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Is IEC standard the same as EN standard?

When it comes to technical standards, there are often acronyms and abbreviations that can be confusing. Two commonly used terms in the field of electrical engineering are IEC and EN. While both are related to international standards, they do have distinctive characteristics and purposes.

Understanding IEC Standards

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is a global organization that sets international standards for electrical and electronic technologies. It consists of representatives from various countries and aims to promote uniformity and safety in the design, manufacturing, and use of electrical equipment. The standards developed by the IEC are recognized worldwide and cover a wide range of areas, including power generation, transmission, distribution, and appliances.

Exploring EN Standards

In contrast, European Norm (EN) standards are specific to the European Union. They are based on the IEC standards but include additional requirements and specifications relevant to the European market. EN standards are created to ensure interoperability, compatibility, and safety within the European Economic Area. As such, they mainly apply to products sold within the EU member states.

Differences and Relationships

While IEC standards are universal and applicable globally, EN standards cater specifically to the European market. This means that compliance with IEC standards does not automatically guarantee compliance with EN standards. Manufacturers who want to sell their products in the European market need to ensure that they meet both IEC and EN requirements.

It's important to note that despite the differences, there is a close relationship between IEC and EN standards. In many cases, EN standards incorporate IEC standards by referring to them directly. This aligns European regulations with international norms and facilitates trade between EU member states and other countries.


In summary, IEC and EN standards have distinct characteristics but are closely related. The IEC develops international standards applicable worldwide, while the EN standards focus on additional requirements specific to the European market. Manufacturers operating in Europe must comply with both IEC and EN standards to ensure their products meet global and regional regulations. Understanding the differences and relationships between these standards is crucial for companies involved in the electrical industry.


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