Update 31 March 2016: Out of a sense of responsibility for Austria as a centre of business and employment and based on the awareness of the stakeholders’ strong trust, Austrian Standards continues its work as a purely Austrian organization in spite of more difficult conditions - now within the framework of the Austrian Standardization Act 2016 whose essential parts become effective on 1 April 2016. That was agreed by the General Assembly of the Austrian Standards Institute on 30 March 2016.
Update 28 December 2015: Publication of the Federal Act on Standardization 2016 in the Federal Law Gazette
Bundesgesetzblatt Nr. BGBl. I Nr. 153/2015
We will publish all the information related to this issue on this page.
Final comments submitted by the Austrian Standards Institute on 29 July 2015 on:
1. Draft of the Standardization Act 2015; (ref. BMWFW-96.306./005-I/11/2015)
2. Draft of the Austrian Standardization Strategy (ref. BMWFW-96.300/0005-I/11/2015)
- an alternative draft for the Standardization Act (May 2015) and
- a legal opinion by em. o.Univ.Prof. DDr. Heinz Mayer (July 2015)
Download (in German only, PDF, 4,1 MB)
Introduction and conclusion - page 2
Part I Additional comments on specific points of the Draft - page 4
Part II Constitutional aspects - page 23
Part III International aspects - page 24
Part IV Financial aspects, including consequences for the funding of standardization - page 25
Part V Economic aspects, including consequences for Austria as a business location and employment in Austria - page 28
Part VI Strategic aspects and excursus on the draft "Austrian Standardization Strategy of the Federal Government" (137/ME XXV. GP - Ministerial Draft - Draft Austrian Standardization Strategy, Version of June 2015) - page 29
Part VII Relevance of the Draft Act for the Government Programme - page 36
ANNEX 1 Alternative draft of a Standardization Act 2015 (May 2015)
ANNEX 2 Legal opinion by em. o.Univ.Prof. DDr. Heinz Mayer (July 2015)
In brief, Austrian Standards highlights the following issues in its final comments that also discuss the draft of an Austrian Standardization Strategy:
The European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) submitted comments within the framework of the consultation procedure. They are made available on the website of the Austrian Parliament.
DIN: No German-language versions of standards supplied to Austria from 1.1.2016 on (DIN translates all European standards into German)
ISO: End of membership
CEN: End of membership
DIN, CEO Bahke:
"For this reason we see no option but to discontinue the delivery of German-language versions of EN to ASI on 01.01.2016 if the draft Act should actually become effective on 01.01.2016."
ISO, General Secretary Kevin McKinley:
"Making ISO standards available for free in Austria, including through national adoptions of ISO standards, would violate ASI’s membership obligation to ISO… Such violation of the above obligation by ASI could lead ultimately to the suspension of ASI’s membership in ISO. The consequence being that ASI would no longer participate in the ISO standards development process, nor be allowed to use ISO standards for national adoption, reproduction or distribution. This could impact on Austria’s ability to comply with provisions of the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement."
CEN, Director General Elena Santiago:
Austrian Standards submitted its preliminary opinion on the draft Standardization Act on 7 July 2015. Comprehensive comments will be prepared by 3 August.
The draft contains several obviously unconstitutional provisions, e.g.:
The objectives of the government programme are not implemented:
Austria's participation in European and international standardization would become impossible, because the framework conditions defined for a standardization body are in conflict with the membership criteria laid down by European and international standardization organizations.
Austria would lose its voice in the development of European and international standards that form the basis of competitiveness and, in particular, exports and would also be cut off from technological developments.
Genuinely Austrian enterprises would have to pay high prices for standards documents and copyright fees to institutions abroad.
The draft only allows national standardization for those who can afford to pay the full cost of a standardization project.
The internationally compatible financing model of the Austrian standardization system, which is financially self-sustaining by more than 90 percent today, would be destroyed and hence, would result in considerable subventions funded from tax revenue.
The draft would introduce a structure - absolutely unusual in comparable countries worldwide and never created since the collapse of the Eastern Bloc - of a nationalized organization with an elaborate steering and supervisory apparatus controlled by the state.
Only in German:
Introduction and brief outcomes-oriented impact assessment (PDF, 126 kB)
Draft Standardization Strategy (PDF, 216 kB)
Being a "legal act affecting the internal market", the draft of the Standardization Act was also notified to the European Commission.
The European deadline for the submission of comments is 24 September 2015.
Standardisation Act 2015
Notification Number: 2015/320/A (Austria)
Date received: 23/06/2015
End of Standstill: 24/09/2015
Draft Text: bg cs da de el en es et fi fr hr hu it lt lv mt nl pl pt ro sk sl sv
Impact assessment: de en fr
If you have any questions or suggestions related to the draft Standardization Act, please e-mail them to normengesetz2015(at)austrian-standards.at. We are looking forward to your message.
You want to submit your comments on the draft of the Standardization Act? Please send them directly to the Austrian Parliament (e-mail: begutachtungsverfahren(at)parlament.gv.at) and to the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW), Dept. I/11 (e-mail: post.i11(at)bmwfw.gv.at).
If you wish, you may also send a copy to Austrian Standards at normengesetz2015(at)austrian-standards.at.