Topic outline




    Standards are documents made to help product manufacturers and importers that describe, for example, 

    • the test methods appropriate for examining the safety of the product
    • technical details relating to the manufacture of the product 
    • the markings, warnings and contents of the user instructions attached to the product. 

    The authorities also use standards in their work when assessing the safety of a product.

    However, standards cannot be obtained from the authorities. They are prepared and sold by standardisation organisations such as the Finnish Standards Association SFS. Standards are subject to copyright.

    Standards confirmed in Finland have the identifier SFS, standards approved by a European standardisation organisation have the identifier EN, and internationally confirmed standards have the identifiers ISO and IEC. 

    • Example: The symbol SFS-EN-ISO 12345 indicates the following:
      SFS = validated by the Finnish Standards Association
      EN = accepted by a European standardisation organisation
      ISO = standard prepared as international cooperation
      12345 = standard number
    Referenced and harmonised standard?

    The product legislation of the EU sets essential requirements related to safety, health and the environment on certain product groups. To make the manufacturing of compliant products easier and to ensure that the requirements of the EU legislation are fulfilled, European or harmonised standards are drawn up by request of the EU. 

    A harmonised standard is a standard drawn up by European standardisation organisation on the request of the European Commission for application of the EU product legislation. The references of harmonised standards are published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Harmonised standards can also be called referenced standards. Although the different names can be used in spoken language, they mean the same in practice.

    The letter code preceding the standard number does not indicate whether the standard is harmonised. On its website, the European Commission publishes legislation-specific lists of standards whose references have been published in the Official Journal.

    Products can also be designed and manufactured outside the standards. The manufacturer has no obligation to manufacture the product in accordance with the standards, because the standards for general consumer goods are recommendations in nature, and their use is voluntary. It is always the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure that their products meet the essential requirements of EU legislation. The use of harmonised standards is optional unless otherwise provided for by legislation. 

    When a product is manufactured in accordance with the harmonised standards, it enjoys a “safety presumption” regarding the parts the standard covers, meaning that it is considered to comply with the relevant essential requirements of EU law if

    • the manufacturer has designed, manufactured, examined and tested the product in accordance with the harmonised standards 
    • and the product complies fully with the applicable harmonised standards
    • and the product does not pose a risk to health or property

    The safety requirement for general consumer goods comes from the Consumer Safety Act. The requirements provided for in acts and decrees are mandatory, meaning that they must be followed. Despite the safety assumption created by the harmonised standard, Tukes and Customs can intervene in the sale and other release of the product if the product does pose a risk.

    You can find more information on the role of standards in demonstrating compliance on the websites of Tukes and the European Union .

    Official Journal of the European Union OJEU

    The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) is published in EUR-Lex in the official languages of the EU every day (regularly from Monday to Friday; only in urgent cases on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays).

    The journal has two series:

        • L (legislation)
        • C (communications and notices)

    The subseries CA (e.g. C019A), which is published on the same day and the same number as the C-series, contains calls for expressions of interest and vacancy notices. The CA series journals can appear in one, several, or all the official languages.

    The new subseries LI and CI were introduced on 1 January 2016. They provide flexibility for situations in which the planned content of the Official Journal changes. Since 1 July 2013, the electronic version of the Official Journal has been the authentic version of the Official Journal with legal effect.