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Homologation is a technical term, derived from the Greek homologeo (ὁμολογέω) for "to agree", which is generally used in English to signify the granting of approval by an official authority. This may be a court of law, a government department, or an academic or professional body, any of which would normally work from a set of strict rules or standards to determine whether such approval should be given. The word may be considered very roughly synonymous with accreditation, and in fact in French may be used with regard to academic degrees (see apostille). Certified is another possible synonym, while to homologate is the infinitive verb form.

In today's marketplace, for instance, products must often be homologated by some public agency to assure that they meet standards for such things as safety and environmental impact. A court action may also sometimes be homologated by a judicial authority before it can proceed, and the term has a precise legal meaning in the judicial codes of some countries.

The word, and cognate terms in other European languages (It: omologazione; Sp: homologación; Pt: homologação), is used within the European Union in those papers that are direct translations from French to refer to the processes of making trade standards and laws consistent throughout the whole of the union. British journalists usually prefer to use the word harmonisation for this purpose. The equivalent process of testing and certification for conformance to technical standards is usually known as Type Approval in English-language jurisdictions.

Another usage pertains to the biological sciences, where it may describe the similarities used to assign organisms to the same family or taxon, similarities they have jointly inherited from a common ancestor. Similarly, Homologation is widely used in technical areas, such as communications, when products and/or processes have to be certified against the corresponding telecom standard, internal normative, etc.



Perhaps the closest this word comes to everyday usage is in reference to racing vehicles. In motorsports a vehicle must be homologated by the sanctioning body to race in a given league, such as NASCAR, World Superbikes, International Level Kart Racing or other sportscar racing series.

Where a racing class requires that the cars raced be production vehicles only slightly adapted for racing, manufacturers typically produce a limited run of such vehicles for public sale so that they can legitimately race them in the class. These cars are commonly called "homologation specials".

The term is also applicable in the Olympic Games in venue certifications prior to the Olympics. A recent issue was raised at Cesana Pariol—the bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track used for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin—over its safety in luge. This delayed homologation of the track from January 2005 to October 2005 in order to achieve safe runs during luge competitions.

See also


External links

Academic homologation
Other Uses


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