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USNC/IEC History


In 1904, leading scientists and pioneering industrialists from around the globe came together at the Coliseum Music Hall in St. Louis, Missouri, to discuss the need for cooperation leading to the standardization of electrical apparatus and machinery. This pivotal meeting ultimately led to the establishment of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in 1906.

One year later, U.S. interests rallied to form a National Committee to oversee the country’s participation in IEC activities. Thus, in 1907 the U.S. National Committee (USNC) to the IEC was formed.

Today, the IEC promotes international cooperation on all questions of standardizations and the verification of conformity to standards in the fields of electricity, electronic and related technologies.

IEC-USNC-ANSI Chronology


Initiation of the IEC's formation by a resolution of the Chamber of Government Delegates to the September 1904 meeting of the International Electrical Congress in St. Louis


First IEC statutes drawn up in a preliminary meeting in London


The United States National Committee (USNC) is formed


USNC affiliated with the Electrical Standards Board of the American Standards Association (ASA, pre-cursor to ANSI); ASA Pays IEC dues and provides administrative support.


ASA reorganizes into the United States of America Standards Institute (USASI); USASI continues administrative support and payment of IEC dues.


USASI reorganizes into the American National Standards Institute (ANSI); ANSI continues administrative support and payment of IEC dues.


USNC became formal, integrated, body of ANSI with a new set of ANSI ByLaws to cover and govern the relationship. The revised ANSI ByLaws were approved by the ANSI Board in September 1976 and subsequently accepted by the USNC. Under the new arrangement with ANSI, the USNC was not an independent body, but was a wholly integrated body of ANSI operating under its own Operating Procedures subject to approval by the ANSI Board of Directors and the Executive Standards Council.


The document “ANSI USNC Governance and Modus Operandi” is approved by ANSI and USNC. It described the governance of ANSI, the governance of USNC, and the interrelationship between the two.


ANSI Board of Directors challenged ANSI constituency to initiate mechanisms necessary to financially support desired operations; “pay to play” philosophy initiated. USNC initiated, with ANSI Board approval, a funding program whereby individual Technical Advisory Group participants were required to pay a TAG Participation Fee. The USNC also established a Business Plan Task Force to develop recommendations for the future organizational structure of the USNC.


The initial IEC Conformity Assessment Board Policy Coordinating Committee (CABPCC) was approved by Council


The initial IEC Conformity Assessment Board Policy Coordinating Committee (CABPCC) was approved by Council


CABPCC was reorganized into Conformity Assessment Policy Coordination Committee (CAPCC)


The USNC hosted the IEC General Meeting in Seattle


The USNC is now planning its hosting of the 2022 IEC General Meeting in San Francisco