A Standard is a document that sets out requirements for a specific item, material, component, system or service, or describes in detail a particular method or procedure.

A Code is a document that describes the end-result – what a product should conform to- rather than how it should be done.

Codes and standards are not mandatory- they are optional - in contrast to regulations that are mandatory.

Codes and standards on European level are developed and issued by CEN (European Committee for Standardization) or CENELEC (European committee for Electro-technical Standardization).

On the international level, their counterparts are ISO (International Standards Organization) and IEC (the International Electro-technical Commission). 

Within these organisations, the preparation of the standards belongs to the TC’s (technical committees) that work on the basis of national participation by the CEN members (NSB’s - National Standardization Body). The real standard development is done by a WG (working group).  A working group is established by the technical committee to undertake a specific task within a target date.

CEN and ISO, and CENELEC and IEC work closely together, as is arranged by the Vienna Agreement established in 1991 and revised in 2001.

The most relevant TC’s for hydrogen and its applications within CEN/CENELEC and ISO/IEC are:

ISO TC197 "Hydrogen technologies": Standardization in the field of systems and devices for the production, storage, transport, measurement and use of hydrogen.

IEC TC105 “Fuel cell technologies”: International standards regarding fuel cell (FC) technologies for all FCs and various associated applications such as stationary FC power systems, FCs for transportation such as propulsion systems, range extenders, auxiliary power units, portable FC power systems, micro FC power systems, reverse operating FC power systems, and general electrochemical flow systems and processes

CEN/TC 268 Cryogenic vessels and specific hydrogen technologies applications

The text of the standards can be consulted on the websites of the TC’s.

These standards are providing globally harmonized requirements with regards to key items such as:

●  hydrogen refuelling interface,

●  hydrogen fuel quality,

●  hydrogen refueling station safety and lay-out requirements.

Besides ISO and IEC, also SAE standards exist. SAE is a global association of engineers and related technical experts in aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries.

Relevant SAE standards are:

SAE J2600: Compressed Hydrogen Surface Vehicle Fueling Connection Devices

SAE J2601: Fueling Protocols for Light Duty Gaseous Hydrogen Surface Vehices

SAE J2719: Hydrogen Fuel Quality for Fuel Cell Vehicles

SAE J2579: Fuel Systems in Fuel Cell and Other Hydrogen Vehicles

Some relevant regulations are:

UNECE Proposal for a global technical regulation on hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles.

UNECE UN Vehicle Regulations R134 Hydrogen and Fuel cell Vehicle Safety