Which countries routinely use IEC cables?

When the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) member countries and affiliate members are added together the IEC family covers more than 97% of the world’s population. The members are the national committees of the respective country, responsible for setting national standards and guidelines. 

The IEC controls the publication of 212 standards associated with electric cables which come under the remit of the Technical Committee 20 of IEC. Of course, these countries do not exclusively use only IEC cable standards and have their own National types, however they do recognise many of the IEC standards and work towards the ongoing harmonisation of standards and test methods etc.

IEC logo

Full affiliate members of the IEC include:

Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea Republic of (South Korea), Libya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America.

There are an additional 22 associate members:

Albania, Bahrain, Bosnia & Herzogovina, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Estonia, Georgia, Iceland, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia and Vietnam.

Additionally there are 83 affiliate members:

IEC standards cover the whole spectrum from low voltage, medium voltage and high voltage power cables and cable accessories in various material types and for a wide range of applications including but not limited to fibre optic cables, mineral insulated cables, heating cables, ground lighting cables for aeronautics, data cables, power control and instrumentation cables for shipboard and offshore applications.


There is increasing parity between IEC standards and those of CENELEC, bringing changes in international standards and European standards closer together. Specifying IEC cables may allow for improved access to cable types (for instance, in the event of urgent maintenance it may be challenging to procure a niche national standard cable but an IEC cable providing comparable performance may be suitable). It should be noted that in many cases national standards will be more demanding and stringent than IEC standards - any use of IEC standard cables must be in conjunction and compliance with national wiring regulations and industry best-practice.

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