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Standards and regulations

ISO and IEC standards can be used to support and simplify the process of development and application of technical regulations. ISO and IEC have published the document 'Using and referencing ISO and IEC standards for technical regulations'. It includes practical advice for regulators on how to use international standards to achieve their objectives. The document can be downloaded below along with a PowerPoint presentation of the material.

Sources for national regulations

National enquiry points are normal sources for information on technical regulations. Contact information for enquiry points is given in the following WTO pages:

Useful definitions

The definitions given below have been taken from ISO/IEC Guide 2:2004, Standardization and related activities -- General vocabulary.

Standard - document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context
NOTE: Standards should be based on the consolidated results of science, technology and experience, and aimed at the promotion of optimum community benefits.

International standard - standard that is adopted by an international standardizing/standards organization and made available to the public

Regulation - document providing binding legislative rules, that is adopted by an authority

Technical regulation - regulation that provides technical requirements, either directly or by referring to or incorporating the content of a standard, technical specification or code of practice
NOTE: A technical regulation may be supplemented by technical guidance that outlines some means of compliance with the requirements of the regulation, i.e. deemed-to-satisfy provision.