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The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) is the trade association for the fuel cell and hydrogen energy industry, and is dedicated to the commercialization of fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies. Fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies deliver clean, reliable power to leading edge corporate, academic and public sector users, and FCHEA members are helping to transform our energy future. FCHEA represents the full global supply chain, including universities, government laboratories and agencies, trade associations, fuel cell materials, components and systems manufacturers, hydrogen producers and fuel distributors, utilities and other end users.

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What are Regulations, Codes, and Standards? 

A standard consists of technical definitions and guidelines that function as instructions for designers/manufacturers and operators/users of equipment. Standards are considered voluntary because they are guidelines and not enforceable by law.

A code is a set of laws or regulations that have been adopted by one or more governmental bodies and is enforceable by law.

A regulation can either be a rule dealing with details of procedure, or an order issued by government and enforced by law.  Regulations are generally safety-oriented.

Regulations are typically available without a fee, such as viewing or downloading the Code of Federal Regulations online.  Codes and standards for components and systems; however, are generally offered for sale by the code or standard development organizations that developed and published them. Free access to codes may be available online. 

A more in-depth overview on the distinctions between codes, standards, regulations, technical specifications, technical reports, and information reports is available on our Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Safety Report website.