Hoge Raad voor Normalisatie/Conseil supérieur de Normalisation

The Hoge Raad voor Normalisatie (HRN)/Conseil supérieur de Normalisation (CSN) is Belgium’s high council for standardisation. The HRN/CSN is an independent advisory body, that advises ministers of the Belgian government on all matters relating to the policy and development of national and international standards. The recommendations of the HRN/CSN are publicly available.

The HRN/CSN is composed of representatives of the business community, consumer organisations, workers’ organisations, civil society organisations, and academia. The secretariat of the HRN/CSN is provided by the Belgian Ministry of the Economy.

A number of recommendations made by the HRN/CSN relate to the NBN’s activities, and in 2022, the NBN developed specific actions to address them.

  • During the COVID crisis, a standard for mouth masks was developed quickly. Based on this approach, the HRN/CSN issued a recommendation about the development of technical documents in the context of emergencies. NBN’s processes allow for the fast development of technical documents to respond to similar emergencies. However, good coordination at the government level remains essential to allow the NBN to respond quickly to certain questions.‍

  • Given that standards are protected by copyright, the HRN/CSN asked the NBN to develop a guide on the use of standards and their content. In 2022, the NBN worked on an intellectual property (IP) guide that provides a brief explanation of copyright and clearly outlines the options available to our customers and partners for using the content of standards. This guide will be published in 2023.‍

  • The HRN/CSN also commended the NBN on how it has prepared its annual report in recent years. The HRN/CSN also stressed that the actions taken by the NBN in response to its recommendations should be included in the annual report. This short overview aims to fulfil that request.