Standardisation improves product compatibility and safety
Standardisation is about agreeing upon shared methods and practices. Standards were introduced to make life easier for consumers, enterprises and authorities. Standardisation protects consumers and the environment and facilitates domestic and international trade. Some standards have been given a status higher than others in the system to ensure product safety and conformity.
The status of standards in the assessment of the conformity of consumer products (and services) is defined in section 11 of the Act on the Consumer Safety (920/2011). Under the Act, a consumer product or service is, as a rule, regarded as safe insofar as it conforms to European harmonised standards, references of which have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
References of other, "ordinary" standards are not published in the Official Journal of the European Union, but the Act still allows their use in the assessment of risk. However − even if a consumer product or service conforms to a standard − the monitoring authority may prohibit its sales if it proves to pose a risk to health or property.
EU directives based on the New Approach only determine the essential safety requirements. To facilitate the manufacture of conforming products, European standards are commissioned by the EU. Once produced, references of these standards are published in the Official Journal of the EU. Products that conform to these standards are regarded to meet the essential requirements of these directives. Such standards are often referred to as 'harmonised standards'.
Directives based on the New Approach that belong to Tukes's sector include those on toys, machinery and personal protective equipment. Standards references of which are published in the Official Journal of the EU are listed SFS website. Copies of standards can also be bought from the SFS customer service.