Technical Articles

Are BS EN and EN standards the same?

In the world of technical standards, acronyms often dominate discussions. Two commonly used acronyms are BS EN and EN, both related to standards development. While they may sound similar, it is important to understand if there is any difference between them.

What is BS EN?

BS EN stands for British Standards European Norms. These standards are developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI), which is a national standards body in the United Kingdom. BS EN standards indicate that they have been adopted from the European Norms (EN) and modified to suit specific requirements within UK legislation.

Understanding EN standards

EN stands for European Norms. These standards are developed by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), which is responsible for creating harmonized standards across the European Economic Area. EN standards are applicable to various industries and can be implemented in multiple countries without requiring modifications.

Differences and similarities

While BS EN standards are initially derived from EN standards, there are a few key differences between them. One major difference is the involvement of the national standards body, BSI, in the development and modification process of BS EN standards. This means that BS EN standards may have additional requirements or modifications tailored to the UK market.

However, it is important to note that BS EN standards still need to fulfill the essential requirements of the corresponding EN standard. In essence, BS EN standards are a subset of EN standards with specific adaptations for the UK market.

It is worth mentioning that although BS EN standards are primarily applicable in the UK, they can also be implemented in other countries that accept them. However, other countries may choose to adopt the original EN standards directly instead of adopting the modified BS EN version.


In conclusion, BS EN and EN standards are related but not identical. BS EN standards are based on and derived from EN standards, with specific modifications to suit UK requirements. Understanding the differences between these standards is crucial for industries and businesses operating in the UK, as compliance with the appropriate standards ensures quality, safety, and legal conformity.



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