1.8 The President will decide when agreement on the final text of the CWA will be reached among the participants registered in the WS. European standards contribute to improving safety, improving quality, facilitating cross-border trade and strengthening the European internal market. They are developed through a collaborative process between experts appointed by business and industry, research institutes, consumer and environmental organisations, trade unions and other stakeholders. CEN is committed to promoting the international approximation of standards within the framework of technical cooperation agreements with ISO (International Organization for Standardization). 1.6 The official start of the workshop will take place at the kick-off meeting, subject to sufficient support from the workshop project plan. If no agreement is reached, the organization of a new meeting with the candidates will be considered. Participation in the kick-off meeting does not automatically ensure registration for the WS. Following the kick-off meeting, participants who wish to continue to contribute to the development of the draft CBA will be encouraged to formally register with WS by signing a specific registration form. . 1.7 WS Participants design the CWA(s) to the specifications specified in the project plan. The draft CWA will be made available to registered CEN/WS participants for their comments. In order to ensure transparency, WS documents should be uploaded to an electronic platform.
If the CWA is located in the same area as an existing CEN/CENELEC technical body, the draft CWA shall be sent to the CWA for comments to that technical body at the same time as it is notified to the workshop participants. If this is provided for in the project plan and in any case if the CWA project covers safety aspects, an open comment phase (at least 60 days) will be launched. Elena Santiago Cid, Director General of CEN and CENELEC, commented: “Our ongoing goal is to limit the fragmentation of the single market and this new CWA is further proof of how European standardisation creates European consumer confidence and facilitates trade within the EU.” Brussels, 17 June 2020 – In view of the evolving situation of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) has developed, at the urgent request of the European Commission, a new CEN workshop agreement on face coverings in the Community, which will be made available free of charge today. The new CWA 17553:2020 “Community face coverings – Guide to minimum requirements, methods of testing and use” contains minimum requirements for the design, manufacture and performance evaluation of community face coverings (barrier masks) intended for consumers, simple or reusable. It is available for free download on the CEN and CENELEC websites, as well as on the websites of CEN national members.* In most European countries, community masks, which often do not fall within the scope of the regulations on personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical devices, have become a fundamental part of national strategies guiding the gradual repeal of existing containment measures. This is why the European Commission has identified the urgent need for a harmonised and uniform level of safety for Community face coverings. On the basis of this need and in order to respond to the urgency of the situation, CEN has agreed to develop this CWA with an accelerated approach led by AFNOR, the French standardization body. The CWA, published on 17 June, is the result of a joint effort by the members of this workshop, who shared their expertise as well as existing national guidelines to develop a common outcome to download for free. This extraordinary decision reflects the commitment and determination of CEN and its members to continue to support the efforts needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and follows the decision to make freely available a list of 11 European standards for medical devices and personal protective equipment used in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. .