Leveraging ACP participation

Affiliate countries are encouraged to take an active role in IEC standardization and conformity assessment activities

Benefits of standardization and conformity assessment

In its Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (TBT Agreement), the World Trade Organization (WTO) recommends the use of international standards.

International standards are widely adopted at regional or national levels and applied by industry, testing laboratories and regulators. Since international standards generally reflect the best experience of industry, researchers, consumers, and regulators worldwide, they constitute one of the most important bases for the removal of technical barriers to trade.

The IEC system, based on inclusiveness and consensus, works to create a balance between stakeholders. Adopting IEC International Standards facilitates trade by creating confidence in international trade amongst the governments and consumers of affiliate countries, allowing them to enjoy secure supplies and better choice of products.

To guarantee imports of safe and high-quality electric and electronic equipment, governments have an interest in requiring standards conformity. Once IEC International Standards have been adopted nationally, regulations may be issued requiring importers and distributors to demonstrate that products have been certified in accordance with IEC International Standards.

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National Electrotechnical Committee

The National Electrotechnical Committee (NEC) brings together a wide range of national stakeholders to participate in electrotechnical standardization at a global level, including representatives from industry, government, national standards bodies, consumer groups, academia and testing laboratories.

The NEC provides a platform to assess the adoption of IEC International Standards, either as national standards, or, as reference for national laws and regulations. The NEC also has certain access and voting rights in IEC technical work, such as commenting on working documents at specific phases in the standards development process. Through their participation in the IEC, NECs help to ensure that the IEC reflects the interests and views from all parts of the world.

The IEC Affiliate Country Programme encourages participating countries to establish their NEC in order to fully benefit from the programme. Further information is available in the Guidelines to set up a National Electrotechnical Committee in an affiliate country. 

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NECs in Affiliate Countries


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Affiliate Plus status

Affiliate countries that have officially declared the adoption of at least 50 IEC International Standards as national standards and established a NEC with representatives from the private and public sectors are eligible for Affiliate Plus status.

With the Affiliate Plus status, countries can benefit from access to up to 400 IEC International Standards free of charge and support through the IEC Mentoring Programme for affiliates.

The Affiliate Plus status is granted by invitation from the IEC General Secretary & CEO.

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Countries with Affiliate Plus status


Mentoring Programme

The IEC mentoring programme partners IEC members with affiliate countries. The programme seeks to leverage the experience and knowledge of IEC National Committees to the benefit of affiliate countries with an established NEC.

Each partnership is a voluntary and personalized agreement, based on the specific needs of the affiliate country. The objectives are determined prior to the signature of the Mentoring Agreement which signals the launch of the partnership. The partnership lasts for a two-year period with the possibility for earlier termination or a one-year extension depending on the attainment of the objectives.

Role of the mentor

As a mentor, the IEC National Committee shares its experiences and best practices with the mentee. For example, the mentor can provide guidance on how to increase participation in IEC activities or how to strengthen national structures. However, it is prohibited for the mentor to try to influence the national position of the mentee.

Benefits for mentees

As a mentee, affiliate countries can select topics of interest based on the needs of their NEC. Examples include reaching out to stakeholders, establishing or managing mirror committees, adopting IEC International Standards, maintaining a TC/SC secretariat and commenting. Potential mentees are asked to complete an application form specifying their interests so that IEC Affiliate secretariat find a suitable mentor.

For further information about the programme, including how to participate, National Committees can contact the Affiliate Project Coordinator:

Useful material


IEC Affiliate Mentoring:

a gateway to new markets
IEC Mentoring Programme – Best practice guide

IEC Mentoring Programme

Best practice guide

IEC Affiliate Mentoring Programme video

More information

Information about the Affiliate Country Programme, its objectives and benefits

The role of the Affiliate Leader and an overview of the Messages and Dialogues to the affiliate community

Affiliate countries benefit from the participation in the IEC standardization process

Affiliate countries are encouraged to take an active role in IEC standardization and conformity assessment activities

Affiliate countries benefit from participating in conformity assessment activities

A number of events provide affiliate countries with the opportunity to meet with experts from all over the world

The documents in this section provide you with the necessary tools for your successful participation in the IEC Affiliate Country Programme

The IEC Affiliate Secretariat is your contact at IEC Central Office and will help you become familiar with the IEC environment and work