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Italy Standards

Italian custom information, import regulations, shipping documents requirements, and free trade zones/warehouses. Share your experiences in trading with Italy importers.

Italy Standards

Postby bridgat » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:33 am


As a member of the EU, Italy applies the product standards and certification approval process developed by the European Community. Italy is required by the Treaty of Rome to incorporate approved EU directives into its national laws. However, there is frequently a long lag in implementing these directives at the national level. In addition, in some sectors such as pollution control, the uniformity in application of standards may vary according to region, further complicating the certification process. Italy has been slow in accepting test data from foreign sources, but is expected to adopt EU standards. US-EU negotiation of mutual recognition agreements should, over time, reduce problems in this area. In the Spring of 1997 the U.S. and EU concluded mutual recognition agreements on the following commercial topics: network and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) for telecom, commercial topic communications, information technology equipment, and radio transmitters; EMC and electrical safety for electrical and electronic products; quality inspections for the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products and certain medical devices; product assessment for medical devices; and safety of recreational craft.

As part of the unification program to establish common standards for all member countries, key product areas are being regulated by the EU. Mandatory requirements to protect the health and safety of consumers, as well as the environment are constantly being developed and implemented. To indicate conformance to the mandatory EU requirements, a CE mark must be placed on all regulated products by the manufacturer or a representative before they can be sold on the EU market. The applicable product testing and certification requirements for individual product categories are specified in the various EU directives. The CE mark relates only to the mandatory health, safety, and environmental requirements established by the EU; it does not indicate conformity to European product standards. Thus, national marks of conformity with product standards remain compatible with the CE mark and both may be applied to the product. It should be noted, however, that the CE mark does replace all national safety marks for the regulated products.

U.S. firms exporting to Italy are confronted with both national and EU standards for many products. Further, these regulations occasionally change to meet new technology and more stringent demands. Exporters can stay fully informed of the latest EU technical standards activities by contacting the Standards Information Service of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at (301) 975-NIST. A part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST offers industry an in-depth reference system on EU standards. Information is gathered from two European standards bodies tasked to write the EU norms --the European Committee for Standards (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC). NIST also can provide updated information from the EU which will elaborate on directives and provide assistance in identifying EU and member state standards and regulations.

Other valuable sources of information with regard to Italian standards include: the American National Standards Institute, 25 West, 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036, (212) 642-4900,; the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161, (703) 605-6000,; UNI-Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione (Italian National Bureau of Standards), via Battistotti Sassi 11b, 20133, +39 02 70024.1,, Milan; or through the various trade associations that follow international activities for their membership.
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