About IEC

So what exactly do we do?

The IEC provides a global platform and coordinates the work of thousands of experts from 167 countries. These global experts develop the many technical requirements for electrical and electronic components, devices and systems so that they are able to work safely with each other anywhere in the world.

These experts define measurement, testing, interoperability, safety and other essential requirements, which support the growth and advancement of economies and are needed by industry.

Millions of electrical or electronic products and systems in homes, offices, healthcare facilities, factories, public spaces, power generation, transportation, and more, rely on IEC International Standards and Conformity Assessment Systems.

You can discover more about what we do by watching our ‘World of the IEC’ video below and in our brochures. You will find key facts and figures about the IEC in our website.

What is a standard?

To put it simply, a standard is an agreed way of doing something; a common solution for a mutual problem. It reflects the expertise and know-how of the often world-renowned experts who developed it. IEC International Standards allow electrotechnical products to work safely with each other, anywhere in the world. For example, MPEG standards enable the sharing, distribution and exchange of content on a whole range of different devices! International Standards also facilitate global trade, making it easier to buy, sell and use products in many markets.  A USB stick manufactured in China can be used on a computer bought in Norway. A halogen bulb from Germany can be used in a lamp in Brazil.

What is conformity assessment?

Conformity assessment refers to any activity that helps determine if a product, system or service corresponds to the requirements that are contained in a specification. A specification, often a standard, is a technical description of the characteristics that need to be fulfilled. The activity itself can be executed by an individual, a company or a test laboratory.

Why do we need conformity assessment?

  • Governments want to protect their populations from unnecessary risks.
  • Insurers want to know that equipment will not cause loss of life or damage.
  • Buyers want proof about a product’s or system’s safety, performance and reliability.
  • Users of equipment and consumers want to be able to trust the product or service they are purchasing.

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Privacy policy

Thank you for visiting the IEC Blog. The IEC is committed to protecting the privacy of its members, customers and other contacts. Any information you choose to provide on this Website will only be used to provide or improve the services we offer.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The IEC is currently working on adapting this policy to ensure compliance with GDPR regulation EU 2016/679.


The IEC reserves the right to change or modify this Privacy Policy at any time. If we revise our policy, we will post the changes on the site to ensure transparency in informing you about what information we collect, how we use it and under which circumstances, if any, we disclose it.


The IEC does not collect personally identifying data from this Website except when specifically and knowingly provided by you. By browsing this Website and communicating electronically with us and/or submitting your personal data to this Website, you acknowledge and agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy and to the processing of personal data by the IEC as described below.

One of the purposes of the IEC collecting personal information is to provide you with the best possible service.

Personal Information

We may collect information about you when you use this Website, or when you apply for or use other services offered by the IEC, in the following ways:

  • As you browse through the IEC Website (including the IEC Blog), we may automatically gather and store information about your visit via cookies. We may use session-specific cookies to collect data automatically about Website use when you visit this site, including e.g. your IP address, domain name, Internet service provider, protocol, browser type and operating system. This information is notably required when you use the IEC’s Webstore to purchase IEC publications.
  • When you use our Webstore to purchase IEC publications, or subscribe to our online magazines (iec e-tech or Just Published), or subscribe to MyNewDocs, or request specific information or products, we will use the personal data that you provide only for such purposes as are described at the point of collection and at the time of data input, such as to send you information or ordered products, to update your membership record or to respond to your questions and comments.
  • The IEC will use such personally identifying data as (without restriction) full name, address, e-mail, phone and fax numbers only for business purposes within the IEC, which includes communication of the data to the IEC member National Committees. If you are a person who has been nominated to participate in IEC work, your National Committee has access to your record and can modify it in accordance with your legal rights. This data may also be made available to the officers of the committee, project team, working group or maintenance team to permit them to contact you.
  • Membership lists of committees and subgroups are available publicly on the IEC Website. These lists include only the name and country of each participant. No means of contact information (notably e-mail, address and phone/ fax number) are given.


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From time to time, we may ask our site visitors to answer survey questions. Surveys generally deal with the site, our products or categories of products. They will not request any personal data.


Some areas of the IEC Website may provide you with the opportunity to e-mail a Web page to another person. For this feature to work, we may need to collect your e-mail address and/or the e-mail addresses of those to whom you send the page. The e-mail addresses collected in this context are not used for any purpose other than to send the Web page in question.

Links to Other Sites

The IEC Website contains links to other sites. Links to third-party Websites lie outside the scope of responsibility of the IEC. Access to and use of such Websites occurs entirely at the user’s own risk. The IEC expressly states that it has no influence whatsoever over the content of any linked site. Responsibility for information and services of linked sites rests entirely with the relevant third parties. No liability can be accepted in respect of the content of such Websites.

Data Protection and Accessing, Deleting or Correcting of Data

Based on Article 13 of the Federal Constitution and the provisions of the Swiss data protection legislation, everyone has the right to the protection of privacy, as well as to protection from misuse of their personal details. The IEC complies with these provisions. Personal details are treated in the highest confidence and are neither passed on, shared nor sold to third parties (whether situated in a country providing standards of protection similar to those of Switzerland or not) except in the following case:

The IEC may disclose personal data to third parties (whether situated in a country providing standards of protection similar to those of Switzerland or not) if the IEC is required to do so by law or if such action is reasonably necessary to comply with legal process, to respond to any claims, or to protect the rights of the IEC, its customers and the public. For the purposes of this clause, National Committees of the IEC, even when situated outside Switzerland, are not deemed to be third parties and you hereby consent to the transfer of personal data to such National Committees for the purpose of managing your participation in IEC work.

You can consult, revise and correct the personal data that you have provided to the IEC Webstore via http://webstore.iec.ch. To revise or correct personal data relating to your participation in IEC work, you should contact your National Committee. If you wish to correct data relating to your position or function in an IEC committee (for example, National Committee official, TC/SC secretary, chairman, PT leader or WG/MT convenor), you should contact the IEC Central Office.

We will retain your personal information in accordance with applicable data protection laws for so long as it is needed in the light of the principle of proportionality.

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Downloading or copying of texts, illustrations, photos or any other data does not entail any transfer of rights on the content. Copyright and any other IP rights relating to texts, illustrations, photos or any other data available on http://www.iec.ch are the exclusive property of the IEC or of any other expressly mentioned owners. Any reproduction requires the prior written consent of the copyright holder.

Governing Law and Jurisdiction

This IEC Website Privacy Policy is governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Switzerland. You agree that any dispute arising out of your use of this Web site is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts in GenevaSwitzerland.