With literally thousands of standards available, on every conceivable topic, it can be difficult to decide which is important to you.

It has to be said, however, that standards are as international as the markets they serve and currently the main producers of national standards in Western Europe are:

•   United Kingdom – British Standards Institution (BSI);

•   Germany – Deutsch Institut fur Normung e.v. (DIN);

•   France – Association Français de Normalisation (AFNOR).

Whilst the above countries are the primary source of European standards, there are others, as shown in Figure 4.2.

Outside Europe the most widely used standards come from:

•   America – American National Standards Institute (ANSI);

•   ...

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