Domestic Standards

Standards

The Industrial Research and Standards Act (as amended by the National Standards Authority of Ireland Act) provides for the publication of Irish standards.  They define technical standards in relation to various products. In cases where the standards have the force of law, the failure to comply with them is an offence.

Many Irish standards were made by statutory instrument before Ireland joined the EEC in 1973. Relatively few have been since that date. Many of the  Irish standards have been eclipsed by common European Union common standards.  A number of Irish standards remain in force.

The British Standard Institution has been historically, influential in relation to product, process and services standards in Ireland, where there is no equivalent Irish standards.

The vast majority of standards do not have direct legal effect. They may represent best practice or an industry standard. They may define the producer’s duty of care  and general obligations in relation product safety and merchantability in many cases.


National Standards Authority of Ireland

The National Standards Authority of Ireland is the Irish standards body.  It operates under the National Standards Authority of Ireland Act 1996.  It is the national authority for certification for CE marking purposes.  This certification permits goods and services conforming to the applicable standards to be sold freely throughout the EU.

The NSAI offers the standards information service. The service allows subscribers accessed to information with a personalised contact within NSAI. A tailored updating service is available for certain monitored standards. The NSAI publishes standards through its sales office and through its website.

The NSAI consultative committee was established under the 1996 Act.  It advises the NSAI on what Irish standards and codes or practices are necessary for products and processes within the scope of its functions.  It drafts the appropriate standards and codes and amendments for adoption by the NSAI.  It ensures that interested parties are consulted.


International Standards

Most NSAI standards are derived internationally.  Since Ireland joined the EU, pre-existing national standards have been revoked are progressively replaced by EU promoted International Standards.

The NSAI participates directly in international standardisation agencies.  This is done through ISO, IEC, CEN, CENELC and, ETCI. NSAI invokes the assistance of numerous experts who represent Ireland on the International Standards committee and in relation to the very substantial amount of standards documentation published annually. The NSAI publishes up to 2000 standards a year.  Its present library of documents consists of over 25,000 standards.

The NSAI is affiliated to the International Organisation for Standardisation, ISO.  The ISL is a non-governmental organisation spanning the public and private sector.  It coordinates the work of over 160 national authorities.  It has published nearly 18,000 international standards. New standards are constantly published as new information and processes come to light.


European Union Standards

European Union legislation since the mid-1980s has made increasing use of standards. Under the new EU approach, the free movement of goods and services is facilitated for goods conforming with the relevant European standards developed by CEN, CENELEC, and ETSI.

The EU directives define the essential requirements in relation to the protection of health and safety, which goods must meet.  European Standards bodies draw up the relevant technical specification to meet the essential requirements. Harmonised standards are adopted by CEN.  Compliance with those standards provide a presumption of conformity with the legislative requirement.

The standards bodies proceed under a mandate or order issued by the European Commission in consultation with States.  The standards are developed in an open, transparent process which seeks to proceed on the basis of consensus between all interested parties.


Compliance with EU Standards

The EN is the European Standard adopted by CEN or CENELC.  It carries the same obligation of implementation as an identical national standard.  It requires the withdrawal of conflicting national standards.  Once adopted by NSAI a European standard is published as an IS.EN. A National Annex is a supplementary element added to a European standard to aid the reader in understanding the standard and making it easier to implement.

Compliance with harmonised standards provides a presumption of conformity in relation to compliance with the essential requirements of the relevant EU directive.  Manufacturers may choose other technical solutions provided that they comply with the essential health and safety requirements of any applicable directive.

Examples of common EU standards adopted in this way include those relating to toys, pressure vehicles, recreational craft, personal protective equipment, packaging, waste, medical devices of various types, low voltage equipment, machinery, explosives, electromagnetic compatibility, construction products, appliances and burning gaseous fuel.

The certification of medical devices is important in the Irish context.  There are a number of important international standards in relation to the design and manufacture of medical devices.


Domestic Standards

Domestic standards are initiated only where there is a specific requirement for a national standard.  The number of national standards promulgated annually is relatively small, approximately a dozen relative to one to two thousand international standards. International standards supplant Irish standards on an ongoing basis.

The Irish Standard, IS is a national specification.  It is based on the consensus view of an expert panel. There is public consultation. The Irish Standard mark, ISM signifies that the product has been manufactured in compliance with the Irish standard.  The design of the logo is based on the letters CE (Caighdean Éireannach), predates and as is distinct from the EU “CE” (Conformité Européene) mark.

The Irish Standard mark is protected under the Industrial Research and Standards Act 1961.  It is granted under license by the NSAI. A manufacturer of a product covered by the Irish Standard may apply for the Irish Standard mark license.  This will entitle the manufacturer to display the Irish Standard mark on the product.

The body must have the relevant quality controls as tested against the Irish Standards.  The conditions of use of the national, NSAI registered mark are available online.


Specification and Standards

NSAI developed standards through consultation with interested parties. The NSAI takes account of the views of stakeholders.  This may include the industry, governmental organisations, consumer groups, manufacturers, et cetera.  It seeks consensus.  Ultimately it focuses on an agreed standard and issues certification.

SWIFT is a specification written in fast track.  It is a rapidly developed recommendatory document based on participants in an SAI workshop.  This is an alternative to the slower international standardisation.  It is operated by the NSAI and may offer an alternative better suited to the requirements of Irish businesses, in particular, situations where urgency as required and there is broad consensus on what is required.

The NSAI operates the SME portal through its website.  It is a national consultation platform facilitating medium to small businesses and individuals to comment on and influence the direction of standards.  It offers premarket intelligence on proposed standards which may affect the business and provides for its influence and input.


NSAI Certification

NSAI creates, maintains and promotes accredited certification of products, services and organisations for compliance with recognised standards, from business management systems to product approvals.

Product certification and CE marking is a process for certifying that a product meets the requisite standards of performance, safety and quality.  NSAI certifies and registers several thousand companies and has issued over ten thousand certificates.

NSAI standards cover areas such as performance safety, design, environmental impact and quality. NSAI certifies management systems.  This covers the essential requirements for practical and effective management systems which minimise risk and maximise business opportunity.

The most important worldwide management systems are

  • ISO 9001 quality management systems
  • ISO 14001 environmental management systems;
  • OHSAS 18001 occupational health and safety management;
  • ISO 22000 food safety management systems;
  • IS. EN 16001/ ISEN ISO 5001 energy management system.

NSAI issues vehicle approvals.  The NSAI has issued over 2,000 motor vehicles approvals for vehicle types and their component elements such as seat belts, fires, engine parts, emissions, et cetera.

In relation to motor vehicles, NSAI has approved 10 test centres.  The centres undertake testing for vehicle approval and issue test reports.


Voluntary and Legal Standards

Most schemes of certification are voluntary in order to demonstrate compliance with a particular standard. In some cases, products or services require certification by law.  This may apply under either EU or domestic legislation.

CE marking is a legal requirement for many products sold in EU. The principal instances are mentioned above.  There are now relatively few national standards which are legally required. Some continue to exist.

A significant number of standards are established with the force of law under European Union legislation.  They are usually given legal effect for particular public protection reason. They include, for example, standards of safety in relation to toys, motor vehicles and food hygiene standard.


References and Sources

National Standards Authority of Ireland Act 1996

Standard Specification (Turpentine) Order 1949, S.I. No. 150 of

1949

Standard Specification (White Spirit) Order 1949, S.I. No. 151 of

1949

Standard Specification (Concrete Plain Roofing Tiles and

Fittings) Order 1949, S.I. No. 152 of 1949

Standard Specification (Concrete Cylindrical Pipes) Order 1949,

S.I. No. 153 of 1949

Standard Specification (Ready Mixed Oil Paints) Order 1949, S.I.

No. 154 of 1949

Standard Specification (White Pigments for Paint) Order 1949,

S.I. No. 155 of 1949

Standard Specification (Cotton Bed Sheeting and Cotton Bed

Sheets) Order 1949, S.I. No. 156 of 1949

28/1996

Instruments enabled by Industrial Research and Standards (Amendment) Act 1954 (11/1954), s. 2 and Industrial Research and Standards Act 1946 (25/1946), s. 20(3) were continued by Industrial Research and Standards Act (20/1961), s. 20: (6) The specifications declared by orders made under section 20 of the Act of 1946 or under section 2 of the Act of 1954 which were in force immediately before the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to have been declared under this section. This section was in turn repealed by National Standards Authority of Ireland Act 1996 (28/1996), s. 4(1), with existing orders continued in similar terms by s. 16: (6) The specifications declared or deemed to have been declared by orders made under section 20 of the Act of 1961 which were in force immediately before the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to have been declared under this section. However, it appears that the standards referenced by these SIs (from 1949 to 1954) have been discontinued.

Standard Specification (Galvanised Cisterns and Cisterns for

Domestic Water Supply) Order 1949, S.I. No. 157 of 1949

Standard Specification (Liquid Driers for Paints) Order 1949, S.I.

No. 158 of 1949

Standard Specification (Linseed Oil for Paints) Order 1949, S.I.

No. 159 of 1949

Standard Specification (Gold Size) Order 1949, S.I. No. 160 of

1949

Standard Specification (Knotting) Order 1949, S.I. No. 161 of

1949

Standard Specification (Hydrated Lime for Building Purposes)

Order 1949, S.I. No. 286 of 1949

Standard Specification (Extenders for Paints) Order 1949, S.I.

No. 287 of 1949

Standard Specification (Solid Concrete Building Blocks made

with Natural Aggregate) Order 1949, S.I. No. 288 of 1949

Standard Specification (Coarse and Fine Aggregates from

Natural Sources of Concrete) Order 1949, S.I. No. 354 of 1949

Standard Specification (Water Paints and Distempers for

Interior Use) Order 1949, S.I. No. 355 of 1949

Standard Specification (Concrete Interlocking Roof Tiles) Order

1950, S.I. No. 29 of 1950

Standard Specification (Electric Plugs and Socket Outlets) (10

Ampere Continental Type) Order 1950, S.I. No. 30 of 1950

Standard Specification (Varnish) Order 1950, S.I. No. 43 of 1950

Standard Specification (Asbestos-Cement Slates and Sheets)

Order 1950, S.I. No. 44 of 1950

Standard Specification (Woollen Blankets) Order 1950, S.I. No.

109 of 1950

Standard Specification (Gypsum Plasters) Order 1950, S.I. No.

240 of 1950

Standard Specification (Linseed Oil Putty) Order 1950, S.I. No.

41 of 1950

Standard Specification (Tungsten Filament General Service

Electric Lamps) Order 1950, S.I. No. 242 of 1950

Standard Specification (Test Sieves) Order 1950, S.I. No. 293 of

1950

 Standard Specification (Concrete Land Drainage Pipes) Order

1951, S.I. No. 46 of 1951

Standard Specification (Pickled Herrings) Order 1951, S.I. No.

314 of 1951

Standard Specification (Zinc Chromate Primers for Use in

Aluminium and Light Alloys) Order, S.I. No. 321 of 1951

Standard Specification (Bituminous Roofing Felt) Order, S.I. No.

330 of 1951

Standard Mark (Portland Cement) Order 1951, S.I. No. 384 of

569

1951

Standard Mark (Cotton Bed Sheetings and Cotton Bed Sheets)

Order 1951, S.I. No. 385 of 1951

Standard Mark (Linseed Oil Putty) Order 1951, S.I. No. 387 of

1951

Standard Mark (Concrete Plain Roofing Tiles and Fittings) Order

1951, S.I. No. 388 of 1951

Standard Mark (Concrete Interlocking Roofing Tiles) Order

1951, S.I. No. 389 of 1951

Standard Mark (Concrete Cylindrical Pipes) Order1951, S.I. No.

390 of 1951

Standard Mark (Asbestos Cement Slates and Sheets) Order

1951, S.I. No. 391 of 1951

Standard Mark (Hydrated Lime for Building Purposes) Order

1951, S.I. No. 392 of 1951

Standard Mark (Varnish) Order 1951, S.I. No. 394 of 1951

Standard Mark (Ready Mixed Oil Paints) Order 1951, S.I. No.

395 of 1951

Standard Mark (Solid Concrete Building Blocks made with

Natural Aggregate) Order 1951, S.I. No. 396 of 1951

Standard Mark (Water Paints and Distempers for Interior Use)

Order 1951, S.I. No. 397 of 1951

Standard Mark (Tunsten Filament General Service Electric

Lamps) Order 1951, S.I. No. 398 of 1951

Standard Mark (Woollen Blankets) Order 1951, S.I. No. 399 of

1951

Standard Mark (Electric Plugs and Socket Outlets) (10 Ampere

Continental Type) Order 1951, S.I. No. 400 of 1951

Standard Mark (Test Sieves) Order 1951, S.I. No. 401 of 1951

Standard Mark (Concrete Land Drainage Pipes) Order 1951, S.I.

No. 402 of 1951

Standard Specification (Writing Ink) Order 1952, S.I. No. 81 of

1952

Standard Mark (Bituminous Roofing Felt) Order 1952, S.I. No.

115 of 1952

Standard Mark (Zinc Chromate Primers for Use in Aluminium

and Light Alloys) Order 1952, S.I. No. 116 of 1952

Standard Specification (Coal Tar Creosote for the Preservation

of Timber) Order 1952, S.I. No. 286 of 1952

Standard Specification (Wrapping Paper) Order 1952, S.I. No.

314 of 1952

Standard Specification (Irish Handwoven Tweed) Order 1952,

S.I. No. 351 of 1952

Standard Specification (Gypsum Plasterboard) Order 1952, S.I.

No. 352 of 1952

Standard Specification (Flush Wood Doors) Order 1953, S.I. No.

570

31 of 1953

Standard Specification (Portland Cement) Order 1953, S.I. No.

35 of 1953

Standard Specification (Hollow Concrete Building Bocks made

with Natural Aggregate) Order 1953, S.I. No. 50 of 1953

Standard Specification (Edible Gelatine) Order 1953, S.I. No. 63

of 1953

Standard Specification (Hard Gloss Paints and Enamels) Order

1953, S.I. No. 71 of 1953

Standard Specification (Heavy Duty Shovels) Order 1953, S.I.

No. 91 of 1953

Standard Specification (Cast Iron Rainwater Goods) Order 1953,

S.I. No. 93 of 1953

Standard Mark (Flush Wood Doors) Order 1953, S.I. No. 102 of

1953

Standard Mark (Irish Handwoven Tweed) Order 1953, S.I. No.

103 of 1953

Standard Specification (School Paper Stationery) Order 1953,

S.I. No. 170 of 1953

Standard Mark (Turpentine) Order 1953, S.I. No. 177 of 1953

Standard Mark (Portland Cement) Order 1953, S.I. No. 178 of

1953

Standard Mark (Liquid Driers for Paints) Order 1953, S.I. No.

179 of 1953

Standard Mark (Knotting) Order 1953, S.I. No. 180 of 1953

Standard Mark (Gold Size) Order 1953, S.I. No. 181 of 1953

Standard Mark (Linseed Oil for Paints) Order 1953, S.I. No. 182

of 1953

Standard Mark (Heavy Duty Shovels) Order 1953, S.I. No. 183 of

1953

Standard Mark (Coal Tar Creosote for the Preservation of

Timber) Order 1953, S.I. No. 184 of 1953

Standard Mark (Wrapping Paper) Order 1953, S.I. No. 185 of

1953

Standard Mark (Writing Ink) Order 1953, S.I. No. 186 of 1953

Standard Mark (Cast Iron Rainwater Goods) Order 1953, S.I. No.

187 of 1953

Standard Mark (White Spirit) Order 1953, S.I. No. 188 of 1953

Standard Specification (Panelled Wood Doors) Order 1953, S.I.

No. 252 of 1953

Standard Mark (Panelled Wood Doors) Order 1953, S.I. No. 253

of 1953

Standard Specification (Ground Limestone) Order 1953, S.I. No.

260 of 1953

Standard Mark (Hard Gloss Paints and Enamels) Order 1953, S.I.

No. 269 of 1953

571

Standard Specification (Men’s Heavy Boots) (No. 2) Order 1953,

S.I. No. 317 of 1953

Standard Mark (School Paper Stationery) Order 1953, S.I. No.

367 of 1953

Standard Mark (Irish Homespun Tweed) Order 1953, S.I. No.

378 of 1953

 Standard Mark (Clayware Flue Liners for Open Fires) Order

1953, S.I. No. 379 of 1953

 Standard Mark (Clayware Land Drainage Pipes) Order 1953, S.I.

No. 380 of 1953

Standard Mark (Cotton Dungaree Cloth) Order 1953, S.I. No.

381 of 1953

Standard Specification (Irish Homespun Tweed) Order 1953, S.I.

No. 383 of 1953

Standard Specification (Cotton Dungaree Cloth) Order 1953, S.I.

No. 384 of 1953

Standard Specification (Clayware Land Drainage Pipes) Order

1953, S.I. No. 385 of 1953

Standard Specification (Clayware Flue Liners for Open Fires)

Order 1953, S.I. No. 386 of 1953

Standard Specification (Pressed Steel Rainwater Goods) Order

1953, S.I. No. 388 of 1953

Standard Specification (Finished Wallpaper) Order 1953, S.I. No.

389 of 1953

Standard Specification (Wallpaper Base) Order 1953, S.I. No.

390 of 1953

Standard Specification (Bitumen Damp-Proof Courses) Order

1953, S.I. No. 391 of 1953

Standard Mark (Pressed Steel Rainwater Goods) Order 1953,

S.I. No. 392 of 1953

Standard Mark (Bitumen Damp-Proof Courses) Order 1953, S.I.

No. 393 of 1953

Standard Mark (Finished Wallpaper) Order 1953, S.I. No. 394 of

1953

Standard Specification (Sparking Plugs) Order 1955, S.I. No. 19

of 1954

Standard Mark (General) Order 1964, S.I. No. 81 of 19642601

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Children’s Toys)

Order 1969, S.I. No. 75 of 19692602

The enabling provision is Industrial Research and Standards Act 1961 (20/1961), s. 24, which was repealed by National Standards Authority of Ireland Act 1996 (28/1996), s. 4. There is a saver for these regulations in s. 20: (2) The marks prescribed under section 24 of the Act of 1961 which were in force immediately before the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to have been specified under this section and may be withdrawn accordingly.

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Electrical Mains

Socket Outlets) Order 1973, S.I. No. 322 of 19732603

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Caravans and

Mobile Homes) Order 1974, S.I. No. 111 of 1974

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Children’s Toys)

(Amendment) Order 1975, S.I. No. 33 of 19752604

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Hood Cord for

Children’s Clothes) Order 1976, S.I. No. 140 of 19762605

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Children’s

Nightwear) Order 1979, S.I. No. 3 of 19792606

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Children’s

Nightdresses) (Amendment) Order 1979, S.I. No. 215 of

1979

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Toxicity of

Pencils and Graphic Instruments) Order 1983, S.I. No. 231 of

19832608

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Children’s Cots)

Order 1983, S.I. No. 232 of 19832609

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Gas Catalytic

Heaters) Order 1984, S.I. No. 125 of 19842610

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Children’s Toys)

Order 1985, S.I. No. 44 of 19852611

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Babies’

Dummies) Order 1988, S.I. No. 122 of 1988

2612

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Retreaded

Passenger Car and Commercial Vehicle Tyres) Order 1989, S.I.

No. 254 of 19892613

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Perambulators

and Pushchairs) Order 1990, S.I. No. 240 of 19902614

Industrial Research and Standards (Section 44) (Petroleum Coke

and Other Solid Fuels) Order 1991, S.I. No. 257 of 1991

Industrial Research and Standards (Fire Safety) (Domestic

Furniture) Order 1995, S.I. No. 316 of 19952615

National Standards Authority of Ireland Act, 1996

(Commencement and Establishment Day) Order 1997, S.I. No.

176 of 1997

National Standards Authority Of Ireland (Section 28) (13 A Plugs

& Conversion Adaptors For Domestic Use) Regulations 1997, S.I.

No. 525 of 1997

National Standards Authority Of Ireland (Section 28) (Electrical

Plugs, Plug Similar Devices and Sockets For Domestic Use)

Regulations 1997, S.I. No. 526 of 1997

National Standards Authority of Ireland Act, 1996 (Section 32)

Regulations 2001, S.I. No. 484 of 2001

Enterprise Oil Burners (Standards) Act 1960

Oil Heaters Regulations 1963, S.I. No. 9 of 1963

Oil Heaters (Amendment) Regulations 1963, S.I. No. 178 of

1963

24/1960

Enterprise Industrial Research and Standards Act 1961

Industrial Research and Standards Act, 1961 (Commencement)

Order 1961, S.I. No. 210 of 1961

National Board for Science and Technology Staff

Superannuation Scheme 1980, S.I. No. 344 of 19802616

National Board for Science and Technology Widows’ and

Children’s Contributory Pension Scheme 1980, S.I. No. 345 of

19802617

20/1961

Enterprise Science and Technology Act 1987 30/1987

Enterprise Anchors and Chain Cables Act 1899

Chain Cables Order 1930 [Vol. IV p.271] S.R.& O. No. 83 of 1930