Newsletter – Issue 4 – 2019

Newsletter – Issue 4 – 2019

The new team of Commissioners was announced in early September. Sylvie Goulard is the Commissioner-designate for “Internal Market”, which encompasses industrial policy and the Digital Single Market. Other Commissioners-designate of relevance for SBS are Phil Hogan for “Trade” and Paolo Gentiloni for “Economy”. SBS welcomes the new Members and is counting on the Commission’s continued support to promote SME participation in standardisation and to raise SMEs’ awareness of standards.

Next, the European Parliament will hold public hearings to assess the suitability of each Commissioner between 30 September and 8 October. The European Parliament will then approve the Commissioners during the October plenary session. Lastly, the European Council will approve the new Commission before it can take office on 1 November.

The SBS Secretariat is hiring a Director

SBS Director Christel Davidson will be leaving this role at the end of the year to take up the position of Managing Director at CEPE. Consequently, SBS is seeking a committed individual to take over as Director of its Brussels-based Secretariat from January 2020 at the latest.

For a full vacancy description and details on how to apply, please follow this link.

Circular economy: Soon to become an essential part of the Construction Products Regulation?On 3 September 2019, the Finnish Presidency held an informal meeting of the Working Party on Technical Harmonisation in Helsinki. The meeting focused on the future of the circular economy and the Construction Products Regulation. Exceptionally, representatives from four associations, including Small Business Standards, were invited to explore these topics together with the Member States and the European Commission.

The first session was dedicated to the results of the Member States’ survey on the circular economy. Safe construction products clearly stood out as the main priority. The second session was dedicated to the potential of circular economy in the built environment. The final session focused on the interconnections between the circular economy, resource efficiency, the Drinking Water Directive, the Ecodesign Directive and the Waste Framework Directive.

The meeting aimed to influence the forthcoming revision of the Construction Products Regulation with regards to the characteristics of construction products. Some progress was made towards a common understanding of the issue.

Standardisation is one of the key pillars of the internal market, as it allows the free movement of construction products in the EU and streamlines construction activities. It is in fact a complex standardisation process (and not the Construction Products Regulation itself) that constrains the internal market for fire doors in three ways. The first constraint is the result of an old standardisation mandate from 1994, the second stems from the obligation to use templates which are subject to changes and the third arises from unalterable internal regulations.

Therefore, and to reduce the impact on the sector, SBS, EuroWindoor and the European Door & Shutter Federation have issued a declaration calling on the European Commission to take the following three steps:

  • Extend the co-existence period between national standards and the harmonised standard EN 16034 “Pedestrian doorsets, industrial, commercial, garage doors and openable windows – Product standard, performance characteristics – Fire resisting and/or smoke control characteristics” beyond 1 November 2019, following its citation as a harmonised standard in the Official Journal of the European Union in 2016.
  • Ensure that the co-existence period for EN 16034 is aligned with the co-existence period for the standard EN 14351-2 “Windows and doors – Product standard, performance characteristics – Part 2: Internal pedestrian doorsets”.
  • Cite EN 14351-2 in the Official Journal of the European Union without further delay.
The full declaration is available here.
ETSI Technology Awareness Roadshow – SMEs experiment with 5G and IoT at the TIM Open Labs

Turin hosted the pilot session of the Technology Awareness Roadshow for SMEs. This joint initiative by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and SBS intends to raise awareness among SMEs across Europe about the benefits of using technological solutions based on standards, such as telecommunications (5G), the Internet of Things (IoT) and cybersecurity.

ETSI chose Italy as the pilot country in Europe and TIM hosted the first event.
Among many industrial stakeholders, the main supporters of the Italian Roadshow are SBS and the Italian Digital SME Alliance.

Intense discussion on PPE and medical device standardisation

More than 200 representatives from companies, associations and institutions in the textile care industry attended the annual conference of the German textile care association DTV in Hamburg, to discuss the opportunities and challenges involved in the European standardisation process.

Among the panellists, SBS experts Andrea Rechtsteiner (PPE) and Sven Schöppe (medical devices), as well as SBS board member Andreas Schumacher, stressed the need to develop more user-oriented standards that are tailored to small and medium-sized enterprises. Otherwise, the cost of standards might increase for businesses and consumers and make service markets inefficient. Attending company owners who are not involved in standardisation work in their daily business also asked for more structured and easier access to standards, and especially to any changes under discussion.

The importance of including further Essential Safety Requirements in the standard ISO 8100-20

In August, SBS published a new position paper on the need to include further Essential Safety Requirements in standard ISO 8100-2 on “Lifts for the transport of persons and goods – Part 20: Global essential safety requirements (GESRs)”.

Presently, these safety requirements, both for SMEs and for the users of lifts, are missing from the text of the standard: it proposes no GESRs that meet the requirements of Annex I of the EU’s Machinery Directive. The absence of such requirements is a clear drawback to the Technical Specification formulated by ISO on the basis of the Lifts Directive. It would also restrict the future related ISO standard. In other words, it would mean that lifts complying with the ISO standard do not fully comply with the Essential Health & Safety Regulations (EHSR) of the Lifts Directive.

SBS believes that ISO TC178 should modify the standard ISO 8100-20 to ensure compliance of lifts with the current EHSRs of the Lifts Directive and the Machinery Directive for lifts within the EU.

SBS also calls for ISO TC178 to fully implement, for ISO 8100-20, the ISO provisions for the drafting of Global Relevance standards. Taking such action would fully align the standard ISO 8100-20 and the Essential Requirements of the Lifts Directive.

Read the position paper.


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.