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Standardisation policy is an integral element of Germany's economic and innovation policies. In almost every part of life, standards define the state of the art in technology, and they stipulate the requirements that products and services must fulfil. They enable systems to function, they assure quality, they create transparency, and they protect consumers.

Standards are an integral component of our commercial and legal order and serve as a key reference point in important fields such as occupational safety and environmental protection. They have deregulatory and market-opening effects that serve to enhance Germany's competitiveness as an economic power and as an exporter. Standards can also speed up the market launch of innovations.

Standardisation policy concept

The Federal Government sets out its objectives in the field of in the standardisation policy concept. One policy focus is the targeted promotion of innovation via standardisation. To this end, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology has initiated two related projects on "Innovation and standards" and "Transfer of research and development findings via standardisation".

Standardisation is primarily an international task which serves to reduce technical barriers to trade, to foster a rapid dissemination of innovations, and to flesh out technology-related legislation. The Economics Ministry therefore actively supports bilateral co-operation on standardisation with key strategic partner countries in order to open up (new) export markets for German industry and commerce. Companies and business associations are offered various platforms on which they can articulate their interests. They are called on to report standardisation-related barriers to international trade in goods.

Standardisation: the responsibility of the private sector

Standardisation is basically the responsibility of the private sector. The Economics Ministry shapes the national, European and international policy context. For example, the DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung) is recognised in international agreements as the German standardisation body which represents our interests at European and international level. The DIN safeguards the democratic legitimacy of standards via a consensus-based procedure, producing a universally accepted set of rules. It ensures that procedures are transparent and open, and there is non-discriminatory access to standardisation work and its results. The public sector is an interested party in the standardisation work.