European Committee for Standardisation (CEN)


A standard (French: Norme, German: Norm) is a technical document designed to be used as a rule, guideline or definition. It is a consensus-built, repeatable way of doing something. Standardization aims to benefit the stakeholders concerned through increased product safety and quality as well as lower transaction costs and prices.

The European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) is one of three European Standardization Organizations (together with CENELEC and ETSI) which brings together national standardisation bodies of 34 European countries. CEN develops standards for various industry sectors through technical committees composed of national bodies. In 2016, CEN set up the Technical Committee which works on the creation of standardised (IT) process models in the insurance sector concerning policy administration and claims handling. The CEN Technical Committee is defined as “the neutral place for the European insurance industry to meet” and will “facilitate the coordination and collaboration on standardization of electronic business between insurance markets in Europe”. BIPAR participates in the meetings of the CEN Technical Committee for the insurance sector as a liaison organisation – without voting rights.

Besides European Standards, CEN produces other deliverables with specific characteristics and objectives. These are Technical Specifications, Technical Reports, Guides etc. A Technical Specification is a normative document, the development of which can be envisaged when various alternatives that would not gather enough as to allow agreement on a European Standard, or for providing specifications in experimental circumstances and/or evolving technologies. Contrary to European Standards, a Technical Specification may co-exist with any conflicting national standards.

2019/20 activities of the CEN

In 2019 the CEN Technical Committee for the insurance sector worked on the following projects:

  • European Standard “Transfer of Electronic Documents”. This European Standard aims to define the process and the structure of the transfer of electronic documents between stakeholders in the insurance industry (insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries, clients).The members of the CEN Technical Committee have agreed on the content of this draft European Standard and decided to release it for a 3-month public consultation, known as “Enquiry”, where national. As the European Standard was approved at the Enquiry stage, then the technical body will proceed with the publication of the Standard.
  • Technical Report on the implementation of the European Standard “Transfer of Electronic Documents”. The CEN Technical Committee is currently on discussions to finalise this TR. The objective of this project is to provide guidance for harmonised implementation of the data model of the Standard.
  • Technical Specification on “Electronic Premium Invoice”. This work item builds on the existing European Standard 16931-1 Electronic Invoicing. Discussions are still at an early stage.

-Published in June 2020 -

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