Technical Articles

Are BS EN and EN standards the same?


The field of standards in various industries is crucial for ensuring quality, safety, and conformity. In the realm of technical engineering standards, there is often confusion regarding different abbreviations and acronyms used. One such case is the distinction between BS EN and EN standards. This article aims to clarify the similarities and differences between these two widely recognized standards.

BS EN Standards

BS EN stands for British Standard European Norm (also known as BS EN). These are technical standards that are adopted and implemented by the British Standards Institution (BSI) in collaboration with the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). BS EN standards primarily cover a wide range of industries such as construction, materials, machinery, and electrical equipment.

EN Standards

EN stands for European Norm. It refers to the standards developed, approved, and maintained by CEN, which include input from various national standardizing organizations across Europe. These standards are applicable throughout the European Union and, in some cases, even beyond its borders through international adoptions.

Differences and Overlaps

While BS EN and EN standards are closely related, there are a few notable differences between them. Firstly, BS EN standards are specific to the UK market and are generally aligned with EN standards. However, they may also have additional requirements or deviations to suit national regulations or preferences.

Secondly, not all EN standards are adopted as BS EN standards. The adoption of an EN standard by BSI as a BS EN standard depends on factors such as relevance to the British market and industry demand. Therefore, while many EN standards are accepted as BS EN standards, there are some that remain solely within the realm of EN.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that both BS EN and EN standards are harmonized with international ISO standards wherever possible. This alignment ensures consistency and facilitates international trade by minimizing technical barriers.


In summary, BS EN and EN standards have a close relationship but differ in terms of their applicability and adoption. BS EN standards are specific to the UK market and are often aligned with the broader EN standards. However, not all EN standards are adopted as BS EN standards, and there may be some discrepancies or additional requirements between them. Ultimately, both sets of standards play a key role in ensuring quality and safety across various industries, contributing to global harmonization and compatibility.



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