There are a number of well-established advisory organizations in the world that provide guidelines, best practices, and reference data for EMC engineers. Their advisory standards are based on technical collaborations by large groups of professional members drawn from the global engineering community. These advisory standards usually become the basis for the regulatory standards issued by government authorities around the world. Their ongoing technical investigations and working groups can provide knowledge and awareness about emerging technical standards that may be affecting your business in the future, and give you the opportunity to be well prepared for them.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), headquartered in New York, publishes a large body of standards and recommendations on behalf of its many member societies, including the Electromagnetic Compatibility Society (EMCS) and the Power Electronics Society (PELS). The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is based in Geneva, and its standards publications are also influential throughout the global EMC community. The main objective of the American National Standards Institute’s C63 committee (ANSC C63) is to provide standards and recommendations for US regulators, but their publications are widely consulted by the international community as well. 

Recommendations related to Smart Grid developments are published by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) in Washington, DC. International electromagnetic energy exposure (EME) limits and guidelines are published by the Munich-based International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). Other important EMC standards organizations include the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union (ITU), both based in Geneva.

In Canada, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) publish and manage EMC standards for Canadian regulators, while offices within the federal government’s ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) deal with certifications and approvals. Electromagnetic energy exposure (EME) regulations are established by Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 standard.

In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets EMC regulations affecting communications-related systems, while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates issues related to EME and medical devices.

In the European Community, EMC regulations are set by the European Electrotechnical Committee for Standardization (CENELEC) in Brussels.

National regulators throughout the world generally base their own standards on the various sets of advisory standards available to them. Some regulators may tend to rely more heavily on certain advisory groups; for example, the FCC regulations are largely based on ANSC C63, while CENELEC consults the IEC extensively. Otherwise, national regulations are often established on an eclectic basis, and extensive international collaboration among advisory organizations and regulators has helped to promote a common set of technological values.

Ground Reflections Electromagnetic Systems and Engineering Inc.

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