Benefits of International Standards

International Standards bring technological, economic and societal benefits. They help to harmonize technical specifications of products and services making industry more efficient and breaking down barriers to international trade. Conformity to International Standards helps reassure consumers that products are safe, efficient and good for the environment.

Benefits of standards: the ISO Materials

ISO has developed materials describing the economic and social benefits of standards, the ISO Materials. They are intended to be shared with decision makers and stakeholders as concrete examples of the value of standards.

Facts and figures about the benefits of standards

The repository of studies on economic and social benefits of standards provides an insight of the approaches and results of the studies undertaken by different authors, such as national and international standards bodies, research institutes, universities and other international agencies.

For business

International Standards are strategic tools and guidelines to help companies tackle some of the most demanding challenges of modern business. They ensure that business operations are as efficient as possible, increase productivity and help companies access new markets.

Benefits include:

Businesses also benefit from taking part in the standard development process. Read more about the benefits of getting involved in standards development.

ISO benefits for business and governments

  Video: "Benefits of standards for business and governments"

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ISO Standards - What's the bottom line

ISO standards – What's the bottom line?

A brochure with hard figures for the benefits of implementing ISO's and other voluntary, consensus-based standards.

For Society

ISO has over 21000 standards touching almost all aspects of daily life.

When products and services conform to International Standards consumers can have confidence that they are safe, reliable and of good quality. For example, ISO's standards on road safety, toy safety and secure medical packaging are just a selection of those that help make the world a safer place.

To make sure that the benefits of ISO International Standards are as broad as possible, ISO supports the involvement of consumers in standard development work with its Committee on consumer policy (COPOLCO).

International Standards on air, water and soil quality, on emissions of gases and radiation and environmental aspects of products contribute to efforts to preserve the environment and the health of citizens.
little girl who plays the xylophone

ISO's standards on toy safety help make the world a safer place.

For government

ISO standards draw on international expertise and experience and are therefore a vital resource for governments when developing public policy.

National governments can use ISO standards to support public policy, for example, by referencing ISO standards in regulations. This has a number of benefits, including:

For more information on the advantages and benefits of using ISO standards to support public policy initiatives, see www.iso.org/policy, or download our brochure Using ISO and IEC standards to support public policy. (An executive summary is also available).

ISO also has an online platform for policy makers related to how to use conformity assessment standards in regulations. Combining theory and practice, it also offers concrete examples of referencing such standards in regulation. See www.iso.org/cascoregulators.

Reducing technical barriers to trade

The existence of different national or regional standards can create technical barriers to trade and increase the cost of doing business. International Standards provide the technical basis on which political trade agreements can be put into practice, whether they are at the regional or international level.

Read more about ISO, IEC, WTO and world trade.

Related Publications

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