Technical Articles

What is the difference between ISO and EN


The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the European Committee for Standardization (EN) are two separate entities that play a crucial role in defining technical standards. Understanding the difference between the two is essential for professionals working in various industries.

ISO: Global Standards Organization

ISO is an international non-governmental organization composed of national standards bodies from different countries. It develops standards that provide specifications for products, services, and systems to ensure their safety, quality, and efficiency. The standards established by ISO are recognized and used globally, facilitating trade and innovation across borders.

EN: European Standards

In contrast, EN refers specifically to the standards developed by the European Committee for Standardization. EN standards are adopted by the member states of the European Union (EU) and facilitate trade within the EU market. These standards harmonize national regulations across member states, improving compatibility, safety, and interoperability of products and services.

Differences between ISO and EN

The main differences between ISO and EN lie in their scope, applicability, and geographic reach. ISO standards have a global focus, as they aim to standardize practices worldwide. On the other hand, EN standards primarily pertain to the European market and are widely adopted within the EU.

Another significant distinction is the adoption process. ISO standards are voluntary and can be implemented by any organization or company worldwide. In contrast, EN standards are generally mandatory within the EU for products and services related to health, safety, and environmental protection.

Furthermore, since the EU is a member of ISO, most EN standards are based on existing ISO standards. However, there are instances where EN standards complement or deviate from ISO standards to address specific regional needs or regulatory requirements.


In summary, ISO and EN are two distinct organizations that contribute to the development of technical standards. ISO provides global standards applicable worldwide, facilitating international trade and harmonization. On the other hand, EN focuses specifically on the European market, ensuring compatibility and safety within the EU member states. Understanding the differences between these organizations is crucial for professionals working in industries subject to international or regional regulations.



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