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Standards are an integral part of the way we protect consumers globally. Agreed by experts, businesses and consumers, standards make our world easier, safer and more accessible. Although non-binding they often go on to form widely used legislation and act as a compliance system throughout the world. Consumers International has worked in the area of standards for as long as we have existed.


Our work in this area

Since our creation in 1960, we have worked closely with a range of key stakeholders to ensure that consumers have a voice in standardisation. From participating in the standard development process at a global level to encouraging member involvement at a national level, we strive to guarantee that standards remain an essential tool for protecting consumers and strengthening their trust in products and services. 

Consumers International has strong and long-standing relations with the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) and their Consumer Policy Committee (COPOLCO).




As a Liaison organisation for COPOLCO, we propose new work items that can lead to the development of new standards. We have supported the development of many new standards on important areas such as energy, mobile payments and corporate social responsibility.

Our commitment to capacity building and training for consumer groups on standardisation has also enabled consumer organisations to develop a better understanding of why standards are such an important part of consumer protection. 

Learn more about our work with COPOLCO.


  • Consumers International proposed, worked on and even drafted the first version of an international standard on improving the delivery of energy services to consumers. The standard was approved by ISO in August 2016 - the first time that a standard proposed by an NGO has become an ISO international standard. 
  • We were instrumental in getting the standard on access to water and sanitation approved. The standard has increased consumer rights and improved industry practice, particularly in Latin America where it has been widely adopted. 
  • As part of the ISO working group on mobile banking, we contributed to the drafting of ISO Standard 12812, which secured more transparency in remittances sent between countries and strengthened protection for consumers affected for unauthorised or fraudulent use of their payment systems. 


Making the case for consumer confidence in e-commerce at UNCTAD E-commerce week

Consumers International had a busy few days in Geneva at UNCTAD’s annual e-commerce week representing consumers on panels as diverse as business engagement, cross-border e-commerce and meeting the sustainable development goals.



Smart cities for smart consumers: Celebrating World Standards Day

To mark World Standards Day, we explore the vital role that standards can play in ensuring that modern cities are safer, cleaner and ‘smarter’ places to live.


Our Latest Publication

Connecting Voices: a role for consumer rights in developing digital society

Our major new report explores how consumer digital issues are presenting themselves in selected Latin American, African and Asian countries and where there are opportunities to focus resources to more effectively achieve positive change. The research is based on a survey of our members, interviews with consumer activists, digital rights organisations and intergovernmental organisations.

View all publications