Global trade

IEC International Standards, together with the IEC Conformity Assessment Systems lie at the heart of global trade in electrical and electronic goods.

Enabling global trade

IEC International Standards together with the IEC Conformity Assessment Systems help avoid technical barriers as defined by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement. Under that agreement, WTO members commit to using international standards as the basis for their national standards, mandatory technical regulations and testing and certification practices.


Electrical and electronic goods represent the largest category of goods traded globally (in value). Most of them are no longer made in a single country; instead, they are “made in the world”. Before the final product is assembled somewhere and then shipped further for final consumption, parts and components transition through many countries.


Global value chains can only function efficiently when all participating economies  follow the same harmonized, globally agreed rules, which are embedded in international standards.


What we do

What is a standard?

Conformity assessment