In France, decree 2009-697 published on 16 June 2009 sets out the status of standardisation at national level. It defines the French standardisation system, the missions of public interests for which the AFNOR (French Standardisation Association) is responsible and certain notions regarding the establishment, approval and application of standards.
Of particular interest in this decree is the following definition (see article 1):
«Standardisation is an activity of public interest which aims to provide reference documents, drawn up by consensus by all interested parties, concerning the rules, characteristics, recommendations and examples of good practice in relation to products, services, methods, processes and organisations.
It aims to encourage economic development and innovation whilst taking into consideration sustainable development."
and also (article 17):
“The application of standards is voluntary.
However these standards can made regulatory with an order signed by the ministry of industry and/or other ministries involved.
Regulatory standards can be viewed free of charge on the AFNOR website.”
As standardisation is both a strategic area and one which is poorly understood and known, this section will aim to provide thorough (though not comprehensive) information on standardisation and standards in the ITS sector.