The IEC's generic EMC Standards are for products operating in a particular EMC environment but for which no specific EMC Standards yet exist. They are in effect general and somewhat simplified EMC product Standards.
Generic EMC Standards are important building blocks for the development of new product Standards. Not only do they provide technical background, they also 'fill the gap' during the time taken to develop a product Standard.
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In some cases they may be completely adequate in themselves for use with particular products and may be used for product certification. This in turn relieves a product committee from developing a new Standard and is very much in line with the IEC forward-looking approach to EMC.
While referring to basic EMC Standards for detailed measurement and test methods, generic EMC Standards specify a limited number of essential emission and immunity tests, as well as minimum test levels. The aim is to ensure adequate compatibility at the same time as achieving a good balance between technical and economic considerations.