Generic EMC standards

Generic IEC EMC Standards are for products operating in a particular EMC environment but for which no specific EMC standards yet exist. They are 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, but they also 'fill the gap' during the time it takes to develop a product standard.

In some cases, they may be entirely 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 the right balance between technical and economic considerations.


Two sets of generic IEC EMC Standards exist, each for two groups of defined types of environments and each comprising emission standards and immunity standards.

The group of environments are labelled:

Residential, commercial and light industrial. This includes houses, shops, and business premises, cinemas, sports centres, workshops and laboratories, for example.

Industrial concerns locations with industrial, scientific and medical equipment and installations involving high currents and associated magnetic fields, or in which there is frequent switching of heavy inductive or capacitative loads.

Furthermore, two generic immunity standards exist for specific applications:

  • Immunity requirements for equipment used in power stations and substations
  • High altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) and intentional electromagnetic interference (IEMI) immunity requirements

Who does what?

Because of their general nature and wide-ranging application, and in spite of being a form of product standard, these publications are prepared by technical committees with what is called horizontal functions, in this case, CISPR for the emission standards (> 9 kHz) and TC 77 for the emission (< 9 kHz) and immunity standards.


The references of generic IEC EMC Standards can be seen below:

Residential, commercial, light industrial environment

IEC 61000-6-3
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) - Part 6-3: Generic standards - Emission standard for residential, commercial and light-industrial environments

Subject: Emission

IEC 61000-6-1
TC 77
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) - Part 6-1: Generic standards - Immunity for residential, commercial and light-industrial environments

Subject: Immunity

Power station and substation environment

IEC 61000-6-5
TC 77
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) - Part 6-5: Generic standards - Immunity for power station and substation environments

Subject: Immunity

Industrial environment

IEC 61000-6-4
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) - Part 6-4: Generic standards - Emission standard for industrial environments

Subject: Emission

IEC 61000-6-2
TC 77
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) - Part 6-2: Generic standards - Immunity for industrial environments

Subject: Immunity

Indoor equipment

IEC 61000-6-6
SC 77C
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) - Part 6-6: Generic standards - HEMP immunity for indoor equipment

Subject: HEMP immunity