Making the world a safer place

IECEE is an internationally trusted partner

By Claire Marchand

The last 12 months have been extremely successful and fruitful for IECEE, the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components. Increased collaboration with international organizations, outreach to developing countries and the introduction of new services and product categories have contributed greatly to confirming IECEE as the leading global certification system for electrical and electronic products.

IECEE Executive Secretary and COO Pierre de Ruvo during his speech in Vancouver, Canada IECEE Executive Secretary and COO Pierre de Ruvo during his speech in Vancouver, Canada

Kazakhstan joined IECEE

In October 2012, IECEE welcomed the Republic of Kazakhstan as its newest member country. The national member body representing Kazakhstan within IECEE is the Committee of Technical Regulation and Metrology of the Kazakh Ministry of Industry and New Technologies.

Kazakhstan’s membership of IECEE put it on a par with its partners in the EEC (Eurasian Economic Commission), a three-member Customs Union whose other members are the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation.

This crucial move by Kazakhstan was the immediate result of negotiations held between the IEC and the EEC in Moscow, Russian Federation, in late September. IECEE membership provides Kazakhstan and its EEC partners with a strong platform for enhancing competitiveness. IECEE proof of compliance and certification will be highly beneficial to all three economies in facilitating the import of electrical and electronic goods as well as the export of products manufactured in the region.

Cooperation with IAF and ILAC

Cooperation agreements with other standardization and conformity assessment bodies have been on the IEC agenda for many years. One such agreement, made between the Commission’s three CA (Conformity Assessment) Systems, IAF (International Accreditation Forum) and ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) has proved highly rewarding, with levels of collaboration increasingly constantly.

From day one, cooperation between the three organizations has evolved extremely positively on a number of technical and administrative fronts. These collaborative efforts culminated in the three organizations signing a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) in October 2010. In 2012, the high level of confidence established between them led the IEC CA Systems and the members of ILAC and IAF to expand the scope of the first tripartite MoU.

To ensure that collaboration is as full as possible, the three organizations have agreed to coordinate the application of standards and guidance documents for the assessment of the CBs and TLs accredited by IAF and ILAC and operating in the IEC CA Systems. The MoU also stipulates that joint training and workshops should be organized for the pool of technical assessors that are entitled to perform unified assessments of CBs and TLs.

The MoU was signed in Rio de Janeiro, on 25 October 2012, by ILAC Chairman Peter Unger, IAF Chairman Randy Dougherty and IECEE Executive Secretary and COO Pierre de Ruvo, on behalf of IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk.

Focus on industrial automation

The complexity and sophistication of today’s systems and equipment in industrial plants require a specific approach to safety, including functional safety, and security. To provide improved response to industry and market needs, IECEE and its WG (Working Group) 2: Business Development, have produced a new service entirely dedicated to industrial automation. One of the first tasks undertaken by WG 2 was to gather into one product category – INDAT – all the existing IEC International Standards that have a direct bearing on products used in this area.

The introduction of the INDAT product category has benefits for industry as well as for IECEE CBs (Certification Bodies) and TLs (Test Laboratories):

  •  it provides a platform offering progressive support of global recognition and acceptance of industrial automation products
  •  it allows for the sharing of expertise, knowledge and tools that enable third-party CBs to deliver compliance services pertaining to the functional safety of industrial automation products
  •  it provides easier and faster market access for industry, eliminates the need for multiple testing and ultimately drastically reduces the costs associated with the global roll-out of products

IECEE-AFSEC International Seminar in Kenya

The first international seminar jointly organized by IECEE and AFSEC (African Electrotechnical Standardization Commission) took place in Nairobi, Kenya 26-27 August 2013.

The two day event included a general presentation of conformity assessment at the IEC, as well as three specific sessions on electrical safety for refrigerators, luminaires as well as audio and video electronic equipment.

International experts helped African delegates understand the mechanisms to check the conformity of specific products against IEC International Standards and how to access online certificates. Participation in the event was a great opportunity for gaining new insight into the importance of conformity assessment systems, the IECEE system in particular, and the need for African countries to build their capacity in this regard.

The event was organized in collaboration with several African organizations: AU (African Union), AFREC (African Energy Commission of the African Union), and KEBS (Kenya Bureau of Standards) in partnership with two Kenyan laboratories.

Pierre de Ruvo to step down at the end of the year

As in previous years, IECEE held its annual series of meetings at the beginning of the summer, this time in Vancouver, Canada, from 17 to 21 June 2013. What distinguished this year’s gathering was the announcement that IECEE Executive Secretary and COO Pierre de Ruvo would step down at the end of the year.

In a very personal and heartfelt speech inspired by Frank Sinatra's song My Way, de Ruvo took the opportunity to reminisce about the 14 years he has spent at the helm of the IECEE, "a system where there are no premium Members, but Members adhering to a common objective…[to] facilitate trade through mutual recognition".

The following lines, taken from de Ruvo's speech, highlight the spirit in which he is leaving the IECEE: "I am confident that the work we've done thus far will put the IECEE in good stead for many years ahead. […] Whatever major challenges may lie ahead, I hope that the future IECEE will remain the reference, the unique global recognition system, yet one that truly facilitates trade and be invaluable across industrialized countries to developing nations

IECEE Executive Secretary and COO Pierre de Ruvo during his speech in Vancouver, Canada IECEE Executive Secretary and COO Pierre de Ruvo during his speech in Vancouver, Canada
The introduction of IT enabled engineers to create increasingly complex control systems fully integrated with the factory floor. The introduction of IT enabled engineers to create increasingly complex control systems fully integrated with the factory floor.
Circuit-breaker testing Circuit-breaker testing