standardization groups have experts in the field in question, representing companies and other organisations. Depending on the group, it may have a membership fee or participation may be free.

European standardization

SFS is a member of CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, and ISO, the International Organization for Standardization.

Founded in 1961, the European Committee for Standardization CEN is an association that brings together the national standardization bodies of all EU and EFTA countries. The same European standards are valid in all CEN member states, which are obligated to nationally approve European standards and to withdraw any conflicting standards. Standards approved by CEN have the designation “EN”. About 30 per cent of them are based on global ISO standards.

CEN has over 300 technical committees, i.e. European Standardization Groups. The corresponding Finnish standardization groups participate in their work. All members have the right to participate in technical committees, while secretarial work of each committee has been designated to a member organisation. Managing a secretariat gives an opportunity to observe the development of standards closely and, in particular, to influence the contents of future standards.

The Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization CENELEC manages the development of European electrotechnical standards. Its members comprise of all EU and EFTA countries and various Eastern European countries. 75 per cent of CENELEC standards are based on global IEC standards. In Finland, the organisation responsible for electrotechnical standardization is SESKO.

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute ETSI develops international telecommunications standards. Its members include governing bodies in the field of information technology, producers of telecommunications and network services as well as telecommunications businesses. In Finland, the organisation responsible for telecommunications standardization is Traficom.

CEN, CENELEC and ETSI develop standards also at the request of the European Commission. These harmonised standards provide more detailed instructions on how to comply with specific directives.

Global standardization

Founded in 1947, the International Organization for Standardization ISO is the largest standardization organisation in the world. Its members include national standardization organisations from over 160 countries.

ISO oversees the standardization work taking place in its Technical Committees. The total number of international Technical Committees is currently around 250. All member bodies have the right to appoint participants to the committees. In regard to Finland, members of national standardization groups can participate. Secretarial responsibilities of subcommittees under each technical committee or the role of the Committee Manager of a technical committee have been entrusted to one of the member bodies.

National adoption of ISO standards in Finland is not mandatory. In Europe, CEN approves some of the ISO standards as EN standards, in which case they must be implemented by all CEN member countries as EN ISO standards. In Finland, they thus become SFS-EN ISO standards.

For ISO, the most important partner in standardization is the International Electrotechnical Commission IEC. ISO and IEC have joint technical committees, and standardization of information technology, for example, is a collaborative effort. Founded in 1906, IEC can be considered the first international standardization organisation; electrotechnology was the first industry where the need for common terminology was recognised.

The International Telecommunication Union ITU is a special organisation of the United Nations. The goal of telecommunications standardization is the compatibility of communications networks, terminal devices and communications services.

Organizations for Standardization 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 SFS Finnish Standards. 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.

CEN/TC 343 Solid recovered fuels

The General Industry Federation of Finland holds the secretariat of the CEN Technical Committee 343, Solid Recovered Fuels. Founded on the initiative of Finland and operating under a mandate given by the European Union, the committee first developed technical specifications on solid recovered fuels. Subsequently, some of these technical specifications have evolved into EN standards. If you wish to participate in standardization in this field, please contact the General Industry Federation of Finland. The Chair of the committee is Mikko Talola, and the Secretary is Suvi Pasanen.

ISO/TC 300 Solid recovered fuels

Finland also holds the secretariat of the international Technical Committee ISO/TC 300, Solid recovered fuels. This committee prepares standards covering the whole lifecycle from product acceptance to distribution. The secretariat of the committee is held by The General Industry Federation of Finland. The Chair of the committee is Mikko Talola, and the Committee Manager is Suvi Pasanen.