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The importance of standardisation for sustainable trade


Standardisation is a tool that provides legal certainty to all users and is essential to help governments, industry and consumers achieve each of the sustainable development goals.

The European Standardisation System has been key to the realisation and development of the single market. Standardisation has played a major role in removing technical barriers to trade by ensuring interoperability of complementary products and services, facilitating the introduction of innovative products and ultimately enhancing European consumer confidence in the quality of products and services marketed in the European Union (EU).

The presumption of compliance with relevant EU legislation provides significant legal certainty for all users of the standards, and in particular small and medium-sized enterprises and consumers, as it presupposes ensuring and complying with adequate levels of safety, health protection, consumer protection and environmental protection.

European standards have been replacing potentially incompatible national standards in all Member States, thereby facilitating market access for all those who use them and thereby contributing to the continued deepening of the single market.

New global opportunities

On the other hand, by promoting close alignment between European standards and international standards, the EU promotes best practices and increases synergies in global value chains, which strengthens trade flows and creates opportunities for European companies to develop their activities.

In this way, in addition to supporting the innovation and competitiveness of European industry, it also contributes to global economic growth.

By exathing the European reality, international standards have contributed to the sustainability of this ambitious action plan aimed at improving peace and prosperity, eradicating poverty and protecting the planet, and which is the UN 2030 Strategy recognized globally as essential for the future sustainability of our world.

Container Terminal - Freight container with different national flag designs
The importance of standardisation for sustainable trade 1

The standards promote economic sustainability, facilitating global trade, improving the national quality infrastructure of each country and are an indispensable support for business practice, allowing them to move faster in the world market and opening doors to new opportunities.

International standardisation has provided a solid foundation on which innovation can thrive and is an essential tool to help governments, industry and consumers achieve each of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Director of the Standardization Department of the Portuguese Institute of Quality, performs leadership roles at IPQ since 1991. Head of National Delegation at the General Assemblies of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), is also the national representative in the CEN Technical Bureau. Ambassador for Measure 16 – “Peace, Justice and Effective Institutions” of the Alliance Sustainable Development Portugal, within the scope of the United Nations.

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