Guidelines and basic principles

The ECLASS Standard contains structural elements exclusively for products and services deemed ethically unobjectionable according to internationally valid conventions (e.g., the UN Global Compact of the UN Procurement Division). In this sense, corruption-related services would be deemed unethical, for example.

Each individual user is fundamentally responsible for his or her usage of ECLASS. This applies to the standard as a whole or in parts, as well as for any integration into company-specific applications. Thus, ECLASS only provides structural elements for the purposes of selection and description. These are documented as part of an ongoing process of version maintenance. It is the responsibility of every user who uses this standard to verify the correctness and completeness of the structural elements used, for each specific use case. The association assumes no liability for incomplete or incorrect structural elements.

ECLASS is an internationally oriented standard for classifying and describing products and services. It has been maintained and further developed by the ECLASS association since 2000.

ECLASS is intended as a cross-sectoral, ISO/IEC-compliant industry standard that standardizes procurement, warehousing, production and sales in and between companies, and enables product data to be exchanged digitally across all (language) barriers. In this respect, ECLASS serves as a useful tool in industrial settings, in commercial transactions, in construction and handiwork, and in the services sectors, reducing data-related frictional losses both within single companies and between companies. ECLASS creates benefits along the entire value chain, and throughout the entire product life cycle. ECLASS helps support essential in-house functions, partners and processes by making products and services uniquely describable, globally identifiable and communicable regardless of language. This leads to a significant acceleration of all processes, while at the same time increasing their quality and reducing time and resource requirements. In addition, as an established uniform semantic standard, ECLASS is a key building block for the Internet of Things and for information-driven production (smart manufacturing).

In large part due to the growing – in some cases competing – demands on the ECLASS Standard, and due to the increasing number of participants with which the ECLASS association collaborates, it is necessary to define and explain the basic principles followed by all ECLASS association organs in further developing the ECLASS Standard. The guidelines and basic principles thus serve as a means of coordinating with other institutions, and by providing binding guidelines, help add transparency to the ECLASS e.V. operational framework.

The guidelines and basic principles can be found below for download in three languages (English, German, French, Chinese) as well as a tool for reviewing suitability of a proposed ECLASS segment as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Documents for download