Maintenance of the Eurocodes is an essential activity to preserve their credibility, integrity and relevance, as well as to ensure that they do not contain errors. The first phase of implementation and use of the Eurocodes gave rise to technical, editorial and possibly legal questions. It also identified technical and editorial issues that required review. The work programme foresees different activities for the short term, medium term and long term.
Maintenance work involves:
- correction of errors;
- technical amendments with regard to urgent matters of health and safety;
- technical and editorial improvements;
- resolution of questions of interpretation;
- elimination of inconsistencies and misleading statements.
Maintenance of the Eurocodes first generation was largely based on the feedback from the use of the Eurocodes in the Member States and on requests for revisions from industrial organisations or public authorities.
Who is responsible?
CEN/TC250 is responsible for the maintenance of the Eurocodes, which will proceed according to CEN rules. Each Sub-Committee (SC) has set up Maintenance Groups to evaluate matters referred to them or identified by them regarding a particular Eurocode. While questions of interpretation lie within the scope of SCs, any proposal for change have to be approved by CEN/TC250 (cf. Policy Guidelines and Procedures for CEN/TC250 Structural Eurocodes – Maintenance of EN Eurocode Parts).
JRC, within the framework of the Administrative Arrangement with the DG GROW and its institutional activities, supports CEN/TC250 by the setup of a centralised helpdesk for interaction with national helpdesks and, where appropriate, and in liaison with the relevant International Technical Scientific Organisations, provides support to resolve the scientific issues.
Maintenance activities evolve according to CEN rules.
Maintenance of the Eurocodes respects the CEN rules and may lead to corrigenda, amendments or new editions.
The maintenance strategy for the Eurocodes should be decided by the European Commission, Member States, Industry and CEN seeking to find a balance between the requirements for public safety, the competitive demands of industry and available funds.
How to achieve maintenance?
The organisation of maintenance starts after the receipt of a positive vote on a draft Eurocode. Normally, amendments should be made at the time of the regular 5-yearly review of standards, unless circumstances demand greater urgency.
As a first step, questions resulting from the use of the Eurocodes are collected. The second step is the collection of proposals for amendments from Member States and NSBs. All information and proposals are collected using two routes:
- via the Eurocodes National Contacts (ENC) Group to the Commission;
- via the NSBs to CEN/TC250 and its SCs as appropriate.
Dependent on a particular question, an interchange for comments can take place between the Commission/DG GROW and CEN/TC250 and the Commission/DG JRC and the CEN/TC250/SCs, involving International Technical and Scientific Organisations where necessary.
Technical comments to CEN/TC250 and its SCs should be submitted via NSBs through an official template. The NSBs are invited to filter comments as far as feasible.
CEN review procedures for ENs
Review of a European Standards is initiated by the relevant Technical Committee (TC) at the latest after the EN has reached four years after ratification. The TC is required to review the EN before the end of the five-year period following the ratification.
After the review the TC decides on either
- confirmation of the EN;
- withdrawal of the EN;
- revision of the EN by a new edition, or by applying the Vienna Agreement, or by amendment.
The removal of printing, linguistic or similar errors from the text of an EN shall be handled by the issue of a corrigendum to all national members with a request for immediate action. Such a corrigendum shall not be submitted to any enquiry or voting procedure. However, if verification by the national members is required, the intended correction shall be circulated for a two-month period before being issued.
Any modification to, addition to or deletion of specific parts of the text of an EN shall be subject to the same procedures as the original text. The result of approval of a draft amendment is the publication of a new edition of the EN in question or the publication of an amendment as such. Preference should be given to the issue of a new edition of the standard. CEN national members have the same obligations for implementation of the amendment as for the EN.
Maintenance work programme
The maintenance activities are divided in three parts: the short term (immediate or within a year); the medium term (the regular five-year review); the long term (greater than five years).
The maintenance activities should be divided in three parts:
- the short term (immediate or within a year);
- the medium term (the regular five-year review);
- the long term (greater than five years).
The short term activities involve the technical amendments with regard to urgent matters of health and safety, the correction of technical and editorial errors (e.g. mistakes in symbols, typographical mistakes), the essential technical and editorial improvements resulting from feedback and the identification of inconsistencies arising from liaison between CEN/TC250 and other CEN/TCs and TABs. Corrigenda will eventually be issued at the end of the short-term period.
Items that fall into the medium term are the technical and editorial improvements and the resolution of questions of interpretation. Requests from industrial organisations and public authorities will also be considered. A new edition or amendment to the Eurocodes may be published, as necessary.
In the long term, matters relating to development of new items (e.g. advice on making buildings more tolerable against acts of malicious damage) will be examined. This includes new material and concepts which require research, and may be considered as development.
To ensure efficiency and consistency, it is foreseen that CEN/TC250 will collect all the corrigenda and amendments to the Eurocode Parts produced by the appropriate SCs and CEN will edit regularly (e.g. annually) a "unified revision manual" and make it available to the NSBs.
Different maintenance activities are foreseen for the short term, the medium term and the long term Following the request of the profession, a 5-year period of stability is foreseen.