Harmonized standards are European standards (EN), produced under mandate from the European Commission (EC) or from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) for supporting the essential requirements of “New Approach” Directives. Compliance with Harmonized standards is voluntary. Nevertheless it remains the most efficient way to demonstrate compliance of products with the corresponding essential requirements of the EC directives. Annex Z of each standard, developed under mandate provides information for which essential requirements of directives shall be applied the respective harmonized standard.
In order to become harmonized standards the Member States have the task to translate the titles of standards into their national language and send them via CEN/CENELEC to the EC and EFTA Secretariat for publication of the reference in the Official Journal of EU. Thus the European standards, developed by CEN or CENELEC, following a mandate issued by the EC become harmonized standards and since their date of publication they can be applied for providing presumption of conformity of products to the corresponding EC directives.