Assessment of existing steel structures: recommendations for estimation of remaining fatigue life. The growing importance of sustainability affects new markets for the construction industry; the rehabilitation and refurbishment of existing buildings and civil engineering works is getting more and more into the focus of construction activities. This also applies to bridges as well where the quality management comprising the full life of a bridge has a long tradition. For bridges in particular the enormous increase of freight-volume on roads and rails and the growing age of the bridges cause the question, whether the existing structures are still fit for use and whether or not they can be retrofitted and if so how that could be done. For decision making concerning measures for maintenance and refurbishment of a bridge or its substitution by a new bridge the value of the residual service life is very important. Therefore the bridge authorities have been cooperating for a long time to develop appropriate methods for determining the residual safety and service life of existing bridges. Also the International Technical-Scientific Organisations as the ECCS and fip as well as Standard Organisations as ISO and CEN have cared for an international exchange of views and the harmonisation of methods. For steel bridges in particular the Technical Committee 6 – Fatigue – of the ECCS has taken over the task to develop a technical guidance for the assessment of existing steel bridges on the grounds of national experiences and the present state of the art. This guidance has been prepared to serve as a basis for CEN/TC 250 – the CEN-Technical Committee responsible for the structural Eurocodes – for future further development of these Eurocodes to include the assessment and retrofitting of existing structures. The result of the development of ECCS-TC 6 is a technical- scientific report which has been published by the Commission of the EU (DG-Research – Joint Research Centre – JRC) in the frame of a cooperation agreement between the JRC and the ECCS. This report may be used as a technical recommendation as long as the revision of the Eurocodes has not been carried out. This contribution gives the main information from the JRC-ECCS report, that can be downloaded free of charge from the e-bookshop of the Commission.