Tag Archive: SBS

  1. Last Call for LEVA-EU Standardization Workshop 27/02

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    Tomorrow, Tuesday 27 February, LEVA-EU is presenting an exclusive workshop on standardization for light, electric vehicles, including EPACs, E-Cargocycles, E-Scooters, etc. This insightful event is co-organized with  SBS and promises a deep dive into the realm of standardization, offering invaluable information.

    The event will take place online only from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

    Participation in the workshop is free for LEVA-EU and for SBS Members. Non-members pay € 175 for one participant, € 325 for 2 and € 450 for three. Participants must register in advance here: https://rb.gy/aq6s9p.

    Upon registration (members) and payment (non-members), we will send you an invitation with a online link to the workshop shortly before the start of the meeting.

    The agenda is as follows:

    1. Short presentation LEVA-EU and SBS

    2. What are standards?

    3. Why European/international standards?

    4. How is a standard being made?

    5. How is a standard structured?

    6. What’s the procedure to make and vote standards?

    7. Why and how participate?

    8. What’s the relation between standards and legislation?

    9. What is (the use of) harmonizing standards?

    10. How is a standard applied/used?

    11. Which standards, relevant for light electric vehicles are currently being drafted?

    12. What are the relevant published standards?

  2. SBS to host conference on SMEs and smart manufacturing – Standards as accelerators of industry change

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    Small Business Standards (SBS) invites interested parties and stakeholders to join the online conference this November

    Closing the SBS Meeting Standards campaign, the conference, moderated by Jenny Baker, will focus on the opportunities and challenges smart manufacturing brings to SMEs and discuss the role of standards in the digitalisation of manufacturing and the adoption of new manufacturing technologies. Through the presentation of SME case studies, the aim is to discuss the policy and legal context, standardisation activities and developments in this area and how they can support the adoption by SMEs of smart manufacturing technologies so that SMEs remain competitive in this area.

    When: 21 November – 13.15 – 16.15H (Brussels time)
    Where: Online

    Visit the official website to find out more and register

    Small Business Standards (SBS) is a non-profit association representing and defending Small and Medium-sized Enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the standardisation system at European and international levels. Its 22 members are national and European sectoral and inter-professional associations representing SMEs in 32 European countries.

  3. SMEs and accessibility standards

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    Approximately 87 million people in the EU are affected by a disability or some kind of limitation that affects their daily lives and restricts them from performing everyday tasks. But ultimately accessibility is relevant to all of us, since we all can potentially become temporarily or permanently disabled, and all of us experience a reduction in our functional abilities as we age.

    The European Accessibility Act (Directive 2019/882) was adopted in 2019 and aims to make certain everyday products and services accessible for persons with disabilities and to improve the way the internal market functions in this area. The Directive is a result of the commitment to accessibility made by the EU and all Member States upon ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

    Member States had to put in place the necessary provisions at national level to implement the Directive by June 2022. The Act lays out a minimum set of accessibility requirements for a range of products and services such as computers and operating systems, telephones and smartphones, passenger transport-related services, TV equipment, emergency services or e-commerce. Understandably, given their increasing importance in terms of communication and participation in the economy, digital technologies are the focus of the European Accessibility Act. The Directive also foresees the possibility for Member States to adopt requirements in relation to accessibility of the built environment.

    Businesses selling products and services covered by the Act will have until June 2025 to ensure that these comply with the common EU accessibility requirements. An exemption is foreseen for microenterprises providing services.
    On 22 November, SBS organised a webinar aimed at raising awareness among SMEs and SME organisations of the Accessibility Act and the related standardisation work. The Directive foresees the use of harmonised standards as a possible means to ensure that products and services conform with its requirements, and the Commission has issued a series of Standardisation Requests, one of them quite recently, asking for the development of such standards.

    SMEs are very often involved in both the production of technological solutions and in services for elderly persons and people with disabilities. Participating in standardisation is important for SMEs to be able to influence the framework within which they must operate, a point emphasised by SBS expert Rudolph Brynn during the webinar.

    Mr Brynn is an accessibility expert at SBS and works for a company that provides advice on universal building and outdoor design, digital accessibility and usability, and legislation and standards. He presented the SBS’ activities in this context and pointed out important aspects that SMEs should know about and the potential impact they might have on them.

    The other webinar speaker was Ms Inmaculada Placencia Porrero, Senior Expert in the European Commission’s social affairs unit, responsible for Disability and Inclusion. She provided an overview of the Disability Act, its objectives, and its main provisions.
    The European Commission recently issued a Standardisation request (M/587) to CEN, CENELEC and ETSI to develop three new standards and revise existing ones related to the accessibility of ICT products and services and their procurement, accessibility of the built environment, design for all, and accessibility of emergency communications, support services and non-digital product information.

    You can find the webinar presentation material here.

  4. SBS-Survey to identify key areas of standardisation for SMEs

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    SBS launched a study at the end of 2020 to identify key areas of standardisation for SMEs spanning the next five years. Both European and international standards cover an extremely broad range of goods and services, and the number of standards being developed or revised is growing every year. The study will assist SBS in focussing its activities on standardisation areas that have been identified as especially relevant and strategic from the SME perspective.

    As a part of this effort, SBS has developed a questionnaire to be completed by SMEs to assist in prioritising sectors and topics of particular SME relevance. The deadline for submission of the questionnaire is 15 July 2021. The questionnaire is available in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish here

  5. Eddie Eccleston appointment as SBS-expert extended

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    Further to the call for experts published in June 2020, the SBS General Assembly confirmed the selection of 61 experts to represent the European SME position on standardisation Technical Committees, Sub-Committees and Working Groups in CEN, CENELEC, ETSI, ISO and IEC.

    The selected experts, from 15 countries across Europe, will be active on 70 standardisation Technical Committees and more than 150 Working Groups, allowing SBS to influence the development of standards across more than 14 sectors. 

    LEVA-EU is very pleased with the reappointment of Eddie Eccleston to defend SME-interests in WG 5 – EPACs and WG 9 – (e)cargobikes of CEN TC 333.

  6. Launch of the SME Compatibility Test for Standards

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    In October, SBS has launched the SME Compatibility Test for Standards.

    This online test, accessible from the SBS website, can be used by any standard maker who wishes to assess the SME-compatibility of a standard. The test is the starting point for possible improvements to a standard if it appears to be unsuited to smaller businesses.
    Try it out to test a standard!
    Do you want to know more about the test? Watch the 10-10 webinar organised together with CEN and CENELEC on the participation of SMEs in standardisation.

    Photo by Kristin Wilson on Unsplash

  7. ICT standards for access to data: key to innovation and to a circular economy

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    If Europe wants to achieve its climate and economic goals, the digital sector has to contribute and embrace sustainability in all its facets: circular economy models for hardware, climate-neutral CPU models and server centres, and software advancements to reduce energy consumption, to name but  a few. By enhancing repairability and third-party maintenance, the life cycle of products could be extended, but this would not be entirely possible without third-party access to data. Only if independent repair and maintenance companies have access to the products’ data can we have a competitive secondary market, where many SMEs can thrive and drive economic growth and employment, consumers spend less and product life-cycles can be extended. Read more

    Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

  8. LEVA-EU to champion better rules for manufacturers as board member is appointed as SBS-expert

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    Trade association LEVA-EU, the sole voice for the light electric vehicle sector, is announcing the appointment of one of its board members, cycling industry veteran Eddie Eccleston, as Small Business Standards (SBS) expert. SBS is mandated by the European Commission to watch over SME-interests in European standardisation through the appointment of dedicated experts. In his position as SBS-expert, Eddie will help drive better rules for LEV manufacturers operating in the European Union.

     LEVA-EU represents a wide range of LEV manufacturers in the EU, Norway, Switzerland, China and Korea, a large number of which are small businesses active in the European e-bike sector. Eddie Eccleston comments; “It is brilliant for LEVA-EU to gain a stronger voice through SBS as this is a key organisation which can help drive better rules and regulations for the LEV sector, which is not well understood always at EU level.” He continued: “The coronavirus crisis is accelerating the use of LEVs as a safe, alternative, green and healthy form of travel. However, legislation must keep up with the sector and there are serious issues where the rules are not fit for purpose for LEVs and they need resolving urgently.

    Eddie’s appointment comes as LEVA-EU campaigns among other things for the exclusion of e-cargo bikes from legislation that it says is stifling industries that rely on them. LEVA-EU has already written to the European Commission calling for urgent legislative change for LEVs centering on the technical legislation for L-category vehicles – mopeds and motorcycles.

    The European Council and Parliament decided in 2013 to only exclude electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250 W from this L-category in Regulation 168/2013. All other electric bicycles are included in technical legislation that was originally written for internal combustion engine mopeds and motorcycles, leaving manufacturers forced to navigate complicated and costly procedures. E-cargo bike manufacturers currently limit their vehicles to 250W to avoid the regulation and the ensuing type approval.

    Eddie said: “This is a big issue I have already raised with SBS and we want as much input from LEV manufacturers as possible,” he said. “The 250W power limit, which e-cargo bike manufacturers must adhere to to stay out of type approval, is clearly insufficient in view of the increasing weight of the loads and for hilly areas. At the same time, European cities are banning cars, vans and trucks, and e-cargo bikes are being seen as a brilliant alternative. For this reason, and for e-cargo bike manufacturers to really thrive, it is essential that these types of vehicles are more widely excluded from the legislation so that the industry can reach its full potential.

    In his position of SBS-expert Eddie will be watching over the specific interests of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in CEN TC 333 – cycles. There he is looking to ensure that standards do not hold any requirements, which are too difficult or too complicated for SMEs to comply with.

    Every day, LEVA-EU receives information requests from small businesses that are totally unable to grasp the EU rules and regulations that apply to their products,” he said. “It is our hope that having a voice through SBS will considerably contribute to both simplifying the standards and making them more effective, through a better harmonisation under the different relevant directives. In particular we want to ensure that the future standard for e-cargo bikes is tailored to small businesses.

    Eddie said he is now in the process of setting up a mirror group for businesses in the E-Bike and E-Cargobike sector to input into his work within CEN TC 33. Eddie is working in WG5 – EPACs and in WG9 – (E)Cargobikes.

    This mirror group is not only meant to share information on what is going on in CEN TC 333 it is also meant to consult and discuss the ongoing standardization work,” he said. “As a result, mirror group members will have direct access to and participation in the standardization work.

    For further information on standardization work for light, electric vehicles please contact LEVA-EU, email leva-eu@telenet.be, tel. +32 9 233 60 05


    In CEN TC 333 Eddie Eccleston follows up on:

    –          CEN TC 333 – Cycles – General Assembly where general progress of the standardization work is discussed as well as potential new work items and miscellaneous issues.

    –          CEN TC 333 – Cycles – WG5 EPACs: this is the working group in which EN 15194:2017 has been developed. This working group discusses potential corrections, amendments and revisions of EN 15194:2017.

    –          CEN TC 333 – cycles – WG 9 (E)Cargobikes: this is a new working group that is preparing a European draft standard for (E)Cargobikes.

    SBS background

    Small Business Standards is a European non-profit association, co-financed by the European Commission and EFTA Member States. The SBS reported goal is to represent and defend small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the standardisation process at European and international levels. Moreover, it aims to raise awareness to SMEs about the benefits of standards and at encourage them to get involved in the standardisation process. For more information click here


  9. SBS opposes proposal to create ISO committee on social responsibility

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    In April, ISO received a proposal for the creation of a new Technical Committee on social responsibility. If created, the committee would aim to revise the ISO 26000 standard and develop further guidance and/or standards on social responsibility.

    SBS considers that the proposal neither provides a proper justification for the creation of a new ISO Technical Committee nor considers SMEs as an important stakeholder in this area. The principles of social responsibility have not changed since the adoption of the standard. The current ISO 26000 already covers the main principles of social responsibility including sustainability aspects. Therefore, there is no need to revise it. Moreover, SBS doubts whether the development of multiple guidelines and standards under the umbrella of ISO 26000 would help to advance social responsibility and fears that this may just add unhelpful burdens on companies, especially SMEs, instead.

    Small Business Standards (SBS) is a European non-profit association established in 2013 with the support of the European Commission devoted to representing and defending Small and Medium-sized Enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the standardisation system at European and international levels


    Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

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