Technical Articles

Is BS EN and IEC the same?

In the world of technical standards, it is often easy to get confused with all the different acronyms and organizations involved. Two commonly encountered acronyms are BS EN and IEC. Are they the same thing? Let's delve deeper into their similarities and differences.

BS EN: British Standards European Norms

BS EN stands for British Standards European Norms. It is a set of standards developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI), which is the national standards body of the United Kingdom. BS EN standards cover a wide range of industries and products, from electrical engineering to construction materials, and are used to ensure quality, safety, and reliability.

IEC: International Electrotechnical Commission

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is an international organization that develops and publishes standards for electrical and electronic technologies. Unlike BS EN, which is specific to the UK, IEC standards are recognized and used globally. These standards promote interoperability, efficiency, and safety in various sectors, such as power generation, telecommunications, and consumer electronics.

Differences and Relationships

While both BS EN and IEC focus on technical standards, there are some key differences between them. BS EN standards are typically adopted as British versions of existing or new European standards. This means that BS EN standards incorporate the requirements of the corresponding European standard. On the other hand, IEC standards are developed independently and have a broader international scope.

However, it is important to note that BS EN standards can also align with certain IEC standards. In fact, many BS EN standards are based on or refer to specific IEC standards. The relationship between BS EN and IEC can be seen as one where BS EN standards are harmonized with IEC standards, ensuring compatibility and enabling international trade.


In summary, BS EN and IEC play important roles in defining technical standards, but they are not the same. BS EN standards are specific to the UK and encompass European norms, while IEC standards have a global perspective. Both organizations contribute to the development of safe, efficient, and standardized products and technologies across different industries. Understanding their similarities and differences can help businesses and professionals navigate the complex world of technical standards more effectively.



Contact: Eason Wang

Phone: +86-13751010017


Add: 1F Junfeng Building, Gongle, Xixiang, Baoan District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

Scan the qr codeclose
the qr code