The European Federation of Associations of Locks & Builders Hardware Manufacturers




Following a meeting with representatives from CEN and the European Commission, ARGE believe positive steps are now being taken to improve the way product standards are developed and introduced.

Here at ARGE we have been concerned over the past two years regarding delays to the introduction of key product standards within TC33/WG4, which are preventing these standards from keeping pace with changes in our industry. So much so that the ARGE membership, representing billions of euros in sales, are beginning to question the benefits of supporting CEN standards.


In September, ARGE, CEN and European Commission representatives met in Brussels to discuss ARGE concerns and how progress on several product standards currently delayed could be “freed up”. In addition improvements to the standardisation process were also discussed.

The discussions were frank and positive with CEN recognizing the need to improve the way standards are delivered. Attending the meeting on behalf of ARGE were Hans Weissenböck, ARGE’s new chairman, accompanied by Executive Paul Browne and Technical Experts Pierre Vilain and Paul Duggan, both of whom are leading figures within CEN/TC33/WG4, where the standards for locks- and construction hardware products are prepared. CEN was represented by Gonçalo Ascensao, the Programme Manager for standards for Industry, Technology and Infrastructure, as well as CEN Consultant Giancarlo Bedotti. The Commission was represented by Georgios Katsarakis, Head of Unit B-1 from DG Enterprise and Industry and by Tapani Mikkeli, Head of Sector for Sustainable Construction in DG Enterprise and Industry.

We are pleased to report that the meeting agreed:

Firstly, complying with the revised answer to the mandate will now be handled on a standard by standard basis. This will allow key standards (eg EN 12209, 15685, 1935 etc) to be treated separately. CEN agreed to prioritise the sign-off of the draft standards to allow them to go forward for publication without further delay.

Secondly, it was recognized that the administrative service provided by the TC33 Secretariat needs to be improved. It was agreed that where administrative issues threatened to cause undue delays then they should be referred to Gonçalo Ascensao, Programme Manager, who will undertake to address those issues.

Thirdly, it was recognized that CEN Working Group Conveners would also benefit from a better understanding of CEN processes. It was agreed that Giancarlo Bedotti, CEN Consultant, would lead a workshop with ARGE technical/standardisation personnel and conveners to explain how CEN operated.

 Commenting on the meeting, Hans Weissenböck, ARGE Chairman, said:

“The lock and hardware industry spends a lot of time and money in sending experts to various committees. Over recent years the impression was given that the process was being halted for administrative reasons rather than by technical problems.

“CEN are equally aware of this and keen to work with ARGE to improve our standardization processes and throughput. New and regular forms of communication have now been established in order to quickly identify and address issues that might cause undue delay. This is great news for the industry and shows how ARGE can actively support its members interests and deliver real value.”

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