Here you find answers to frequently asked questions. The list is regularly updated.

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Everything about standards and their terminology
If I am searching for an SN EN 170, for example, I find documents of the same name with the designations NF EN 170 or DIN EN 170. Are standards organizations not capable of using the same designations

European standards are agreements formulated by experts for products and services in the European Economic Area. They are developed by consensus. All state or interest-group representatives contribute to there being identical requirements for goods and services in Europe (EU/EFTA), the attainment, monitoring and measurement of which are also described in the standard. European standards of EU and EFTA states contain exactly the same information in identical wording in a single document.

In order to adopt the EN into the national body of standards, the national standards organizations always add a national cover sheet to this core information, and in some cases a national preface and, less frequently, national appendices. The designations SN, NF and DIN indicate which market the preface and specific appendices are aimed at. The actual content of the standard remains the same everywhere.

This process guarantees that the normative part of an SN EN is identical with, for example, a French NF EN or a German DIN EN. The added features of an SN EN are the additional national implementation guides and the extra information in the preface and national appendices, all provided by Swiss experts.

What is the difference between UDC and ICS classification?

UDC classification was used by ISO until 1993. This is why these numbers are still to be found in the case of older standards. From 1994, the ICS classification system developed by ISO was adopted. The SNV also uses just the ICS classification system.

Find and buy standards in the SNV shop
Can I order standards even if I am NOT a member of the SNV?

Yes, of course. You can order standards directly at

Does the SNV shop sell Swiss standards only?

The SNV shop provides standards from more than 400 standards organizations worldwide and also distributes corresponding licences. This service is unique compared to other European standards institutions. Some of what we offer can be found at

How can I see the prices in the standards shop if I do not have an account?

Visit and click on “Guest Login”. You will then be able to find the current prices of all our standards.


I cannot find a standard. What should I do?

It may well be the case that a standard cannot be found. There can be a number of reasons for this. For the best possible support, please do not hesitate to contact our SNV shop team or call us directly at +41 52 224 54 54.

Rights and duties when purchasing a standard (with regard to licences and copyright)
Am I permitted to quote from a standard or to make use of its images or drawings in other documents?

It is permitted to quote from standards provided the quotation serves the purposes of explanation, reference or illustration and does not exceed a length warranted by such purpose. Quotations and their sources must be disclosed. If reference is made to the author in the source, the author must be must be mentioned as well.

We will be pleased to check the reliability of form and content of your proposed quotations. Please contact us in writing at SNV shop, Bürglistrasse 29, 8400 Winterthur, Switzerland (

Am I permitted to translate standards into other languages?

Like other ways of editing, to translate a standard means to modify the document. A translation may even attain the status of a document in its own right. However it is not permitted to translate a standard without the explicit approval of SNV or its author.

What about historical standards? Is it permitted to continue to use them when they no longer appear on the SNV update-CD subscription?

Of course it is permitted to continue to use such standards within the scope of a single licence. If the idea is to continue to distribute historical standards internally or to make them available to multiple users, such uses must be provided for by licences for internal distribution of standards. However market expectations are based on the use of standards currently in force.

What are we entitled to do in agreement with our standards licences? To what extent is it permitted to print and save standards (even permanently, e.g. upon annual renewal)?

An SNV single licence entitles buyers to use a standard as a single user. Single users are permitted to print (an electronic version) or copy (a paper version) for personal working purposes and to permanently save a standard (on a drive accessible by the single user only) or archive it. In addition buyers are permitted to make and archive a backup copy of a standard.

Buyers of SNV licences for internal distribution of standards (multi-user licences) are permitted to allow multiple users to copy and exploit a standard within the scope of the licence (specifying number of staff / number of standards / sites). During the licence period, permission to print and permanently save the standard also applies to the additional authorised users. In addition buyers are permitted to make and archive a backup copy of a standard.

What happens when a user (single licence) leaves the company or is transferred abroad? Are licences transferable? If so, within a single site only? Are users permitted to take licences with them or transfer them to a new employer?

As a general rule, the right of usage of a standard (single licence) is held by the company purchasing the licence. The company may make the standard available for use to a user (usually a member of staff), but it is permitted neither for the company nor the user to cede or transfer the licence to any third party.

The company holding the licence is responsible to make sure that a user leaving the company returns the standard and does not make, and take with him, any copies of it. Subsequently the company may make the standard available for use to another member of staff.

The company is free to choose the member of staff permitted to use the standard within the extent of the licence from among all employees at all sites of the company including the ones located abroad.

Which use am I permitted to make of a standard (single licence)? How can a standard be exploited?

Purchasing a standard (single licence), a client acquires only a limited right of usage for a user of the documents in question. The client is entitled to allow a user to exploit and use the purchased standards and related products as intended, and to download and print for use by a user any standards and related products purchased electronically.

Making a purchase from SNV, a buyer of standards and related products (single licence) does not acquire any further rights of usage, copying and distribution. Specifically buyers are not permitted to copy, modify, publish or make available to third parties purchased standards and related products in any way going beyond the scope of personal use as governed by law. Nor are buyers permitted to produce and make available to third parties excerpts from standards and related products without the explicit approval of SNV in writing.