International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

News release – 2009 Number 19

Protecting populations from non-conforming electrical appliances and installations

First major conference on standardization and Conformity Assessment in Gulf region


Geneva, Switzerland, 2009-12-11Better protect the citizens of the Gulf region from the many accidents caused by low-quality electrical appliances and components. This was one of the clear objectives of the first international conference for standardization and conformity assessment in electrotechnology that was held this week in Bahrain.


GSO General Secretariat, Anwar Al-Abdullah

With the rapid growth of the consumption of non-conforming electrical appliances in the Gulf region has come an increase in accidents and electrical fires.


Badly insulated oven doors in low-quality products burn many innocent hands. Inferior quality material used in switches, socket outlets, fuses and appliances may cause fires in buildings that can cost billions of dollars to local economies, and endanger the lives of millions.


In the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region, an estimated 30 % of building fires are caused by short circuits, faulty wiring and non-conforming electrical products. Part of the problem is the absence of third party conformity assessment. Use of IEC International Standards in third party conformity assessment increases the safety and health of local populations and encourages the development of manufacturing in GCC.


The event was opened by the Minister of Industry and Commerce of Bahrain, H.E. Mr. Hassan Abdulla Fakhro. It was co-organized by the IECEE, the System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components of the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Bahrain and GSO, the GCC Standardization Organization.


The event brought together key players from manufacturing, testing laboratories and government bodies from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It looked at the safety of household appliances, electrical appliances and buildings, as well as the role of conformity assessment in improving the quality and performance of electrotechnical products and systems in these countries.


One of the aims of the conference is to provide the Gulf region with the tools to play a key role in both the development of IEC International Standards and the participation in the IECEE.


The Gulf region is today the third most important trading platform for electrical and electronic goods globally. For a region that increasingly cooperates economically, the use of IEC International Standards and the participation in the IECEE Conformity Assessment System is vital for its industrial development. It will result in increased efficiency and economies of scale in manufacturing and the reduction of trade barriers.

About the IECEE

The IECEE is a worldwide multilateral certification system that is based on International Standards prepared by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission).


The IECEE System includes certification for electrical and electronic (electrotechnical) products as well as an exclusive quality mark for photovoltaic products and systems, the PV GAP Mark.


The IECEE System was put in place to facilitate international trade in electrotechnical equipment and components for use in homes, offices, workshops, healthcare facilities and similar locations.


The IECEE operates two schemes:

  • CB Scheme for Mutual Recognition of Test Certificates for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components

    The fundamental principle of the CB Scheme is that a manufacturer can obtain a CB Test Certificate for a defined product, from a National Certification Body (NCB). To do so he submits samples of his product. The test results are registered.
    The manufacturer can then present this certificate together with product samples to the NCBs in other member countries whose certification marks he wants for his products. Tests may not be repeated but additional tests may be required for national differences.
  • CB-FCS Scheme for Mutual Recognition of Conformity Assessment Certificates for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components

    FCS stands for "Full Certification Scheme". This is an extension of the IECEE CB Scheme in that it also includes factory audits and inspections. This scheme goes far beyond product testing. It includes a complete quality system and surveillance methods at the factory that produces a certified product. This can insure consistency of design and construction.
    This scheme substantially reduces the number of steps required to obtain certification at the national level worldwide. It is particularly interesting for manufacturers who export fast moving consumer goods to many global markets.

Exclusive to IECEE: the PV GAP Mark

PV GAP Mark, the global approval program for the certification of photovoltaic products and systems, is exclusively provided by the IECEE through its National Certification Bodies (NCBs).

The Mark is the worldwide reference for manufacturers and suppliers of photovoltaic components and equipment. It ensures that solar equipment and components are compliant with IEC International Standards in terms of safety and performance.

About the IEC

The IEC produces International Standards and handles Conformity Assessment Systems for the millions of objects, systems or machines that contain electronics or use/produce electricity in any form.


  • Founded in 1906 in London, first president Lord Kelvin
  • 159 Members and Affiliates
  • Central Office: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Regional Offices: Worcester, MA, USA; São Paolo, Brazil; Singapore
  • Conformity Assessment Systems: Geneva, Switzerland; Sydney, Australia

Technical work

  • Over 10 000 experts from industry, commerce, government, test and research laboratories, academia and consumer groups
  • Over 1 000 Working Groups in 174 Technical Committees
  • Over 13 000 International Standards published since inception
  • Over 6 000 International Standards on catalogue today
  • Over 300 000 Conformity Assessment Certificates established

Examples of technologies covered by IEC International Standards and Conformity Assessment Systems

Power generation, transmission, distribution, including all renewable energy sources, batteries, fuel cells, home appliances, office and medical equipment, public and private transportation, semiconductor devices, fibre optics, nanotechnology, multimedia, information technology, and more.


IEC Contact

Gabriela Ehrlich
Head of Communications
Tel: +41 22 919 02 78
Email: Gabriela Ehrlich


IECEE Contact

Pierre de Ruvo
IECEE Executive Secretary
Tel: +41 22 919 02 07
Email: Pierre de Ruvo