Newsletter – Issue 3 – 2017

Newsletter – Issue 3 – 2017

SBS Forum on ICT Standards for SMEs 

The benefits and challenges of e-invoicing and e-identification were the themes of the second edition of SBS’ Forum on ICT standards for SMEs, which took place on 31 March during the Cluj Innovation Days in Cluj-Napoca, one of the most important software development centres and leading city in IT services exports of Romania.

The Forum showcased the value of e-invoicing and e-identification for European SMEs in the framework of the Digital Single Market, but also the potential challenges. Firstly, the market needs time to incorporate the latest administrative requirements.

Secondly, the implementation of these new standards is difficult for SMEs in the absence of adequate tools. This raises the issue of the cost-effectiveness of these standards resulting in smaller entrepreneurs less willing to update their current systems.

Finally, the fact that government agencies act as intermediaries for electronic business-to-business transactions is a concern for SMEs as regards privacy and information security.

All panellists however agreed that the standardisation work in support of e-invoicing and e-identification initiatives are key structural elements for the functioning of the Digital Single Market and might be very beneficial for SMEs. However, the practical implementation is still difficult.

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CEN Administrative Board adopts strategy on services standardisation

At the end of March 2017, the CEN/CA (Administrative Board) adopted the “Strategic Plan on Services Standardisation to implement the Ambitions 2020”. The Strategic Advisory Group on Services (SAGS) of CEN/CA, in which SBS participates, has developed the strategy over recent months. As its title indicates, it will address European standardisation in the field of services. An Action Plan, covering 2017 and 2018, forms part of the strategy which will be integrated into the “Roadmap for the Implementation of the CEN-CENELEC Ambitions 2020”.

CEN Guide on drafting harmonised standards for construction products

Harmonised standards (hENs) are developed in response to EC standardisation requests. These standards are then published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). However, at present, more than 100 candidate hENs are blocked for citation in the OJEU. To remedy this situation, rules for the preparation, drafting and presentation of harmonised standards are under discussion. This could take the form of a Guide, the purpose of which would be to support the Technical Committees in their task of drafting candidate hENs in the framework of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). SBS is working to make sure the new Guide makes adequate reference to CPR provisions in favour of SMEs, as well as the Guide 17 for the drafting of SME compatible standards. This was discussed during the last meeting of CEN-CENELEC BT WG 9, “Strategy for the construction sector”.

Construction Forum: Current developments affecting the sector 

On 20 April, the UEAPME Construction Forum met for the first time under the new chairmanship of EBC’s Board member Philip van Nieuwenhuizen. Discussions focused on the possible revision of the Construction Products Regulation, SBS’ relationship with EOTA and European Execution Standards. SBS provided an update about the latest developments in standardisation and about the last meeting of CEN-CENELEC BT WG 9, during which the possibility of a new CEN Guide on how to draft candidate harmonised standards for construction products was evoked.

CEN TC 160 WG 3 – Prevention of falls from a height
At its last meeting, CEN TC 160 WG 3 decided to recommend a revision of EN 341:2011 on personal fall protection equipment. The WG sees a need to revise EN 341, mainly in order to:
  • specify the function test methods, including conditioning and static strength test methods which currently seem inconsistent and ambiguous;
  • review tests, taking into account the maximum rated load to address the worst-case scenario;
  • include specificities of use (e. g. wind load impacts).
The above reasons for a revision of EN 341:2011 are based on comments and proposals from manufacturers and notified bodies who are involved in producing and testing descender devices. EN 341:2011 is not currently a harmonised standard but its revision might lead to the creation of a harmonised standard under the Personal Protective Equipment Regulation.


Views and opinions expressed are those of Small Business Standards (SBS) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EFTA. Neither the European Union nor EFTA can be held responsible for them.