International Electrotechnical Commission

The International Electrotechnical Commission, in short: IEC ( International Electrotechnical Commission of English [ ˌ ɪ ˌ ɪntənæʃənəl lɛktɹətɛknɪkəl kəmɪʃən ] ), is an international standards organization based in Geneva for standards in the field of electrical engineering and electronics. Some standards are developed jointly with ISO.


The IEC was founded in 1906. Originally from London, she moved in 1948 its headquarters in Geneva. The IEC was instrumental in helping to unify standards for units of measurement, in particular Gauss, Hertz and Weber. They suggested as first a system of standards against which Giovanni Giorgi system, which ultimately to the SI, the International System of Units was. In 1938 they released a multilingual international dictionary to unify the electro-technical terms. The work continues, the International Electrotechnical Vocabulary ( IEV) remains an important task in the electrical and electronics industry.


The IEC Statute includes the entire electrical engineering, including production and distribution of energy, electronics, magnetism and electromagnetism, electroacoustics, multimedia, telecommunication and medical technology as well as general disciplines such as specialized vocabulary and symbols, electromagnetic compatibility, measurement and performance, dependability, design and development, security and the environment.


As an international association under Swiss law, the IEC is a non-profit non-government organization. In addition to its General Secretariat in Geneva four regional centers: for Asia in Singapore, for Latin America, in Brazil, for North America in the U.S. and for the Pacific in Sydney.

In the Technical Committee (TC ), subcommittees ( SC; subcommittees ) and working groups (WG; working groups ) prepare International Standards of electrical engineering. The committees are guided by the Management Committee for Standardization ( SMB; standardization management board), which also determines the formation of new technical committees and their areas of responsibility. For overarching topics such as security, environmental aspects, or electromagnetic compatibility, the SMB Technical Advisory Committees and application-oriented sector has set up committees. The assessment of current and future technology developments and market requirements for electro- technical standardization work will be carried out in special working groups of the Market Strategy Board ( MSB) of the IEC. TCAM ( Conformity Assessment Board - CAB ) coordinates the activities of the three IEC conformity assessment systems IECEE, IECEx and IECQ.

Work results / publications

IEC standards have numbers 60000-79999 your securities are denominated, for example, IEC 60417: . Graphical Symbols for Use on Equipment. The numbers of older IEC standards were changed in 1997 by adding 60000 added, for example, was from IEC 27, IEC 60027th

Standards, to be developed jointly with ISO, get the prefixes of both organizations, such as in "ISO / IEC 7498-1: 1994, Open Systems Interconnection Basic Reference Model ". The results of the work of the ISO / IEC Joint Technical Committee 1 (ISO / IEC JTC1 ), which deals with information technology standards of the region, are published under the common prefix of both organizations. Otherwise, jointly developed standards of both organizations in a number range are published starting with 80000. Here, however, is that for each one of a series, only one of the two organizations is responsible, for example, in ISO 81714-1, IEC 81714-2, IEC 82045-1, IEC 82045-2.

In 2003 491 new guidelines and standards have been published. Among other things, the CISPR ( Comite International Special des Perturbations Radioelectriques ) from the IEC has emerged.


The IEC is composed of members called National Committee ( NC). Each NC represents the national electrotechnical interests in the IEC. This includes manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and providers, consumers and users, all levels of government agencies, professional organizations and trade associations as well as developers of national standard bodies. National Committees are organized differently. Some NC represent only the public sector, some representing the public and private sectors and represent only some of the private. Approximately 90% of employees who prepare IEC standards, working in the industry.

In the IEC more than 70 countries are represented, organized in 93 technical committees, 80 subcommittees and working groups around 700 (as of 2008 ).

  • Brazil - Comitê Brasileiro de Eletricidade, eletrônica, Iluminação e Telecomunicações ( Cobei )
  • China - Standardization Administration of China ( SAC)
  • Denmark - Dansk Standard ( DS)
  • Germany - German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (DKE )
  • France - Union Technique de l' Electricité et de la Communication ( UTE )
  • United Kingdom - British Standards
  • India - Bureau of Indian Standards ( BIS)
  • Italy - Comitato Italiano Elettrotecnico
  • Japan - Japanese Industrial Standards Committee
  • Canada - Standards Council of Canada
  • Netherlands - Nederlands Electrotechnically Comité ( NEC)
  • Austria - Austrian Electrotechnical Association ( OVE )
  • Russia - Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology ( ГОСТ )
  • Switzerland - Swiss Electrotechnical Committee, Comité Electrotechnical Suisse ( CES)
  • Spain - Comite Nacional Español de la CEI
  • South Africa - South African Bureau of Standards ( SABS )
  • USA - American National Standards Institute (ANSI)


  • IECEE IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components ( IEC system for conformity assessment systems of electrical equipment and devices ), Geneva
  • IECEx IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to equipment for use in Explosive Atmospheres ( IEC System for Certification to Standards relating to Equipment for use in hazardous environments ), Geneva
  • IECQ IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components ( Formerly: IECQ - CECC ) ( IEC quality assessment system for electronic components ), Geneva