What happened so far in 2018?

By J. M. Woodgate B.Sc.(Eng.) C.Eng.  MIET SMIEEE FAES Hon FInstSCE MIOA

What happened so far in 2018?

The numbers

BSI has two dedicated EMC standards committees, one dealing with policy matters and CENELEC and the other dealing with all of CISPR and TC77 and their sub-committees. So far this year, we have seen 74 documents addressed to the former and 113 addressed to the latter. Clearly, committee members have quite a task even to check which documents they need to study, let alone submit comments regarding them. (Cue violins, of course).

Many large documents come, mainly for information, from committees studying Smart Grid and Smart Cities, but very little of either major project has really reached the point of development that would disclose tangible novel EMC issues. However, there are plenty of other documents that concern improvements (we hope) to existing standards and possible introduction of new ones.

Selection of general interest

Most of the near-200 documents are of narrow interest, and are best treated by the guidance given below, where EMCIA members can see the titles of the documents and request copies if required. However,  two are of general interest:

IEC 61000-2-2 Amendment 2

This standard is about compatibility levels and the second amendment closes the remaining gap, 30 kHz to 150 kHz, in the frequency range. The CDV attracted enough positive votes to be accepted for publication without a second (FDIS) vote, even though it is a 'best compromise' achieved only after several years difficult negotiation.

IEC 61000-3-2 new Edition 5

This famous standard is, of course, the one about mains harmonic emissions for lower-power equipment. This new edition includes an editorial revision, which is an improvement but there are still a few issues. The FDIS was approved, but with a number of editorial  comments, actually induced by an unfortunate editing process, so don't rely on the FDIS as being the same as the published document.

The IEC web site

The titles of working documents are available on the public part of the IEC web site www.iec.ch.  The general EMC committees are TC77, SC77A, B and C and all the CISPR committees. EMC standards, and EMC clauses, are, of course also produced by product committees.

To see the documents, select 'Technical Committees' from the right-hand pane on the front page.  Say you select SC77B, by scrolling down the list to find it. (The CISPR committees come below the IEC committees.)  Clicking on the 'down' arrow next to the committee number produces a menu pane where you can select 'Working documents'. The list covers a rolling one year period. You can see the document numbers and titles, but you can't download. If you want to see a document, you should ask Alan Warner.

The menu also offers access to other information, and if you click on the committee number itself, you get a further page which shows you links to the same information in a more convenient way.

The CENELEC web site

As you might expect from CENELEC, the navigation isn't quite as simple. On the front page www.cenelec.eu, click on 'List of Technical Bodies' in the 'Quick Links' pane on the right. The number of 'bodies' is large, but the only 'general' EMC committee is CLC/TC210. The drop-down menu works in a  different way as for IEC, and so does clicking on the committee number. There is no 'Projects' page; the projects are in 'Work programme', but publications are listed as 'Publications'. 'Documents' are the documents under consideration in the committee, so you can see a document to decide whether you need to ask for a copy.

'Votes' and 'Collaboration tools' are usable only to committee members.

The ETSI web site

This is totally different. You can see a list of EMC standards at:


The Work Programme page has one of those 256-character URLs that are no use to humans, so you get to it by clicking on the link in the Work Programme. Note that only 'EN' documents relate to the Directive; other designations such as 'ES' and 'TR' are purely ETSI publications and have no official status under the Directive.

ETSI standards can be downloaded free of charge from the front page.


There is no harm in exploring these web sites; you may get terse 'go away' responses, but no-one has yet been imprisoned in Geneva or Brussels for trespass.